Location is a big factor in this matter. Is there high unemployment there? Are you near a university? Are you in a small town or big town? Do you make a good profit on your jobs?
People pay different amounts. In my area most of the cleaning services pay around $7 a hour , however I pay around $12 a hour. Why? I charge more than other services. I want to help my employees to survive so as to be around for a while.But I have had employees quit and go to work at other type businesses for a lot less pay . Usually due to hours they have to work. I believe that cleaning is not a glamorous job and deserves more than flipping burgers pays. But there seems to be many people that are willing to work for low wages. The lower you pay the more profit you make. And that seems to be the choice of most employers. So in the end its what you want to pay . I asked a guy one time, how do you sleep at night when you pay your employees so little? His reply was, They want to work and there is a long line of more willing to take there jobs anytime they want to quit. He then said, I have no problem and sleep just fine. So check around your area and see what average pay is. Check to see what the resturants pay and perhaps offer a few cents more or if you think it would help pay a lot more than they do. My guess is that majority of cleaning services do not pay well. Would be a good poll to do.
Last Edit: Feb 26, 2008 9:29:18 GMT -5 by logan5127
The last time I did windows, I was also doing floors for the same people. For the floor work I got paid hourly, but for the windows it was piece work, meaning I got paid so much per window. Of course, it was a strip mall, so all the windows were basically the same size, and my boss knew exactly what he was getting on a per window basis, and what he could pay me. The good thing about piece work, was that I could set my own pace. I could work as fast or slow as I wanted, and it didn't make any difference to my employer.
Dan - I have to applaud you for paying $12. I don't know where you're from, but where I'm from, $12 is unheard of in cleaning. When I owned my own business and had employees, I paid them a flat rate per month, which is very common here. But my flat rate was equivalent to about $14/hr, depending on fast or slow they worked. This was in a large grocery store setting. It was overnight, and in the winter it was hell. Even after I paid them, I was making double myself so I felt that it was appropriate to pay them that much. I also think that you get what you pay for. I HATE these people who pay the least they possibly can get away with, thinking, like that guy you talked to "There's more people lined up for their job if they quit." That's a terrible attitude, and you will never keep workers that way. I've found that people who think and pay like that, get the most unskilled workers. The lowest of the low. I'm sorry, that sounds awful, but in this business it's true. I've seen cleaners who look like they are homeless, and I've seen them eating out of the garbage at the job site. I'm not making this up. That's a poor reflection on your company, and in the end you get a bad reputation. I've always paid well compared to others in the business, and I've always had happy, well-mannered, well-groomed, and professional workers. I have no intention of changing that in the future. Afterall, your employees represent you, they can make or break you in your area. Paying squat may be good for immediate profits, but you'll pay for it later.
I use to pay by the job but the workers just got faster and not doing the job as it should be done. I finally decided not to ever pay by the job again. I use to pay for window cleaning by the piece but the guys once again started going really fast and not cleaning the windows good. They were actually making around $70 a hour. I now pay $25 a hour for the window cleaning . They don't do as many but they are doing alot better work now and I actually make more profit now. When I hire someone new I usually start them at $10 a hour and give them a raise at the end of the first month to $11 a hour and then by the end of the third month if they are or appear to be a great employee I raise them up to $12 a hour for all cleaning other than the windows. If I have to call someone to go out on emergency call when they are not scheduled to work I give them a $25 bonus. Even though I do this I still have people quit to except lower paying jobs but all most all the time it is because of the hours they have to work is better for them. So pay is not always the most important part of keeping employees.
I should also add as food for thought; When I pay a worker $25 a hour on window cleaning I see a big difference in them. They seem to walk a little taller, they are proud to be there making the money, they take more pride in their work, they always show up on time even when sick. It seems like there may be a point in pay to where as their jobs take on a different meaning to them. Its to bad that the cleaning industry as a whole has to low of standards on charging . Just think how great it would be if we all could pay $25 hr to all the employees for all the types of cleaning. But it will never happen as most companies , new and old, refuse to raise those standards.
I would love to pay my employees 15.00 per hour but I'd be out of business fairly quickly. There are operations here that pay their staff minimum wage to start. I am starting staff at $9.50 per hour and a raise after 3 Months. Again, Ontario has low unemployment and finding staff is next to impossible. Just today, applicant was supposed to come for interview and did not show up , call , send letter anything. VERY Frustrating but then, would not want her with that attitude anyway.
Bill - I'm also in Ontario. I do Zehrs grocery stores. That's a Loblaw's chain for those of you outside Ontario.
Dan - You make a good point. In fact, this topic is a real sore point for me. In my city there are 3 Zehrs grocery stores. I work for a friend, and he has 2 of the 3. He pays reasonably well, but as a result, myself and another guy work very hard. If my friend lowered his pay, he could hire one more person, but the people he already has would quit. The guy who cleans the 3rd Zehrs here hires offshore workers, and illegal immigrants. He pays less than minimum wage, and his workers can't do anything about it. Now, here's where I have a problem. With people like him out there, undercutting the guys who pay well and provide professional, courteous staff and service, there will continue to be a decline in wages in the janitorial industry. People looking for a cleaning company only look at the bottom line. They don't think they should have to pay decent money to have their office/factory/bank/store etc cleaned. Several years ago I worked for another small company, very professional. We lost a contract to a lower bidder. 4 months later, the customer called and asked us to come back. It took weeks to get the place back to our standards. The customer never accepted a lower bid again, and we even raised our price ever so slightly when they called us back, to cover the expense of restoring the facility.
This really is such a difficult situation. To get the jobs, contractors have to bid low, to compete with the low-ballers paying minimum wage. But by bidding low, there is less profit to be made, and wages have to be lower. Lower wages result in lower morale - as you said Dan, when you pay $25/hr your employees seem more proud of themselves. Lower wages also mean you won't get the more experienced workers, which usually means lower standards of workmanship. For those of us in the industry who actually care about our work, and our company's reputation, this is a no-win situation. I've always thought we need a way of convincing customers that the cheapest price is never the best price when it comes to cleaning. If they only knew that we attend seminars, get specialized training, test out new and better products and equipment, all with the intention of making them more satisfied. Instead they pay the cheap price, get a contractor who hires people with no experience and provides no training, uses shoddy equipment that often breaks down, etc.etc.etc. It's a very hot topic with me, in case you couldn't tell, lol.
Dan - I understand what you mean about paying by the job, but not getting the work done. I always told my employees, "I pay you this much. I don't care how long it takes you to do the job, but it MUST be done right. If you can do it in 6 hours, and make more per hour, I don't care, as long it's done right. If it's not done right, I will give you a time frame when I expect you to work, and it won't be 6 hours. It will be 8." That's just an example, but you get the idea. I was pretty fortunate, I only ever had to fire one person, in 4 years. And only 1 person left, and he did what you mentioned, he left for a day job.