The cleaning industry faces higher turnover rates than a lot of other types of employment due to the nature of the work and varying hours. At the end of the day, happier employees stay at jobs longer and do better work; it’s just that simple. So if you’re looking for ways to increase your employee retention, here are a few ways to keep your operators happy.
1. Keep training and resources accessible.
Your cleaning staff members come to you with all levels of experience. To keep labor costs down, you need cleaning professionals who can hit the ground running, regardless of experience. That’s why training needs to be a top priority. You most likely don’t have the time to spend training each new employee multiple times on all of your equipment, so keeping training materials at their fingertips is a good place to start.
When current or new employees have questions or concerns about how to operate a floor scrubber, they should turn to whatever information from the manufacturer that you have handy. As much as you can, try to put this information in an accessible format, such as a web page that they can access with their smartphone or a quick-train guide. Some manufacturers even have QR codes printed on their scrubbers that cleaning professionals can scan with their phone for instant access to training videos.
2. Protect their senses.
In the janitorial and cleaning industry, you’re bound to run into a few unsavory smells. One of the biggest complaints from floor cleaning professionals is the smell in their scrubbers’ recovery tanks. Many times this is due to a poorly maintained recovery tank because it is too hard to clean and disinfect the tank. There are many ways to avoid that smell, like making sure your scrubbers are built to allow easy access – and therefore, easy cleaning – of the tank. Some manufacturers have installed tank treatment systems in their recovery tanks that treat the dirty water as it is recovered, killing the odor-causing bacteria. Do your automatic scrubbers have tank treatment systems installed? Choosing machines with a tank treatment system keeps smells practically unnoticeable – and much less offensive to machine operators.
Another common odor complaint stems from the use of chemical stripping solutions on floor finish. Opting for a chemical-free finish removal process keeps harsh odors from affecting your team or your clients – worse yet, school-aged children or healthcare patients with respiratory ailments. Chemical-free finish removal has other perks: the scrubber removes finish with the use of a surface preparation pad and water and leaves behind a dry, finish-ready surface. No slippery finish slurry for your operators or any passerby to slip and fall on.
3. Eliminate downtime due to poorly maintained wet batteries.
It goes without saying that cleaning professionals are just like anyone else: they want to finish the job they are paid to do and go home and relax at the end of the day. So, to keep your team happier (and to improve your bottom line), make sure that the tools they need to complete their work are maintained properly to eliminate downtime.
The biggest frustration and highest unplanned cost for automatic scrubber owners is battery replacement due to poor wet battery maintenance. This frustration is typically passed onto the operator when they forget to check the battery water level in the machine. Instead of spending time and money to replace a scrubber’s wet battery because someone forgot to check the battery water levels, invest in machines with advanced wet battery technology, such as Pacific Floorcare’s BatteryShield. BatteryShield alerts the operator when levels are low by lighting an indicator on the dashboard, and it shuts down the scrub head when the battery needs to be watered, keeping replacement costs and downtime low and your operators moving efficiently – and happily!
4. Make it easy on them.
Many times with scrubbers, poor cleaning performance on the floor is due to the operator using worn or dirty pads or brushes. Do your operators avoid changing floor pads like they should? That’s usually because of one of two reasons: the pad drivers or brushes are difficult to get on and off the bottom of the scrubber or they don’t want to touch the cleaning tool. Look for machines with simple pad driver or brush replacement. The faster your operators can change the cleaning tools out without breaking their backs or dirtying their hands, the better.
Another must? A detachable squeegee assembly with a squeegee hanger option. Some squeegee assemblies don’t fit through doorways or other tight spaces so they have to be removed to transport the unit. When there isn’t a squeegee hanger, the operator typically tosses the squeegee assembly on top of the scrubber and tries to balance it with one hand while they are driving, risking damage to the equipment or the facility. Some machine manufacturers even offer the ability to leave the hoses attached to the squeegee assembly while the assembly is in the hanger.
Keeping floor cleaning professionals happy can be easy if your fleet of scrubbers is built with this end result in mind. Pacific Floorcare’s automatic scrubbers tackle each of these issues and keep your operators happy. You can check out their S-Series scrubbers here.