By: Matt Strano – CEO

When we meet with our BSC end users to talk about their biggest challenges, one of the most common refrains we hear is turnover. Turnover has always plagued the cleaning industry, but it may be BSCs who feel the burn the most acutely. It costs a lot of money to hire and train new employees, nevermind the disruptions your teams and accounts face when you lose staff unexpectedly.

While we can’t innovate a magic antidote to employee turnover, we can offer some suggestions for ways your BSC can boost morale and retention. It’s not easy to motivate people to wake up every morning to go out and clean up other people’s messes. We get that. But together, we can change the narrative. As we build up our workers to understand the importance and value of the work they do, we can change our company cultures and reduce turnover.

Invest in Recognition
In any industry, but especially in the cleaning business, a little recognition can go a very long way. You don’t have to spend a lot to make a lasting impact, either. Cleaning up is a tough, overlooked and undervalued job. Show your frontline workers that you understand that, and value what they do to help your business succeed. Simple gestures like group pizza parties, casual dress days and family picnics that recognize your team are absolutely essential to retaining your valued team members. These gestures show your team you value their hard work and that they mean more to your company than simply filling a staffing need. We love recognition programs that include recognizing workers who go above and beyond with an “Employee of the Month” initiative. Rewards can include PTO incentives, small gift cards or even a bonus! It doesn’t take much to start a recognition program. All you need is a plan. Let your team know you value them, and start building up a relationship that will mean they are much less likely to walk away.

Help Your Workers Get Certified Training
The companies who often seem to have the best retention rates among their custodial staff are those who offer professional development opportunities. The industry is rife with training opportunities and there are many certifications that can really elevate the knowledge base of your employees. Identify your workers who are ready for the challenge, and help them find the opportunities to earn those certificates. Certified training doesn’t mean traveling to a multi-day workshop or seminar anymore. These days a certificate can be earned from a desktop computer at your office. Charlotte’s developed an online learning program in partnership with ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) that any number of your team members can access from a mobile device or computer to earn valuable CMI-certified training. Certified training will give your employees a boost in morale, a path toward career advancement and more equity in a job well done. This kind of certified training has been shown to help companies retain higher level workers for longer, and provides a path to success for the employee and the BSC.

Choose Safety
Company cultures that value safety are better able to keep employees happy about coming to work. It’s just common sense. Slip-and-fall accidents, ergonomic injuries, and exposure to toxic chemicals are some serious cleaning industry related job hazards. If you make it a point to choose safety precautions rather than accepting these risks for your staff, you’ll not only have happier workers, you’ll have a whole lot less expense in terms of workers’ compensation. We’ve made it our mission to innovate solutions that make the job safer. You can choose products and processes that virtually eliminate slip-and-fall accidents by choosing traction enhancement products for your floors, like our Terrazzo/Concrete care program, which eliminates the time consuming and costly process of floor stripping and the use of water on certain floor substrates. When you choose third-party certified healthier cleaning products, or products that eliminate the need for more toxic chemicals like floor strippers, your employee’s breathe easier on the job. And the latest trends in the cleaning industry has emphasized the need for more ergonomic equipment that takes less of a toll on the backs of our valued cleaning workers, vastly improving the options for better-designed cleaning tools and equipment you can choose for your staff. The added benefit of ergonomic equipment is that the job gets done more efficiently, too.

Create Healthier, Safer Spaces FOR THEM
It’s not enough to choose safer and healthier options. You’ll want to engage your workers in the choice and communicate with them the reasons for the change. When you tell your employees that you value their wellbeing and health through your policies and choices, you are showing them they are valued members of your team. Make safety and health the cornerstones of your BSC’s corporate culture and you will immediately elevate the role your team plays, and the value they place on their own jobs. You will not only increase retention rates, but you may just increase performance while you’re at it.

At Charlotte, we know that our expertise and innovation in the industry is only as good as the frontline workers who use our products. That’s why we are so committed to transferring our knowledge to your teams, and promoting the value of the hard work they perform. Through a new culture at your BSC that values safety and health, invests in recognition and offers avenues for education and certification, you can save a lot of money on turnover and also create a new generation of cleaning workers and safer, healthier spaces.

For more information on how to reduce turnover at your BSC through online learning programs and healthier products, contact Charlotte Products at