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.
- Cleaning Quality Bonus ( $25): Achieved via inspections. A written, quality inspection score of 90-100 earns a bonus of $25.
- Customer Satisfaction Bonus ( $25): Achieved via a customer satisfaction survey. A score of 90-100 earns a bonus of $25.
- 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…