5 Steps to Creating a Janitorial Employee Performance Program

Retention is a huge issue for the janitorial and custodial operations industry with greater competition for qualified labor and reduced participation in the labor market.

This makes retaining your top team members and performers all the more critical. Through our work with school districts and corporate occupiers, we've seen organizations utilize employee performance programs for their custodial staff to drive large increases in retention and on-going performance.

This blog post provides an overview of what this typically entails with steps on how to offer this to your janitorial or custodial staff.

Step 1: Determine the Common Data You Use for Performance

The first step of any performance program is to determine how you can centrally measure performance across your teams and employees. This data should be available in real-time and easily analyzed for these programs.

For custodial teams, data typically used for performance programs includes:

  • Confirmed Cleanings: Custodial work is daily and there are real-time Cleaning Analytics solutions that can help you track the everyday cleaning rounds of your team with a mobile device across every cleaning location. This can help understand which employees do the most work each day and determine the workload that can be expected by your janitorial staff for every building.
  • Quality Assurance Ratings: Quantity is important but so is quality. Many organizations utilize Cleaning Quality Assurance tools to have managers provide scoring based on cleaning quality on a semi-regular basis. This can be married with the confirmed cleanings data to provide a holistic look at quantity and quality of work done by employees.
  • Other Duties and Work: Custodial staff often gets pulled into plenty of other tasks and responsibilities. Any solution you use to capture performance data needs to make it easy to include this work including extra cleanings, fixing equipment, moving furniture or other tasks asked for by the occupant.

If you are still using pen to paper for these measurements, you may want to look toward digital cleaning tools to make this data actionable. It will enable you to see the data better in real-time and to create a historical audit trail of all cleanings by all team members in order to evaluate performance.

Step 2: Determining Recognition Frequency

Once you have the data model in place and you've trained your staff on how to submit the data necessary to centrally evaluate performance, it's time to determine the frequency of rewards and recognition you'd like to commit to.

We've seen that quarterly recognition is typically the best when it comes to retaining employees. It provides consistent positive reinforcement for employees who are top performers with incentives to stay for the next award program every 3 months.

We have also seen doing an Annual incentive alongside quarterly incentives as being beneficial.

Step 3: Determining Winners and Awards

The first place to start with awards is to determine the financial sum you have for the incentive program. Depending on the size of your team and the amount you have in your budget, will determine how much your total payout will be for your quarterly or annual rewards program.

Once you determine the payout, you need to determine the categories of winners you will award. Typically, it's best to recognize employees in tiers to spread around the incentives while providing competition for the top spots of the next awards period.

For example, for a large school district, we may do a top 10 performer award that awards a $200 gift card to each top 10 performer while also having a $100 gift card for the top 25% of performers. This provides awards to more team members while providing competition for the spots in the future. We may also reward the top building or team with a gift card to encourage team building and support.

Step 4: Consistent Communication of the Program

Communication is integral to these programs. This can be done with on-site posters or signage, email and SMS communications or in-app messaging if using a cleaning mobile app. It's important to communicate how you are evaluating performance, what the winners receive and the expected time period for evaluation.

The following communications should be part of the on-going awards you provide:

  • Announcement Emails and Posters: We recommend sending emails to all custodial managers and staff as well as have poster signage with details about the program in a place where custodial staff starts their day.
  • Performance Program Updates: If you are using a cleaning analytics solution, you should have access to consistent updates on who is winning the current challenge. Providing updates to managers and staff can encourage on-going performance and friendly competition. These typically happen weekly or monthly depending on the frequency of your program.
  • Winner Announcements: The ideal environment for this is with an in-person ceremony but with digital programs, it's important to keep an on-going resource that tracks and displays winners for each awards period.
  • Event Save the Dates: If you are having an in-person event, it's important to get it on employee calendars early and determine transportation to and from the location. Do this early to ensure the best attendance.
  • Training Help Resources: Nothing is as frustrating as knowing there is an awards program going on but you don't know how or can't log activity. Having help resources easily available to staff to ensure their work counts in the program is integral to buy-in.

Step 5: Evaluating the Program

Once a challenge period ends, it's time to evaluate the data and determine the winners. This can be done with an in-person ceremony and/or through digital communications with in-person handing out of awards by managers.

If done quarterly, a combined approach of digital awards and an annual in-person event can be a happy compromise to drive performance, reduce overhead of the program and ensure consistent operations.

The last step is to evaluate the program. It's important to track the performance of your team before and after implementing a rewards program. This will help you determine if it's working and if it's worth continuing with relation to retention, performance and efficiency metrics. In a majority of cases, we've seen this has helped in all three areas.

Awards Program Improve Performance and Retention

We've seen many partners improve the collaboration, performance and retention of their teams by instituting both small-scale and large-scale awards programs based on centrally tracked performance data of their staff.

While the above is more of a large scale effort, using this data and process to determine promotions, pay raises or impromptu rewards for staff can go a long way to improving recognition and in turn, retention of your custodial staff.

If you are interested in learning more on how we can help here, reach out to us here.

Janitorial Performance Janitorial Employee Performance Programs Janitorial Retention Custodial Retention


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