As I was trying to think of a good topic to write about I started thinking about the New Year and what a good New Year Resolution may be for our company as a whole. I personally was never any good at creating or sticking to a resolution. It’s like sticking to a diet or gym routine, it works great for the first 2 weeks then goes downhill by the end of the month real fast. But, then I thought maybe if our company implemented a resolution, as a team, we could work together and really commit to it.
It is no surprise that recruiting and retention is a concern in the Janitorial industry. Commercial Janitorial is notorious for bad employee turnover averaging a 75% turnover rate. It doesn’t help when society places a stigma on the certain job choices that are out in the world. You aren’t successful or worth your salt if you aren’t making lots of money or in a prestigious career choice. I heard a comment on a the Golden Globes this year to a predominant actor referencing that he was no better than a Garbage man because of certain circumstance only trying to make a joke out of the whole ordeal. But either way, what is so bad about being a garbage man? It is a job few people want to do yet no one wants to appreciate those who do the work, they choose to degrade those for doing it.
“Society says you have to go to college now—there’s pressure not to go into trades or technical school,” says Robert Wendover, director of the Center for Generational Studies in Aurora, Colo., “There is also a sense in society that hard work is not something to be proud of these days. People don’t want to get their hands dirty.”[i]
Well, if you combined dirty work and a small paycheck why would anyone want to work? The one thing I have always told our employee’s is that there job is SO much more than typical commercial janitorial cleaning. In fact their job is imperative in the fight against HAI’s. But in most cases outside of our small company, people, even our clients, see cleaning dirty toilets, bloody operating rooms, and picking up after people’s dirty dishes is not glamorous work by any means. I don’t know anyone who likes, let alone wants, to live in their own filth, but does anyone appreciate those who actually clean up the mess? No usually, instead people have allowed society to see it as a low paying, low reward position and something they wouldn’t want to do. So why do we expect anything less from those who do the job to actually stay in that position for any length of time. Funny how society degrades people for the type of work they do vs. valuing people who are dependable, dedicated and who actually work at all.
So if one big reason for high turnover is that society doesn’t value the janitorial work, people who are doing the work aren’t going to feel valued. We all have a need to feel appreciated, to be rewarded for a job well done, and to feel as if our work matters to someone. MediClean is a small business and niche based at that. We don’t clean commercial accounts we only clean the Healthcare Industry. Our job may be to clean dirty toilets, bloody floors, and messy rooms but more importantly our job is to save lives. No one else wants to do the cleaning so why these individuals aren’t appreciative more for the work no one else wants to do all while carrying the weight of such importance, preventing infections.
Our New Year Resolution for 2015 is to help change the stigma of janitorial cleaning, especially in our healthcare settings. To educate the healthcare community of the importance of your janitorial services and to reward people more frequently for a job well done. If my staff felt more valued in their work and that in turn kept them employed with MediClean longer, that means they also value our clients just as much and everyone wants to feel valued no matter what the job.