Solutions to the Biggest Problem for Portable Restroom Operators

Portable restroom rental business owners throughout the US express a deep understanding of the need to provide good workplaces for employees and build strong team bonds. Yet, despite their best efforts, too many companies from coast to coast operate in a perpetual struggle to hire and keep good employees. As much as they strive to screen job candidates well, provide the best possible working conditions, and compensate workers competitively, they can’t seem to break the costly cycle of excessive staff turnover. To help in your efforts to reduce turnover, below is a list of practices which, all together, constitute a strong employee retention program.

Evaluating Your Employee Retention Practices

Companies with lower turnover rates tend to invest in their employees. They do more to provide a physical and cultural environment in the workplace that is more conducive to the sense of security and satisfaction that leads to long-term employment. To figure out what issues might be resulting in premature departures from your team:
1. Identify retention practices you have not yet begun using, and start the needed implementations.
2. Evaluate the quality of management of retention practices already implemented, and start needed improvements.

Employee Retention Program

Hiring and training new employees have always been a cumbersome and financially costly process. Today’s low unemployment rates make recruiting even more competitive, and therefore even higher in costs. To avoid the hiring process as much as possible, first, evaluate your efforts to retain current employees.
If you don’t have one, start a comprehensive employee retention program. Begin launching initiatives to establish the practices listed below, to make encouraging, inspiring, pro-retention practices the core of your business management system. Or, to help further reduce your turnover costs, incorporate any practices discussed below, as necessary to complete your existing employee retention program:

Recruiting

The recruiting and hiring process is time-intensive. Recruiting through local (temporary, permanent, or temp-to-perm) employment agencies allows small to medium-sized portable restroom rental businesses to outsource the burdensome process. This includes employment marketing, interviewing, background checks, drug screening, various skills testing, reference checking, wage negotiation, and even the initial onboarding, in terms of tax and other legal documentation. From field services technicians to top management candidates, highly skilled professionals at employment agencies can take a big load off.

Onboarding

The cumbersome onboarding process naturally negatively impacts productivity and quality. Current employees have to work harder to compensate for the short staffing. Value-added efforts they may normally make for customers or coworkers are not possible to sustain during demanding periods of turnover. Error rates increase during periods when new employees are learning on the job. When this highly disruptive process occurs with extreme frequency, it takes a toll on team morale and productivity. Fine-tune your onboarding process, by assembling a well-organized document package for new hires, including tax documents, written policies, a thorough Employee Handbook, safety training materials, and job training introduction materials.

Employee Handbook

A thorough official company handbook enables every new employee to start their new job with confidence in their knowledge of general company policies and protocols on things like overtime, attendance policy, accident investigations procedures, protocols for filing complaints, emergency protocols, requesting a leave of absence, and many other essential explanations. Provide a clear outline for general new hire orientation training, including a timeline for completion. Validate each employee’s full understanding of each training topic and document completion.

Company Mission and Vision

Clear statements of the business’s mission and vision allows the new employment candidate to understand what company management and employees at all levels hold as the team’s driving principles. Discuss these statements with every new hire, and help them see how their role in the enterprise contributes importantly to what the company is trying to accomplish.

Employee Benefits

Offering vacation, health, retirement and other benefits can certainly make your employment package much more appealing to prospective employment recruits. With limited administrative office resources for managing such benefits plans in-house can add to the costs of benefits enough to make such offerings prohibitive for small to medium-sized portable restroom business operators. An outsourced benefits administrator may be your most practical alternative.
Payroll and benefits management services typically manage all aspects of 401K payroll withholdings and mutual fund allocations, disbursements, healthcare billing, and payments. Choose an administrator that offers a portal for employees to log in and access their account information pages and make changes.

New Hire Training

Be consistent in training all new employees on company policies such as anti-discrimination, bullying, sexual harassment, and safety procedures. Professional training services may be the best way to keep training simple and stay up to date with new developments in training information. Training companies typically can provide most or all necessary new hire training videos, training sessions onsite by video or live instructor, and off-site classroom training, and complete training validation testing for all training formats.

Physical Work Environment

Make modifications to your business’s physical work facilities, as needed, to provide a workplace that inspires employees’ confidence in their place of employment as a stable, supportive workplace. Keep equipment and tools properly functioning, keep all workspaces, meeting and break areas, and restrooms, etc., clean, organized and well-stocked. Keep all required signage properly posted. Keep all safety equipment and first-aid supplies accessible. Having a reliable physical working environment enables workers to view their jobs as being of a stronger value in the employment market. That perception promotes a higher level of professional pride and overall better employee experience.

Up-to-Date Technology

The most talented employees in any industry naturally want to work in the best workplaces, where they have the best opportunity to realize their full potential in the industry. Upgrading technology enables them to increase their productivity, performance quality, and achieve service levels that add value for customers. For maximal employee engagement and satisfaction, investing in communications and information technologies that optimize the efficiency of service delivery and reporting processes are basics of the modern workplace.
So, by all means, update your IT systems to enable easy functionality for people who need access to workflows, customer accounts, materials and parts vendor accounts, etc. Working with updated versions of software platforms and programs affords employees the experience of being a part of a technologically sophisticated, modern company.

Management Communications

Communicate all expectations clearly. Clarify shared and individual responsibilities, roles, objectives, and timelines. Give routine group and individual feedback. Collaborate with team members to solve problems. Celebrate successes. Meet with your group to discuss general issues and project statuses, and meet with all individual employees who directly report to you periodically, to discuss personal performances and progress. Keep your team focused on progress toward objectives that lead to achieving larger shared goals. Help your team see the big picture of how their contributions are critical to the company’s mission.

Workplace Culture

In the fast-paced world of portable restroom rentals for public and private events, the company culture is typically centered on high efficiency, high energy, and staying in motion, and utter reliability of every team member. Add a commitment to mutual efforts to make each other feel that their roles are valued and that they are a welcome member of the group. Go further in helping Millennials and Gen X by fulfilling their strong desire to work for companies committed to social impact. Add some regular activities, for strengthening team cohesion. Promote a culture of mutual support and help to grow and learn the business.

Mutual Respect

Bad rapport with employees is a problem that can be expected to lead to poor outcomes, including low productivity and/or low quality, poor service and low customer satisfaction, and high rates of customer and employee dissatisfaction. With today’s tight job market and pervasive social media sharing of information and opinions, reviews, etc., that workers are engaged in, employers need to take their treatment of employees seriously, resolve conflicts objectively and kindly, though as firmly as legitimately necessary. All employers must prioritize inclusivity and model fairness, respect for every individual, and caring for others’ feelings. Consider professional HR guidance, in complicated personnel issues.

Shared Goals

Set team and individual goals that are appropriately ambitious, but achievable. Create benchmarks for quality and milestones for progress, and use those to measure individuals’ and team accomplishments. Monitor and discuss progress and problems, and adjust plans and timelines, as needed, for remaining work in projects.
Performance Pride
It’s a rare business owner in the portable restroom industry who needs to be told to be more committed to product or service quality. Owners all know very well that those are the core professional values that make or break them in their commercial and consumer markets. What some may not have considered, however, is the effects of that commitment to quality on employee retention. When recognizes employees who demonstrate performance pride reflective of their own, it makes people feel like they’re a part of something they can feel great about, and it makes them feel appreciated and more secure in their choice of employment.

Consistency and Fair Treatment

If you’re treating one employee this way, you need to treat all other employees the same way. This helps with keeping employees because they’re not seeing that other employees are getting better treatment than they are getting. Show workers that you’re consistent in the way you treat everyone in the workplace. Help them see that you’re fair with everyone equally because you value every person in the company.

Expressing Appreciation

Recognize employees who exceed expectations. Having employee appreciation events goes a long way in helping build company loyalty and trust. Let them know you appreciate the great work they do, and the sacrifices they may sometimes make of time they would rather be spending with their families. For examples of ways to express appreciation, annual company picnics are always popular, periodic catered lunch meetings have also become a tradition in many workplaces, and some companies have awards ceremonies to acknowledge the high performance of individuals and teams.

Business-Social Activities

Host some social events on- and off-site during the year, to promote bonding between peers and between management and the rest of the team. Some have Washers tournaments, ice cream socials, game nights, or other activities that give employees opportunities to relax and share some quality downtime.

Encouraging Employees’ Ideas

Ask for employees’ ideas for process improvements and other changes they think may need to be made. Discuss the ideas. Adopt them when they’re the most practical for the business. Involve the whole team in helping make certain decisions, when it’s helpful to do so. Above all, listen to people. Hear their feedback. Knowing one’s input is valued can contribute in a very powerful way to one’s sense of self-confidence and courage to engage in creative problem solving on the job.

Feedback and Formal Reviews

Routine feedback and as-needed coaching are key to continuously improving individual and overall team performance. Formal reviews should be consistently fair and thorough and should highlight both the recognition of good aspects of performance and opportunities for improvement. Reviews should include goal setting for upcoming periods and timelines, as well as plans for completing any training or assignments for skill-building. Knowing exactly where they stand encourages employees.

Employee Development

Identify employees who have potential for advancement, and help them access the information on resources they need for development. Maybe they need to go back to school and get a degree or certificate, or get training through a trade school, or attend tradeshow teaching sessions, or build additional skills on the job, work with a mentor in the company. Current employees have proven they appreciate the company. Talented employees already know the business, so they can learn new roles more quickly than newcomers, with much less loss of productivity and a negative impact on quality during training.

Empowering Employees

Learn how to let go of some responsibilities. Delegate to capable employees. Freeing yourself from enough tasks that others can do allows you to redirect valuable time and energy to higher-value ownership-level activities like selling, customer relations, quality initiatives, planning and executing on growth strategies, etc. Start with delegating minor purchasing, decisions, and systems and process oversight. Provide sufficient training and one-on-one coaching. Ask for employee’s feedback on needed safety systemic, and process improvements.

Ensuring Employee Engagement

One of the most common factors contributing to excessive turnover across the business sector is lack of worker engagement with their companies and/or their work roles. For optimum engagement that leads to longevity on the job, people need to be able to connect with the company they work for, its mission, its management’s vision for serving that mission.
They also need to be as fully engaged with their work as possible. That means they need to be able to clearly understand how it fits into their department’s/ team’s goals and the success of the business. Further, they need to feel challenged, but not overwhelmed with their work, in order to feel that their skills are being well utilized and that they can succeed in their jobs.

Employee Satisfaction Measures

“Stay Interviews” help employers understand what is working well, to motivate some employees to continue working for their companies. Employee Satisfaction Surveys also can deliver a wealth of critical information on needed improvements on every factor contributing to the overall employee experience at your company. This employee satisfaction measuring tools help the employer figure out what causes some employees to stay with the company. This invaluable knowledge helps employers identify and plan for across-the-board actions that can increase engagement and satisfaction with the employment experience for other employees.

Exit Interviews

To obtain invaluable input for reducing issues that contribute to turnover. Create a template for the interview, to ensure that you are consistent in asking the important questions can produce the sound data that can lead to truly needed changes. Look online for general lists of useful questions about employee’s experience with the company and factors contributing to their decision to leave the company.
Employer Education and Intel
Educate yourself on employment topics for the portable restroom industry and in HR matters more broadly. Check media sources. Be aware of stipulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Stay up to date on the Department of Labor issues under examination and pending decisions, as well as pending legal cases that are likely to affect employers in the industry. Also, don’t ignore internal intel. That means, listen to be aware of employee issues that can affect staff retention in your business.

Outsourcing HR

Streamlining and simplifying your management burden can relieve a lot of stress and tensions that often lead to higher turnover in the administrative office team, especially in smaller businesses where an admin or manager is serving in too many roles to manage efficiently. For growing businesses, outsourcing for some or all HR services can sometimes be the most practical system for administrative management of personnel needs and issues, in terms of cost and efficiency. HR services have teams of highly trained specialists, who can serve ideally in every area of HR needs for your company.

New Year, New Approaches to Employee Retention

The above are all important components of a comprehensive employee retention program, which every business needs to minimize employee attrition rates and keep turnover costs under control. Keep in mind that turnover rates tend to align with employees’ collective and individual responses to their employer’s level of success in areas of their employee retention efforts discussed above.
In other words, increasing the numbers and strength of the above reasons employees have to stay with an employer tends to increase the employer’s retention rates. As you can see, there are a lot of elements and aspects in a comprehensive program, so your employee retention program needs to be mapped onto your entire operational model.
Bottom line — invest in your employees. Go down the above comprehensive list of policy, activity, spending, and behavioral components of a successful employee retention program. Identify all those you’re already successfully maintaining. See what remains for you to do, to provide talented employees with what they need and rightly want in a job. Then, just strive to give them as much of that as possible

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