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June 06, 2009

Be a Magnetic Employer: How to Attract and Keep Employees

Written by  Jean Hanson
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As cleaning business owners and managers, we want to attract dependable, productive and motivated employees. But too often we waste time, money and energy hiring a “warm body” instead of figuring out how to use our own company’s magnetism to attract the right people.

To do that, we need to ask ourselves what makes us magnetic as employers and as individuals. With that information, we can market those attributes when recruiting new employees.

ARE YOU MAGNETIC?

The easiest way to find out if your organization is “magnetic” is to answer the following questions:

• What makes your company an attractive place to work?

• What draws your employees to you? Is it your compensation plan, excellent training programs, the great relationships between supervisors and employees, flexible work schedules, good benefits package?

• Is it a fun place to work?

After you’ve made a list, ask your employees what they think makes your company an attractive place to work:

• What attracted you to us when you first joined our company?

• What do you see as the benefits of working here?

• What makes you stay with us?

• What can we do to make this an even better place to work?

Most likely they’ll mention some of the same things you have on your list, but they may surprise you with their perspectives. Write down their responses, being careful not to be judgmental. After interviewing your employees, evaluate the responses, comparing the answers you received from old and new employees, older and younger employees, best and worst performers, supervisors and frontline workers.

When we polled our employees, we found out that they liked the fact that we actively search for and implement worthwhile employee benefits. For example, we added a SIMPLE IRA investment plan and a medical reimbursement plan, which reimburses medical expenses up to a certain dollar amount each year. Many employees do not have a retirement savings plan, so the SIMPLE IRA has given them a good start. The medical reimbursement plan gives them peace of mind since many don’t have health insurance or, if they do, they face high deductibles.

PROMOTE YOUR MAGNETISM

When you recruit new employees with your newfound knowledge of what makes your company magnetic, use that information in your employment ads. Include a complete list of why it’s great to work for ABC Cleaning Company. Highlight a popular benefit such as flexible work schedules for people who need that extra flexibility with their hours.

Another way to recruit employees is to talk about your company at networking events or job fairs. Let people know you’re hiring, and be sure to tell them about your business’s magnetic qualities.

During interviews with prospective employees, spend some time telling them why you love working at your company, and share stories of how other employees feel about working there too.

MAGNETIC RETENTION

Now that you’ve figured out what makes your company magnetic and you’ve started hiring the right employees, use your magnetism to retain employees. In today’s workplace, employees are much more likely to move quickly between jobs if they find another one that pays just a little bit better or offers another benefit that catches their eye. Competitors may be working to steal your employees away, so you need to stay one step ahead of them.

Remind employees of why they should stay with you. You can do this through newsletters, safety meetings, training sessions, awards banquets and face-to-face talks with your employees. Also, be sure to report back to your employees with your findings from the questions you asked about why they like to work for your company. It’s a great way to reinforce the message that it’s a great place to work and that you take their input seriously.

Market your cleaning company’s magnetism. For some of you, this may sound like bragging about yourself and your business, but it really isn’t. You know from your research that it’s based on facts. And if it makes it easier for you, think of it as sharing information about why your company has happy employees. The more employees who enjoy working at your organization, the more quality employees you’ll attract!



Jean Hanson is the owner of The Janitorial Store in Rogers, MN and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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