Drake's Blog

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Janitorial Site Supervisor Incentives That Work!

If you want to stay in the janitorial industry for very long – and you should because it can be extremely rewarding, both personally and financially – you’ll have to do the math.

Goal + Incentive = Happy Customer

There’s a lot to be said about the first part of the equation – your Goal – and I’ll talk about that in detail at another time. For now, suffice it to say that your goal is to maintain a high level of cleanliness for your customer at a profit. But as we all know, that objective is hard to consistently execute within a narrow profit margin.

That’s where the essential but overlooked second part of the equation comes in, an Incentive for your Site Supervisor. You might ask, “Why should I have to motivate someone to do their job? Isn’t a decent paycheck incentive enough?” Well, after 25 long years of dealing with hundreds of job sites and thousands of employees, I’ve got a short answer for you – NO.

I’m not saying that people are bad or lazy or ungrateful. But when I’m asking folks for above average and excellent work on a consistent basis, the carrot approach has more than paid for itself in my operations. (Just ask my happy customers.)

Any incentive program should be a Win/Win for both you and your supervisors. It should have numerically measurable results and your team should consider its targets to be reasonable and attainable.

Plus the incentive should be adequately enticing. Over the years, I found that nothing works better than a monthly, cash bonus. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it does have to be green. “Attaboys” and name recognition in the newsletter are nice – and we issue plenty of these at my company – but those don’t cover the cable bill.

So, for those site supervisors that oversee cleaning crews of three or more people, I offer 3 simple bonuses.

  1. Cleaning Quality Bonus ( $25): Achieved via inspections. A written, quality inspection score of 90-100 earns a bonus of $25.
  2. Customer Satisfaction Bonus ( $25): Achieved via a customer satisfaction survey. A score of 90-100 earns a bonus of $25.
  3. Labor Under Budget Bonus ($2.50 per hour): Between 5 hours under budget and 20 hours under budget, a supervisor earns $2.50 for each labor hour saved (for a maximum payout of $50). Note: Attempting to save more than 20 labor hours per month at a job site will cut into quality.

As you can see, this isn’t an expensive incentive plan, maxing out at $100 per month, per supervisor. But my supervisors love it and the results are undeniable! I just wish that someone had told me early in my career, like I’m telling you now, how effective a simple little program like this can be. In addition to facilitating labor savings, my supervisors have embraced two key metrics – inspections and company surveys – as their score sheets. We’ve all gained quality and productivity and profits that we wouldn’t have attained without a motivation program.

Bottom line: A good janitorial site supervisor incentive program does not cost – it pays!

Get it? Got it? Good! I’d love to hear about any incentive plans that have worked for you or any that you’re considering…

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Top Ten Tips – The Pre-Bid Janitorial Walk Through

In over 25 years in the cleaning business, I’ve participated in many (pre-bid) janitorial walk through groups and I’ve witnessed numerous bids that were lost before they were even presented.

The pre-bid walk through is your chance to shine. Make that happen by following these top ten tips:

  1. Look the part, dress professionally. Shirts with company logos are perfect and project a positive image. Or at least wear a nice shirt. Shine the shoes, comb the hair, iron the pants, etc. No shorts or flip flops. Leave the lip rings at home. And, oh yeah, If you’ve got a neck tattoo, wear a turtleneck. But all kidding aside, perception is reality… If you don’t present a professional business image, no one is going to entrust their building’s image to you.
  2. Be prepared. Have more than one working pen. Have a small working calculator and a pad for notes and calculations.
  3. Silence your phone, or better yet, turn it off. Your ringing phone says to the person who is showing you around their facility, on their time, that this walk through is not that important to you.
  4. The Be-attitudes: Be professional. Be polite. Be nice. Be friendly. Be thankful. Be yourself.
  5. Do a little homework beforehand. View their website, do a Google search. Know a little something about the facility that you’re bidding on. It always helps.
  6. Read any pre-bid package information extensively. Don’t ask questions that someone took the time and effort to spell out for you. Don’t be “that guy/girl” that asks – in front of multiple bidders – “um, who provides the trash bags, you or me?”. How will you feel when the facility manager responds, “That’s in the pre-bid packet you received. Did you not read it”? And what do you think the facility manager will be feeling about you?
  7. Do ask questions that aren’t spelled out in a pre-bid packet. Like, who provides the paper goods, trash liners, soaps, etc.
  8. Listen carefully to what your prospect says during the walk through. Take notes. Let them tell you what they’re looking for in a cleaning company. Like, “the last company never changed the can liners” or “they wouldn’t take care of issues quickly”, etc. And make sure that you take care of this customer if when you get the winning bid!
  9. Ask your prospect to let you walk the building on your own after the walk through to make some calculations, review some areas and take some notes. It helps you tremendously and tells them you’re thorough. I’ve never had any prospect tell me no.
  10. After the walk through, thank your prospect. Tell them that you appreciate the time they took to show you around. It’s amazing how many people fail to do this properly.

 

Now head over to your CleanlyRun Janitorial Bidware account (or free 30 day trial account) and continue to put your best foot forward… In just a few minutes, you’ll be guided through the creation of an extremely professional and accurate proposal that’s ready to deliver to your (impressed) customer.