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Eliminating Employee Performance Problems in the Cleaning Industry

Just as everyone of us occasionally ‘catches’ a cold, in your life as a business owner, sooner or later you’ll have employees with performance problems.

In order to eliminate the problem (and prevent it happening again), you need to figure out why there is a problem in the first place. There are many reasons you may have employee performance problems. Here are four of the most common:

Unsuitability problem. This means the employee does not have the physical, mental, or emotional capacity to do the job. I once had a job applicant who had previously worked for several janitorial companies in my area. In every case, the account he was responsible for had been terminated by the client. I saw no need in hiring someone who would only ‘lose’ an account for me!

Situational problem. This could mean that the employee doesn’t have the right tools to do the job, or doesn’t use them to do the job correctly. For example, if it’s taking the employee twice as long to vacuum as it should, find out the reason. It could be that she’s using a vacuum that has worn brushes that don’t pick up, or she doesn’t change out the bags often enough to have enough suction.

Training problem. This is a very common problem, especially if you’re a small business and placed the responsibility for training in an inexperienced person’s hands. Have an effective training program and be sure that your trainers follow your systems consistently. Having an employee say, “No one told me I had to do that.” doesn’t work very well when you’re trying to explain to a client why a job wasn’t done right.

Motivational problem. Motivation stems from owners/management and trickles down through supervisors to cleaners. If your cleaners aren’t motivated, find out why and take steps to correct the situation. The employee may know how to do the job, she just chooses not to do it because she may have the feeling that if “they” don’t care, neither should I.

When you have a problem, you must get to the root of the problem quickly. Letting things continue on without taking action will never solve the problem. But if you effectively work to deal with problems as soon as you identify them, the happier you and your employees will be.

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