There’s a lot of advice out there about how to improve employee retention. Allow flexible work schedules, experts say. Provide opportunities for advancement. Offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Establish a positive workplace culture.
These are all great ways to entice your top performers to stay with your company. But there’s one often-overlooked strategy that is just as important: Create an attractive, comfortable physical environment.
It makes sense. People spend about half their waking hours at work. If you want your employees to be engaged and productive, you need to create an environment they want to work in. Your facility needs to be neat and tidy. It needs to have furniture that is both functional and attractive. And the floors need to be spotless.
If you think you only need to focus on areas that are customer-facing, think again. One financial company was struggling with employee retention despite investing heavily in building maintenance. After looking more closely at the situation, the company realized all the focus was on the front of the house where the customers were. The employee areas were neglected. Worse, they were soiled and in disrepair. After renovating these areas and creating a new, clean employee break room, employee retention went up.
The recruitment and retention of employees is generally thought of as the responsibility of the HR department. In fact, facility managers play an important role. By engaging with contractors who specialize in maintaining the physical condition of buildings, facility managers ensure the work environment is clean, attractive and safe.
At APEX Surface Care, we specialize in ensuring your floors and upholstery are sparkling clean and stay in tip-top condition. The state of your flooring may seem like an inconsequential detail, but clean floors are an integral part of an inviting work environment. Here are three messages your pristine floors tell your employees:
1. We care about your physical comfort. No one wants to work in a messy—or worse, outright dirty—environment. It’s both demotivating and demoralizing. When you work in an unkempt office, you can’t help but wonder how much management cares about its employees. Keeping the office clean keeps employees happy. And happiness is important: Studies have shown that happier employees are more engaged and more productive. By creating a pleasant, attractive and clean work environment, you are telling your employees that you value their comfort and their needs.
2. We care about your safety. When it comes to flooring, safety is of the utmost importance. According to the National Safety Council, about 9.2 million people went to the emergency room in 2016 for fall-related injuries. Old, tattered carpet can pose a tripping hazard. Wet, slick floors can cause people to slip. Accidents happen—and sure, some people are just plain clumsy—but your floors shouldn’t be the cause. By maintaining your floors and ensuring they are cleaned regularly and properly, you are providing a safe workplace for your employees.
3. We care about your health. Dirty floors are more than unsightly—they’re unhealthy. When people enter your building, they’re bringing along any germs they picked up outside, and that includes those on the bottom of their shoes. Floors must be cleaned and disinfected regularly to prevent the spread of illness. This is especially important during flu season. The flu is highly contagious; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone with the flu can spread it to others up to 6 feet away by coughing, sneezing or talking. When you keep your floors clean and sanitized, you are letting your employees know you want them to stay healthy.
Lots of companies in our industry speak about how big they are, how inexpensive they are or how sustainable they are. At APEX, we deliver delight by contributing to a comprehensive workplace experience for your employee. While scale, sustainability and price are important, it goes further than that.
Part of the workplace experience is knowing that your facility works with vendors that have a higher mission in mind than just the bottom line. Millennials in particular not only want but expect their employers to focus on societal or mission-driven issues. APEX is proud to be a public benefit corporation. Our social mission drives everything we do. Whether we’re supporting professional development for women in the industry or donating time and money to local charities, we put people before profit and invest in our teams, our partners and our community.
Whether you need professional carpet care, architectural surface care, furniture and textile care, tile and grout cleaning, or stone and terrazzo care, we can care for you, your building and your employees. By maintaining a clean and welcoming environment, you’re investing in a workplace experience that enables high performance and encourages your employees to stick around for the long term.