Five Tips to Motivate (and Retain!) Your Employees

Tina Rose, VP of Operations, Clean Advantage

Employee retention is a growing concern in businesses. Work environments that have a high employee turnover rate don’t produce the same results or customer experience as companies that retain employees for years. When the business in question provides a service, like Clean Advantage, long-term employees create lasting relationships with customers and their relationship to their work improves greatly over time if they are properly motivated. Here are some tips that have proven successful in our efforts to keep our employees feeling appreciated and motivated.

1. Celebrate Small Successes

When an employee has been performing a job for a long period of time, they get so used to the tasks they accomplish on a daily basis that it starts to feel pretty regular. When moments come along where an employee goes above and beyond and exemplifies model behavior for customer service, it’s important to celebrate those! This is especially important for new or younger employees who haven’t had much work experience or opportunities to be lauded for successes. At Clean Advantage, we pair this celebration with a $20 on-the-spot cash “thank-you” so employees feel immediately appreciated and encouraged to keep up the great work.

2. Establish Opportunities for Autonomy

Clean Advantage employees often share how much they appreciate being trusted by both their company and their clients while on the job.  Veteran Rosie says: “Managers give me trust and freedom to expand my ideas at the properties.”  The project-based work means that she can cultivate relationships with property managers and residences and really affect change at the property. As Rosie becomes more familiar with a property, she can identify new services that will benefit residents and strengthen the collaboration with our clients. At Clean Advantage, we celebrate successes like Rosie to encourage all employees to take ownership of their roles and always strive for excellence.

3. Include Employees in Goal-Setting

To guarantee consistent improvement, goals are helpful to set a clear path and sustain motivation. In a business, goal-setting seems like it would fall solely with management, but involving employees in their goal-making decisions is a great way for them to feel more involved in their work. Giving employees opportunities to advance, and the tools and information on how to get there, shows them you are invested in them and their future. Clean Advantage provides employees information on internal paths to advancement, english classes, training for specialty skills, and mentoring. We’re so pleased when our employees take advantage of these programs, as Angela said, “I had been with another company for several years, with similar responsibilities, but without the same recognition, pay, or appreciation. Within six months of working at Clean Advantage, they promoted me to my current position, Quality Manager. They saw my work, what I was contributing, and they gave me the opportunity.”

4. Design Respectful Relationships From the Beginning

The work environment that management creates can directly affect the motivation of the employees. In the Core Values at Clean Advantage, we expect that every employee, in every interaction should be “Trustworthy  –  Be honest, honorable, respectful, and dependable, to the customer and to the employees.” The same respect that is at the core of our customer service is also how we show our employees they are valued. From recruitment and on, Clean Advantage works to define expectations for employees and for leadership with our Core Values. Donaldo said of his time with us, “I’m very grateful—and I’ll be grateful until the end of my days—for how Clean Advantage has treated me as a person and an employee.” Donaldo and others have followed these values and gone above and beyond for customers in our effort to Find a Way to Say Yes! We work as a team and combine resources to get the job done for our clients.

5. Shout it Out!

We’re not above making a little noise, because great work deserves recognition. At Clean Advantage, we share progress and kudos with everyone, and do it often. We celebrate individuals and teams to make it clear to all employees that leadership is listening and paying attention to their hard work and the client’s and manager’s feedback. On our social media, we have profiles of our employees to highlight their time with us. Each month, we give a Clean Advantage Customer Service Star to one employee with a pin and gift card in recognition of stellar feedback from a client or supervisor. These awards are also published in our employee newsletter and on social media. Here’s Lidia’s shout-out from earlier this month:

We have found a great balance with our team at Clean Advantage and at its heart are respect and recognition. We are just as eager to hear feedback from our employees as we are to give them kudos when they go above and beyond for the job!