high cost of employee turnover

The High Cost of Employee Turnover in the Cleaning Industry

The service industry in general is notorious for its high employee turnover rates. In the commercial cleaning industry in particular, the turnover rate is downright appalling.

According to a recent study, employee turnover averages 200% in the commercial cleaning industry. That means a company with 100 team members will hire 200 people each year to fill those roles. That’s 200 people to recruit and vet. That’s 200 people to train and onboard.

That’s 200 people who will probably be gone this time next year.

It’s expensive to hire a new employee, both in terms of direct costs (advertisements, background checks) and time (interviewing, training). Many commercial cleaning companies know these costs are to be expected and build them into their contracts. Instead of identifying ways to recruit and retain great employees, they simply raise their rates.

In other words, you pay more for less.

But the negative impact of high turnover goes beyond cost. While a new employee is getting up to speed, quality suffers: Efficiency decreases, steps are skipped, tasks are missed. New employees may overuse cleaning supplies and misuse—or break—valuable equipment. They may even damage your property.

High turnover also causes safety issues. Inexperienced employees are more likely to injure themselves. Cleaning is a physical job, and falls (from a ladder, for example), slips (on an unmopped spill) and trips (over an extension cord) are all too common. Cleaning supplies must be used correctly and precisely to avoid irritating the skin or burning the eyes; mixing chemicals can be extremely hazardous.

Finally, high turnover can make your building—and your employees—less secure. Too many new faces in your building in a short period of time is unsettling. Your employees may start to wonder exactly how many people have access to the building and how secure their belongings are. And when there’s a revolving door of cleaning staff, it can be difficult to keep track of building keys or codes, further increasing your risk of a security incident.

The causes of high turnover in the commercial cleaning industry are easy to identify. Low pay is at the top of the list. Many commercial cleaning companies pay their employees at or barely above the minimum wage. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, jumping ship for a higher-paying job is a no-brainer.

There are other factors at play as well. Without proper training, cleaning staff may experience physical discomfort from the repetitive motions of the job. They often work alone, resulting in a feeling of isolation. A lack of recognition can make employees feel undervalued. Many employees simply find the work too monotonous and not challenging enough. Any one of these issues can cause an employee to quit, but the combination results in all-too-frequent burnout.

At APS, we help our clients breathe easy knowing we have a well-compensated, well-trained and well-satisfied workforce. We believe our employees are our most valuable asset, and we make them feel valued by offering some of the best wages in the industry. But we don’t stop there. We offer competitive benefits as well, including health insurance, paid time off and a matching 401(k).

We also offer our team members the tools and resources they need to succeed. In addition to training new hires on proper cleaning techniques, we offer opportunities for employees to receive specialized training that can advance their career and better serve our clients. For example, all our management and field staff are required to earn their Accredited Infection Prevention Expert Certification, ensuring they know how to properly clean and disinfect your space. And we always use the safest, most environmentally responsible products.

We work hard to ensure each and every employee feels like a member of the team. We celebrate birthdays, host fun events, and provide opportunities for employees to give back to their communities. We recognize outstanding employees through a number of quarterly and annual awards. Most award recipients are nominated by their peers, further building a sense of camaraderie.

Employees looking for less repetition and more excitement in their workday benefit from our commitment to innovation. Our autonomous vacuums and scrubbers improve cleaning efficiency while lowering costs. They perform repetitive or strenuous tasks, freeing up our employees to focus on more specialized tasks. (And it’s just really cool to be able to say your coworker is a robot.)

As a member of the Corporate Floors family of brands, we are a Certified B Corporation® committed to working toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. It all starts with our employees. We recruit and retain the best in the business so we can be the best in the business. Contact us today at gethelp@apexpropertyservices.goapexgroup.com to learn how we can elevate your cleaning program from adequate to awesome.