How do I motivate my employees to do a good job?

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by Tom Watson on May 26, 2013

Once you start your business and have a few people working for you the issue of motivation will need to be addressed in one way or another.

This is because you’ll soon realize that most everyone you hire won’t do the job with the same care and concern that you would. This is a HUGE issue when you are a new employer.

Now that kind of makes sense because YOU OWN the business and YOU have everything invested into making it work. This is an important concept to understand as you get started.

This doesn’t mean everyone you hire will be a slacker, but they just won’t do it as good as you would. On the whole some will be really good, others average and a few will always be lagging behind. That is the same for any business, and the cleaning business is no different.

What I can tell you from my experience running a cleaning business is this, and what I’m about to tell you is THE SECRET RECIPE. The very first thing you need to focus on is hiring the right person in the first place.  Once you hire a bad apple, no amount of training and supervision WILL EVER CHANGE THEM. They are what they are sadly.

So if you have any that fit that description, I would move quickly to replace them. If you don’t they will forever give you grief and misery. They will also wonder “why you are picking on them”. In a nutshell, some people simply don’t care enough about themselves to give a crap about the job you gave them.

A good quality employee will TAKE PRIDE and do their best to give you what you want, which is a clean facility or home if you are cleaning houses. People who don’t care do the opposite, then add a bunch of excuses as to why a poor job was done.

This can be hard to see when you are new, but after you gain experience hiring people to work for you it becomes pretty easy to spot lazy folks who are just looking to cash your check from those who actually care.

Now you may be wondering HOW do I hire good employees who don’t need to be motivated every single day. Those who WANT to do a good job. Well for me I look for the following during the interview process…

  1. Stable job history. If they are hoping around from job to job then odds are they have a problem of one kind or another. You are not in the business of turning people’s lives around, you are in the cleaning business.
  2. They possess a positive attitude. Positive people are more easily able to accept constructive criticism while poor attitudes cry foul. So keep your eyes peeled for people who see the glass half full and not half empty.

Once you do start with a good prospective employee your job isn’t over. You need to spend the time required to train them properly. Depending on the account, that may be a day or a week, it just depends. The goal here is to give hands on training AND to explain in no uncertain terms what THE EXPECTATIONS ARE.

From there on out you need to give them the tools they need to do a good job, provide proper oversight, spot check their work, praise the good and point out the bad if need be. If you can do that you are in good shape. Just remember that it all starts with the right applicant as you can’t motivate someone who doesn’t want to be motivated.

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