In the Building Services Industry, poor retention presents a major problem. Recruiting and maintaining employees are the largest expenses in your organization, and retention continues to worsen. Worse yet, nobody has the silver bullet to fix it completely.
The reality of the situation is low-wage jobs inherently come with a lot of turnover. But the first 30 days of employment are critical.
Our data shows that 31.8% of all employees who start work in the Building Services Industry quit or get fired within the first 30 days of employment.
Conversely, 29.9% of all employees make it to 6 months on the job, and over half of those employees make it to a full year on the job.
In essence, you have three buckets of retention pools.
In the first bucket, you have approximately one-third of employees who make it to 30 days.
In the second, you have another third who make it past 30 days, but not to 180 days.
The final third of your employees will make it 6 months and beyond.
In other words, if you can get the employee past 30 days, you have a nearly 50% chance of keeping them at least six months.
One of the biggest reasons employees quit so early is that they feel like a number - a cog in the wheel. They feel undervalued, unappreciated, and misunderstood.
But with razor-thin profit margins in the BSC Industry, companies are stuck in this constant hiring process. They don’t implement structured on-boarding plans because it simply doesn’t fit in the budget.
For many organizations, this results in a lack of connection between the employee and their direct supervisor. With such thin margins per contract, and with labor costs being the #1 expense, it’s easy to disregard this as an unprofitable interaction.
What isn’t considered in that analysis is the average cost per hire, which hovers above $1,000 for most organizations.
This presents an easy cost-benefit analysis for your company.
- What is your cost per hire?
- How much does it cost for your supervisor to spend 15 minutes per week with each new hire for the first 6 weeks of their employment?
The latter is always going to be less expensive, but it’s difficult to see that when looking at the numbers as they are.
It requires an assumption that your hiring costs are going to decrease, while your labor costs - specifically with your supervisors - will increase at a lesser rate. While that is an assumption that carries risk, it’s a very calculated risk that should provide a long-term win for your organization.
Supervisor Check-In Format
The check-in from the supervisor does NOT have to be formal. There doesn’t have to be a detailed checklist of questions, and in fact doing it that way can be perceived as mundane and impersonal.
Every organization will be structured differently, and it may even differ in style from supervisor to supervisor.
The goal is to make sure your employees are comfortable in their job, they know what they’re doing, and they feel some level of personal connection with their supervisor.
We recommend your supervisor have a weekly check-in with each new employee for the first six weeks of their employment.
The check-in is simply a 10-15 minute interaction the supervisor has with the new employee. Simple questions can turn into valuable conversations!
How are you doing? Are you feeling comfortable? Do you know how to use the equipment?
These conversations will help aid in training, instill a sense of appreciation, and ultimately create a deeper relationship that will encourage a higher percentage of your employees to maintain long-term employment.
You’re also going to be much more likely to get people to report on discrimination and harassment issues that can rear their ugly heads later down the line.
If you do place a priority on this, it’s important that it now becomes an additional point of evaluation for the supervisor.
There are many ways to do this, and each company will add their own “flavor” of management. However, be sure it doesn’t require extensive paperwork. It could be as simple as a phone call where the supervisor verbalizes the results of the check-ins for each new employee.
The Building Services Industry is extremely unique. It’s hard to implement anything new or cutting edge with such thin profit margins - most clients just want a decent job that doesn’t cost much money.
But if you want to grow and scale your business, creating a hiring process that focuses on retention - not just volume - is the key to success.