Cleaning & Restoration Association News

Motivating Your Services-Oriented Employees

August 14, 2001
/ Print / Reprints /
/ Text Size+
Building a Profitable Business: Motivating Your Services-Oriented Employees

While pay rate is certainly key to job satisfaction, other factors play a much more prominent role than many bosses think.

One of the biggest challenges facing service businesses in recent years has been finding and keeping good personnel. Not only is it difficult to find and recruit the best people, it's also expensive. Business schools estimate that the cost to replace an employee, after accounting for recruiting, interviewing, hiring, training and lost production is equal to about four times their monthly pay. This cost alone is good reason to invest in some type of positive motivation program aimed at employee retention. Other compelling reasons for a motivational plan include higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, reduced stress and improved image to your customers.

Several years ago, the Harvard School of Business conducted a survey of both employers and employees asking them to identify and prioritize the key factors that contribute to an employee's job satisfaction. The results were pretty interesting in that both groups listed similar items in the "Top 10" list, but in different priority order.

The employers topped their list with pay scale, followed by benefits and job security. While these items certainly made the top 10 for the employees, the first things on the list included developing the "big picture," having a feeling of belonging and being valued. Pay and benefits were further down the list, behind the psychological and conceptual motivators.

This is consistent with current business trends toward "team building" and employee involvement in the planning process. People like to know where they, and how their role fits into the overall scheme of things.

It's important to share the company's goals with employees, and then get team members to buy into them. Think of the old "suggestion box" taken to the next level: Employees offering ideas toward achieving company goals is not only a source of good ideas, it can be a big motivator. The employee begins to take personal pride and ownership in the performance from their department. Occasional team or staff meetings should be held where employee opinions are actually solicited and heard (listened to).

Another aspect of employee motivation is the general work environment itself. Clean, pleasant surroundings conducive to the job being performed are more than just a little important in motivating team members. Having the proper tools and equipment -- in good working order -- also adds to the employee's morale and motivation.

A feeling of fairness and equality in behavior and discipline issues is also essential in maintaining a high level of motivation for team members. Clear, published rules of workplace conduct with established and consistently enforced consequences should be understood and adhered to by everyone, without favoritism. Rules that are enforced inconsistently are worse than having no rules at all.

Finally, allow for personal, social interaction within the team. The occasional company party, picnic or celebration can solidify the team. People that work together day after day often don't really get to know the person they work with without a form of social interaction outside the workplace. Often, this helps people to be more sympathetic to the little personality issues that can become big problems with employee motivation.

In summary, build a team where every member knows their role and where they fit into the overall picture. Make sure every team member feels included and appreciated; clearly define the "rules of conduct" and the expectations; and create a pleasant and comfortable work environment.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

Recent Articles by Tom Hill

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.

1/27/15 2:00 pm EST

Grow Your Business and Improve Operations with New Payment Technology

Attend this free webinar to learn how new developments in payment technology can help you close more jobs, increase upselling opportunities and improve operations.


While winter is considered the "slow season" for carpet cleaners, it can also be a season of great opportunity. In this episode of The Hitman Advertising Show, John Braun offers advice for keeping revenue consistent during the cold weather months so you're thriving - and not just surviving - the winter.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2015 Jan/Feb

The Jan/Feb ICS issue features content on cleaning services during the winter time, commercial cleaning, rug cleaning, new with rugs, marketing for restoration and new products.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive


The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.png


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view