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Attract and Retain Staff Through Higher Wage Rates

How This Affects Your Project Budgets

Hiring and keeping workers has never been more difficult than it is now post-pandemic. In June 2022, there were more than 10 million job openings in the U.S. – the most ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are a lot of factors going into why it has become so hard to attract reliable talent post-COVID-19. During lockdowns, many of us got to spend more time than ever with our families, creating a realization of the cost our family time is worth. As employers continue to grapple with the new way we work, increased wages have become imperative to reinventing the workplace. Increased wages mean increased cost to deliver services in most blue collar sectors. Hamburgers cost more, the cost of bacon has gone through the roof, and the rising cost of fuel and energy is a topic of its own.

Facilities services has seen a similar shift. The national average janitorial worker wage has increased 24% since 2019 ($14.43 in 2019 vs. $17.66 in 2021). Likewise, previous mandates for health insurance and paid leave have driven labor costs up another 30%. Like the hamburger, that cost has to trickle down to what commercial cleaning companies charge for services if they are to maintain their financial health.

We think it is important to communicate with clear transparency because we want our customers to know we are not taking advantage of price hikes and simply trying to inflate our bottom line. Our price increases, like many others within our industry, are primarily due to labor costs. There are ways, however, to lessen the impact of these cost increases on facility owners. Read our article “How to Write Your Next Janitorial Services Request for Proposals” for tips on making sure the scope of work you want is the scope you are communicating when writing RFPs.

Other ideas for staff retention that are not costly include:

  • Culture of Respect – Understanding the employee/employer relationship must be mutually beneficial. Employees need to feel respected and that what they do matters to the company.

  • Engagement – People are engaged by people. Employees are engaged because they like their work, and they like the people they work with and for. Managers must work hard to earn the trust of employees and develop relationships.

  • Regular Training - Regular and ongoing training prepares employees to excel at their jobs and gives them the feeling that the company is investing in them.

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