Reduce Employee Turnover While Increasing Business Value

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Across the numerous valet trash companies we have come spoken with, many of them face the same challenge of high employee turnover.  Individuals seem to be initially attracted to the industry for employment however; they eventually leave for better job opportunities or simply quet due to burnout.  Why does this happen?  The valet trash business model has an interesting appeal to individuals wanting to supplement their income.  Where else can individuals make $200 – $300 extra weekly working just 3 hours a day?  Before I provide insights on how to reduce employee attrition, first I want to go over the impacts to your business value.

  1. Disruption in operations

The resignation or firing of an employee oftentimes  sends operations managers into a scramble to identify a replacement to service existing customers.  Oftentimes, operations managers are left to service the property themselves until a replacement is found. With the operations manager now focused on porter duties, this leaves opportunity for other aspects of the business to fall behind.

2. Customer dissatisfaction

Customer hire you to take care of their trash with the expectation that they will no longer have to worry about.  Let’s face it, most employees in this industry don’t honor the two weeks notice policy and instead just simply stop showing up.  When service is not completed, your customer hear about it and when they hear about it, they lose confidence in your ability.

3. Increased cost due to training

While valet trash is not rocket science, it is a job which requires basic training.  From understanding the property layouts, operating trash compactors, and reporting, acquiring the knowledge to perform these tasks requires investment in time and effort.  Training new employees repetitively takes away productive time on other value added activities.

In light of the impacts to business value, we would like share some insights on what can be done to reduce the impact of employee attrition.

Valet trash is a 5 day a week commitment and for the most part, employees are not full time and have other commitments.  Understanding your labor market will help in achieving lower attrition.  Most individuals do not enter the industry because they like trash, they seek employment to supplement their income.  As said earlier, there are not many jobs that allow individuals to make $200-$300 working just 3 hours/day.  The problem is that once these individuals accrue the extra income to achieve the short term goals, the job loses its appeal.  The motivation behind getting out to complete a tour of 3 properties including multiple buildings diminishes by day.  Additionally, committing to valet trash 5 days a week as a second job does not leave time for adequate work/life balance. Below are some recommendations on optimizing your hiring and scheduling policies to prevent the case of short term situational hires.

  1. Build workforce to support employees to have days off instead of being forced to work 5 days a week every week. This means hiring more employees than you need and allowing them to dictate how many days a week they want to work.  You will have some people that want to work 5 days a week but some that want to work just 2 days a week.  The one that initially wants to work 5 days a week may want to reduce down to 2 days a week due to life changes at some point.  Hire with the long term in mind so that you can accommodate these availability changes.
  2. Offer your employees higher wages.  Regardless of what you may think, you get what you pay for.  If you pay people low wages, you will get low output and commitment.  The reason why employees resign is because they have found another source of supplemental income or the compensation is not worth the effort they have to put forth.  Don’t short change yourself by short changes your labor force, pay them fairly and they will remain committed.
  3.  Incorporate performance based financial incentives so that employees are rewarded for consistent service delivery.  You know the saying that no one cares about your business like you do.  Well, if you tie an employee’s benefits to growth of your business, he or she then has skin in the game to provide the best service to your customers.

Feel free to let us know what you think.

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