Janitorial Site Supervisor Incentives That Work!

If you want to stay in the janitorial industry for very long – and you should because it can be extremely rewarding, both personally and financially – you’ll have to do the math.

Goal + Incentive = Happy Customer

There’s a lot to be said about the first part of the equation – your Goal – and I’ll talk about that in detail at another time. For now, suffice it to say that your goal is to maintain a high level of cleanliness for your customer at a profit. But as we all know, that objective is hard to consistently execute within a narrow profit margin.

That’s where the essential but overlooked second part of the equation comes in, an Incentive for your Site Supervisor. You might ask, “Why should I have to motivate someone to do their job? Isn’t a decent paycheck incentive enough?” Well, after 25 long years of dealing with hundreds of job sites and thousands of employees, I’ve got a short answer for you – NO.

I’m not saying that people are bad or lazy or ungrateful. But when I’m asking folks for above average and excellent work on a consistent basis, the carrot approach has more than paid for itself in my operations. (Just ask my happy customers.)

Any incentive program should be a Win/Win for both you and your supervisors. It should have numerically measurable results and your team should consider its targets to be reasonable and attainable.

Plus the incentive should be adequately enticing. Over the years, I found that nothing works better than a monthly, cash bonus. It doesn’t have to be huge, but it does have to be green. “Attaboys” and name recognition in the newsletter are nice – and we issue plenty of these at my company – but those don’t cover the cable bill.

So, for those site supervisors that oversee cleaning crews of three or more people, I offer 3 simple bonuses.

  1. Cleaning Quality Bonus ( $25): Achieved via inspections. A written, quality inspection score of 90-100 earns a bonus of $25.
  2. Customer Satisfaction Bonus ( $25): Achieved via a customer satisfaction survey. A score of 90-100 earns a bonus of $25.
  3. Labor Under Budget Bonus ($2.50 per hour): Between 5 hours under budget and 20 hours under budget, a supervisor earns $2.50 for each labor hour saved (for a maximum payout of $50). Note: Attempting to save more than 20 labor hours per month at a job site will cut into quality.

As you can see, this isn’t an expensive incentive plan, maxing out at $100 per month, per supervisor. But my supervisors love it and the results are undeniable! I just wish that someone had told me early in my career, like I’m telling you now, how effective a simple little program like this can be. In addition to facilitating labor savings, my supervisors have embraced two key metrics – inspections and company surveys – as their score sheets. We’ve all gained quality and productivity and profits that we wouldn’t have attained without a motivation program.

Bottom line: A good janitorial site supervisor incentive program does not cost – it pays!

Get it? Got it? Good! I’d love to hear about any incentive plans that have worked for you or any that you’re considering…

2 thoughts on “Janitorial Site Supervisor Incentives That Work!”

  1. I find this topic interesting. My question the incentive program is what you are doing for frontline team members. It is nice for the facilities that have the ability to have 3 or more staff members, but that doesn’t cover all facilities. We are looking for affordable incentive programs that can be utilized across the company as well.

    1. Hi Chuck,
      Let me start by saying thank you for your feedback! First , let me say that all my site supervisors are working frontline team members. They get a bit more pay and have more responsibility, but they have work assignments just like the rest of the crew. That being said, I completely understand your question and do have an answer, I just didn’t address it in this last blog post. Remember though, no industry can give a cash bonus to every employee in the company and stay profitable or competitive for very long, especially with the already slim margins that we face to remain competitive. You have to have an incentive that’s affordable to the company AND motivates the employees to higher quality and production. You need to spread this incentive among the remaining employees at the site where they all compete among themselves for one company affordable incentive.
      I’ll just touch on a few of the incentive programs that have worked well for me.
      1. The site employee with ZERO absences, stays in budget and the least amount of quality issues gets a $15 gift certificate for movie tickets or Starbucks, etc.. Ill pay out $15 to get improved quality and production, no problem.
      2. Any employee that has ZERO complaints in their area for 3 months in a row, get in a quarterly raffle drawing for a $150 cash prize. This is a very affordable incentive and could have dozens of employees competing for the prize.
      There are many more similar incentives, but just remember to spread out the prize over multiple employees. And don’t forget the free sincere atta boys thank you’s! All people like to be appreciated!


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