A shortage is presently ravaging the facility cleaning industry; according to recent data, there are about 225,000 vacancies in this industry. Unfortunately, it’s common for employees to call in sick on the same day you sign a new client or get a huge influx of orders.
But there is no clear way to make staffing issues disappear completely; they can only be managed. To deal with these shortages in staffing, employers in the cleaning sector must change their approach to these issues and focus first on identifying the main cause of the problem. Only then can a solution emerge.
In this article, we are going to recommend some ways you can get past your facility cleaning staff shortage issues.
What Are Staffing Gaps?
With many businesses springing up daily, we can agree that there are now emerging places that will need regular facility cleaning services. These can be schools, offices, or even hospitals.
But to keep these places in top shape, a certain number of people are needed to get this job done right. The issue of staffing gaps arises when there are not enough hands to contribute.
There are many reasons why staffing gaps occur. It can be because many cleaning staff have gone on vacation, called in sick, or even resigned to take up other positions. Whatever the reason is, wherever there is a staffing gap, it means that there are not enough people on the ground to work.
In recent times, we have seen an urgent need to address this issue as maintaining a healthy and clean environment, whether at work or home, depends on clean facilities. It is a difficult time for facility managers, but let’s look at some ways to face this challenge head-on.
As a facility manager, dealing with short staffing issues will require a lot from you— foresight, flexibility, efficiency, and even strategic partnerships. We understand this can be a lot for one person to handle, which is why we’re here to help. Below, we have compiled some effective strategies you can employ to overcome your staffing challenges.
1. Anticipate and Identity Staffing Gaps
Building on what we just said above, foresight is your biggest asset when dealing with staffing issues. As a facility manager, you must see these problems coming and anticipate them so you can face them head-on.
Think of it like a complicated puzzle game, where to win the game, you must get all the missing pieces right. Now, to build a robust workforce devoid of short staffing challenges, you must pinpoint the gaps in your system beforehand.
First, you must conduct a thorough examination of your operations. How many people do you need on your team, both short- and long-term? What times of year require more or fewer hands? Then, take stock of your current workforce and point out areas you may need extra support.
Open the floor to honest conversations, especially if some of your staff are in transient parts of their careers (e.g., students, night shift workers, etc.). You can anticipate that they may be leaving or switching gears in the near future, so it’s best to ask them about their availability. Will a student worker be able to hold their job and study? What about class schedules in the academic year? Weekends? School breaks?
These honest conversations will help you identify when you will be low on human resources, giving you a heads-up to plug these gaps.
2. Seek Seasonal Help
When the workload increases, you may need temporary support to help with cleaning. So, right now, pick up a calendar and note your busiest work days or peak times—when you get the most calls for cleaning. It may be holidays, weekends, or other specific seasons when demands are high.
These are the times when your present workforce will be more likely to be stretched, and you may have a staffing problem. Pointing out these seasons can help you plan ahead and prepare for them, just in case. One thing you can do to overcome this facility cleaning challenge is to have standby help.
This seasonal support can help you guarantee enough hands on deck when the demand is high without needing to hire and train more staff.
3. Optimize Processes
Efficiency is the name of the game, and to run a successful facility cleaning business, you must work smarter, not harder. So, sometimes, the solution to short-staffing may be something other than having a hiring spree.
The answer you’re looking for may be in the simple question: how can I clean twice as fast? With an efficient team, you can get the job done faster, even with a small team. So, how can you make your business work this way? You need to optimize your operations! How? Through technology.
The facilities cleaning industry is rife with loads of innovative and helpful technological systems and automated solutions. You can incorporate anything from robotic vacuums to electrostatic spray technology into your cleaning routine. These high-tech tools help you cover more ground and allow your staff to only come in when the work needs a human touch or to regulate the machines.
The role of technological advancements here is not to replace your staff but to make their work better and faster. So, even if you have a smaller team due to staffing issues, no one needs to know.
4. Collaborate With Reputable Partners
As we said earlier, you may need extra help during the busiest seasons, and to make this happen, it may be best to partner with a facility cleaning services provider like Georgia Facility Services. Partnering with such external facility cleaning services exposes you to a team of seasoned cleaning experts with a wealth of experience who can guarantee that every cleaning task will be handled with care.
So, when your staff has unexpected scheduling issues due to sickness, resignations, trips, etc., you can get an experienced alternative on the ground. Another perk of this solution is the flexibility it offers—you get the support you need without the permanent commitment. Plus, these temporary staff often have specialized cleaning skills. So, it really is a win-win situation for you.
5. Prioritize Employee Retention and Development
Raising wages and offering benefits in these times may seem like a substantial financial commitment. But trust us, this is a powerful way to communicate to your team that you value them. When your facility cleaning staff feel appreciated and adequately compensated, it results in better retention rates.
Understandably, you may have to increase your prices after this, which may cause some clients looking for the lowest prices to run away. But on the bright side, an investment in a well-compensated team often speaks for itself in the quality of work delivered. Clients who understand the value of a dedicated team are more likely to stay and pay extra for the quality they receive if it comes to that.
Another thing you can do is to offer more growth opportunities to your staff. Invest in training and upskilling opportunities to improve their job satisfaction and keep them loyal to your company. This is an investment that tends to pay off in the long run.
6. Widen Your Hiring Pool
Apart from using a third-party agency like Georgia Facility Services, there are many other ways to widen your hiring pool and ensure the cleaning of facilities goes on around the clock. For example, you can reach out to parents and veterans or even post job ads on social media platforms.
This will give you a diverse pool of talent to pick from and enable you to curate an inclusive work environment. You can also partner with local job centers, vocational training centers, and other recruitment avenues.
By going through these institutions, you can guarantee that the people you hire will be those interested in the cleaning and hygiene sector. The job market these days is competitive, and relying only on traditional recruitment methods may not give you the results you desire.
Mop Up the Management Mess—Call us Now!
At Georgia Facility Services, we understand the essence of managing an efficient and reliable cleaning team. We are specialists in cleaning services for offices, schools, healthcare, industrial facilities, etc., and we want to partner with you.
Our commitment to quality and the use of cutting-edge technology to deliver excellent janitorial services set us apart in the facilities cleaning industry. We understand that time is money, and with our services, you’ll save both. So, make the smart choice—call us today for a free estimate!