When performance dips – just asking the right questions normally helps

If you’ve been reading our blogs lately you’ll know that we put a lot of effort into getting to know our staff pretty well before we take them on.

Interviewing as many as we can in their own homes allows us to know about their home lives, their kids, perhaps even about their extended families and most crucially the commitments they have in addition to working with us. Many of our staff do second jobs and some even help provide personal care for sick or elderly relatives.

As a result these other commitments may occasionally have a knock on effect into our business. A member of staff could be running late due to something happening outside their control and when this happens all we ask for is a heads up (call or text) to inform us so, we can update our clients or other team members if it’s a multiple cleaner job.

However, as we all work remotely and don’t always see each other face to face we can’t always see what stresses and strains our colleagues may be under. Too often folks struggle on without asking for help or support until they break down. Whether their burden is financial or family it can take its strain and this may manifest itself in a dip in the quality of their work or a rare display of nonchalance or anger when asked for a simple task to be carried out at the clients request.

We’ve seen this before in our own business but more often than not it’s always prevalent whenever we win a new contract. It appears that the cleaner was doing a great job but now cuts time and is leaving early. Their quality of work has dropped and things just generally aren’t going well. Whatever attempts to fix this by the incumbent company haven’t worked – and this is when we get called in to take the job over.

In every situation when this has happened I always had a sense that things might never have got to this stage if just somebody had taken the appropriate time to speak with the cleaner (right at the start of the troubles) and found out exactly what was going on.

Staff retention is very important to us and we know the best cleaners are worth their weight in gold and retaining them has allowed us to retain many clients for over 5 years and longer. As a result I believe we have a huge responsibility to have regular calls and catchups with our staff (and I don’t mean at audits or when dropping in supplies) but sometimes just an occasional call to see how they’re getting on – just like you’d check in on a friend from time to time.

From experience I’ve never found that somebody who was doing a good job consistently with a great attitude goes rogue without something major going on behind the scenes. External stresses will always play a major factor in a persons performance at work. Knowing what these are, and when they can flare up, can help minimise problems and can allow us to step up and provide the support that’s required at the time.

The more often we do this means that they’ll be more likely to come to us in future and allows us to chat and come up with supportive solutions before things hit the buffers.

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Most weeks we’ll receive calls from companies making enquiries to see if we are able to provide cleaning cover whilst their own cleaners are off