A great company Culture should be the primary goal for organizational leaders to create an environment where people enjoy coming to work every day, as it’s critical to the overall success of a business. TC Services is a local commercial janitorial company based in Greenville SC and these are a few of the things we have learned along the way. All industries can benefit from a great company culture.
This is especially true for the culture of a professional janitorial company, and similar businesses. After all, much of you do is forward-facing, and requires direct interaction with customers.
For too many leaders, though, a company’s culture can prove difficult to define or quantify. In fact, to both employees and employers, organizational culture is very much an abstract idea.
Sure, it’s easy to spot when your company’s culture is positive. People are happy to be there. Employees buy into the organization’s mission, and there’s a team approach to achieving goals. Team members are supported by leadership and provided the room to contribute and succeed.
Conversely, employees also sense when a company culture is less than ideal, perhaps even toxic. There’s little to no collaboration, with cliques (and not teams) ruling the hierarchy. Communication is scattershot at best, and at worst nonexistent. Leadership plays favorites, with no regard for employee contributions or the organization’s overarching goals or success.
The key is to ensure your culture follows the path of the former and avoids heading down the road of the latter. How that positive culture develops is the question that many businesses struggle to answer.
It’s no small task laying the groundwork to build an environment where people want to work versus a place where they have to be.
Even if the environment is welcoming, how do you make it better? Collaborative and inclusive?
Thankfully, crafting a positive company culture is not a complicated undertaking. It does, however, require time and commitment from leadership and buy-in from the employees themselves.
Promoting that buy-in all starts with a focus on the employees – effectively taking care of your team, which in turn takes care of your customers.
So how do you do it?
For Janitorial companies you keep it simple. You engage. You focus on a handful of core values that put the employee first. You involve your organization’s most valuable resource in the firm’s core mission and go out of your way to ensure they feel valued.
Where is Your Culture Now?
The first step to creating a better, more engaging janitorial service is figuring out where that culture is right now. It helps to understand your company’s values and its mission to set you on the right path.
Values can range from simple to something more complex (some companies focus on two or three, others encompass seven to ten). Regardless of your approach, the values must inform every aspect of what your company does and the mission you hope to fulfill. What drives you, why you do what you do, where you’re going, and how you plan to get there.
According to data compiled by Deloitte, 76% of employees favored organizations with a “clearly defined business strategy.” Such a pathway fosters a positive company culture as it lets everyone know what direction they are heading.
It’s not enough to simply put pen to paper and jot down your core company beliefs. The mission and values must be actionable; tangible. Not merely words for your employees to “buy into,” but to immerse themselves in, take pride in the work they’re doing and integrate that positive vibe into their day to day actions. This is very important especially for janitorial services.
It will inform the work they do and the individuals – fellow employees and business customers and clients – they engage with regularly. For businesses such as professional janitorial companies, this can mean the difference between your employees providing good or just okay customer service and their providing outstanding customer service.
Take stock of your organization’s current values and mission statement. Does it reflect who you are? Where you want to go? Are they clear and well communicated?
If those inside your company don’t understand the company’s mission (and, more importantly, are unable to fulfill it), you’ll face the more formidable task of selling your brand to customers.
Commit to Clear, Open Communication
Speaking of communicating, a significant part of promoting a positive work culture stems from communication. But we’re not just alluding to basic email missives, regular team meetings, and newsletters.
Open, honest dialogue should both inform and engage your employees and allow them space to give feedback. Your employees need to know the exchange of thoughts and ideas is reciprocal.
Use moments of interaction, be it via email, over the phone, or face to face, as a means to not only to inform but to train, collaborate, and seek feedback.
Don’t just hold meetings. Make them team-building sessions instead – gatherings where everyone, from entry-level employees to management to upper leadership, are involved in organizing the agenda and contributing solutions.
Ultimately, excellent company communication encourages meaningful interaction between employees at every level.
Maintaining an unencumbered open door policy reinforces that your workplace is tolerant and inclusive. Regardless of the issues that may arise, leadership – and, by extension, fellow team members – are there to listen, understand, and support.
When a company culture supports open, unfettered communication, they engage their employees to maintain a stake in its outcome.
It might sound a bit old fashioned, but some of the best business atmospheres resemble that of a close-knit family. Considering how much time team members spend with each other and that everyone has a hand in the company’s success or failure, you’ll want to ensure that they know the organization’s lines of communication are always open.
Recognize Employee Contributions, both Large and Small
When it comes to recognition, it’s essential to realize that everyone likes being appreciated and noticed. Even those individuals who eschew accolades and praise will privately welcome the occasional pat on the back.
Nearly 80% of employees note that more recognition would lead them to be more loyal to their employer.
Simple touchpoints such as “Employee of the Month” awards or birthday cards signed by the leadership team to every employee help create an environment where individuals are valued and not seen as cogs in the company wheel.
Team meetings where small deeds earn acknowledgment – excellent customer service, a tip to improve workflows, helping out a fellow employee – add to the employee’s experience.
Recognition, though, goes well beyond awards and yearly birthday wishes. In a modern workplace, recognition also translates to creating an inclusive workplace where there are no favorites, and every team member and every role is valued and appreciated.
To further enhance your culture’s teamwork, inclusiveness, and collaborative spirit, don’t stop at singling out individual achievement. Spotlight that groups that excel or go above and beyond. A department of the month award or similar callouts will help bring your firm’s departmental silos closer together even as they work towards the company’s overall goals.
Within the culture of a professional janitorial company, recognition is of particular importance. The work your customer-facing employees perform can no doubt be thankless at times. It’s vital your internal team – management and leadership – provide them the support they deserve.
Benefits that Breed Loyalty
Sixty percent of working Americans would willingly accept half of their current salary to avoid a job they hated.
One could interpret that stat in several ways. However, the primary takeaway is that monetary gain is not the sole pursuit for many employees when looking for or maintaining their employment.
In general, the modern American workforce seeks balance in their day to day lives. Particularly for younger workers, people want a job they feel passionate about, allows them to do something that matters, and offers the opportunity to be more than just a drone in a cubicle.
Prospective employees also want to be loyal to their workplaces. 32% would take a pay cut to work within a corporate culture that aligns with their own ideals. Another 58% would accept a lower-paying gig if they had a standout supervisor.
Of course, loyalty is a two-way street. For an employee to feel valued and to want to perform at a higher level for a lower salary, they expect the trade-off to be a company culture suited to what’s important to them.
In lieu of that higher salary, employees want their employers to offer excellent benefits, opportunities to grow within and contribute to the company mission. They also appreciate a firm that understands personal needs and interests.
Perks that matter include work from home options (or a hybrid schedule), providing a casual and healthy workplace, and helping employees pursue a specific career path with on the job training or educational outlets to expand an employee’s skill set.
Supporting employees in this manner is twofold. First, you help eliminate any personal or professional hurdles for an individual wanting to improve themselves. Second, you gain a more motivated employee with greater knowledge and commitment to their craft.
Now, no one is so naive to think that money isn’t important. It pays the bills, and 40% of people are still willing to gut out a lousy workplace experience to improve their bank accounts.
Beyond work-life balance perks, attractive bonus structures and incentive programs still play a role in building a positive company culture. People appreciate the rewards for a job well done just as much as they enjoy the recognition.
Final Thoughts: Seeding a Positive Company Culture
In placing your team members first, you’re not just building a roster of happy, satisfied employees. You’re seeding a culture of positivity, inclusiveness, and loyalty.
You’re creating a team focused on helping the organization, and each other, succeed. What that ultimately translates into is a service-oriented culture. People don’t just want to work for your company, they want to do business with it. Again and again.
In the professional janitorial industry, instilling these traits in your frontline workers will help separate you from the competition. Your service becomes more than just acceptable or exemplary, it’s extraordinary
Once you’ve set down the path of either creating or improving your cultural identity, it’s critical to view it as an ongoing project.
Keep your engagement high and always question, “can we do better.”
Ask yourself, your leadership, and, most importantly, your employees (even new hires) their take on the organization’s culture. Is it good? Bad? Somewhere in between?
Is the culture conducive to productivity? Collaboration? Engagement? Is it inclusive? Does everyone who works here feel it’s a place they can thrive and succeed?
Grade yourself regularly. And survey your team members on a similar schedule to gauge what you’ve achieved towards a positive company culture and what remains to be done.
Most importantly, be honest.
A great company culture isn’t created overnight. It’s perhaps one of the most organic aspects of any business. It involves plenty of missteps and recalculations before getting it 100% right. And even then, as we mentioned, there will always be more to do.
However, be honest with yourself and your employees about what you’re attempting to achieve. Buy-in from your company’s most valuable resource – your team members – on not just your words, but from your actions, is what ultimately sets your company’s culture apart.
In conclusion, a great company culture is imperative to any organization but within the cleaning industry and for janitorial companies its essential. Without buy in and team work cleaning companies have a much harder time satisfying the stringent demands of the industry. In todays environment cleaning is not only essential but its saving lives and keeping employees at work. Work on your company culture and improve your overall service, reliability and attitude within your organization.
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