The Employee Side of My Business is Driving Me Crazy!

My goal in my business is to automate it with systems to the point where I can step out of the day to day operations. However, I can’t ever seem to get there because of employee issues!

Since August, I hired one guy who worked 2 weeks and decided he wasn’t interested in this kind of work. Then I had to fire one of my guys because he was doing such poor work (skipping cleaning tracks when I wasn’t around, and doing a poor job on the window cleaning). Then I hired a guy who lasted about a week and a half, and stopped coming to work because of car problems. I hired another guy who lasted a month, but I had to fire him because of getting so many customer complaints and go backs, in addition to showing up an hour late to a job and not calling the client. I had a guy start today, but I just found out he has severe insomnia and can’t sleep more than 2 hours a night, and will need to call in sick several days a month. So, I just hired a new guy. He starts tomorrow, but I’m not extremely hopeful anymore. I hope you can see why.

So, my question is for the guys who have been able to solve the Employee Issue. How did you do it? How did you find and retain high quality Technicians?!!!


But sure but In struggling as well. I have a business coach and you have to give your employees challenges with incentives. That pushes them harder. After that you get to see who’s wasting who’s time.

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Repeat this process over and over again. It’s a numbers game.

can recall when i first started employing i read you go thru 10 before you find a good un.seemed crazy to read it—but now i know how true that is!

another thing i learnt its better to have 2 parttimers over 1 fulltimer any day . or 3 parttimers better still. that way you can keep the ball rolling if one goes sick/plays games on you/ and you can ease out a deadbeat easily knowing youv still a worker showing up. When i advertize for a fresh worker i usually take the 1st one that calls, but keep written notes on anyone who calls later-these can be called on if the no.1 doesnt work out. At the same time the fresh worker starts i start a flyering campaign,this fresh worker does a bit of cleaning and a bit of flyering [fuelling the fire] ,he is kept very busy. you dont want him/her to be standing around getting cold or jaded. hope this helps!


Good thinking with the parttimers

Well said my friend.

I loved this answer and have been putting it into practice. No results to share as of yet but still very good advice.

Look mostly for people with outstanding customer service skills. They stand out like a bright candle in a dark room. Cleaning can be taught. Even work ethic can be taught. Manner of dealing with other people is a heart condition, not so easily changed.


If hiring and training was easy then everyone would have large companies


I forgot to mention that during that same time period my employee who had been with me 2 years left to start his own business in my own area although he had signed a non compete agreement!

I’ve always been an advocate of part timers
The hardest part of this business is finding good help

In my first business it took 20 or more sometimes to find on that would last 6 months +

part of it is the pay cant be low. also have a company culture that you want to create and hire around those standards.

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How many people do you have working for you? It sounds like you have one truck with 1-3 guys.

If you have such a small business there is no way you’ll make enough money to pay guys who are good and not do any work yourself.

Also forget about non-compete agreements. Those are ridiculous, probably not enforceable, and could drive away potential good employees.

yup. I watch them work. Do they help their teammates, do they look to keep busy.

At Subway, once I get to know them I will ask them to break the rules for me. I really don’t care which way they go I want to see what their reasoning is. If they want to give me a free cookie cause I am a loyal client great, if they give me a cookie cause “fuck this job”…either way I learn about them


I am solo right now. But there was a correlation between the pay and quality at the company I worked for.

Between employer an employee there a joke

Personality is everything. Quite easy to train someone to clean, fill out paperwork, etc. If they have a positive attitude towards life they will be a great asset to your company. I have low employee turnover and I attribute it to finding those positive people.

You have to treat them well once you find them as well. All my employees know I side with the employee 1st and with the customer 2nd if there is some sort of issue. This type of culture makes people want to do good work.

You also need to remember that people may not stick around forever. There’s nothing wrong with that. Treat them well while they are with you and when they are ready to move on, thank them for their service to the company. Just like acquiring customers you must always have your “employee pipeline” full. People quit for many reasons, some good, some bad, some in between; but if you are caught with your pants down as the owner… that is your own fault.


welcome to the club

yes it was said well, you now have two sets of ‘customers’ to keep a pipeline full of, internal (employees) and external

your job has changed, to reach your goal, THIS is your job now unfortunately

I have talked to many who had large companies, one had 60 employees, he hated how his whole job was just handling behavioral issues

or hire an experienced operations manager to handle it, or promote from within (= more employees and work to cover the cost)

this business doesn’t scale so well due to the linear nature of labor, not like having an insurance office with 3 women running it while the owner is on sabbatical on African safaris for months (true story)

anyone remember the size of Chris’ huge hiring sprees every late winter before spring rush?


This will happen. A former employee did the same. He took work from me and 3years later without expecting it I got them back. Karma is serious. Trust in the Lord and he’ll see you through. I did not have to play his game cause I’m above that. Everything works out you have to stay positive even when things are just too difficult. God helps those who helps them selves. You’ll be tested all the time. I never worry cause I’ve been through much much worse and this is just an insect more of a nuisance. Listen to your inner self. He is your only best friend and he won’t stare you wrong. He knows/you know what’s best for you. That puts any psychiatrist out of business.

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  1. Interview a LOT of guys. Pick the best. I usually do phone interviews and rank the applicants. THEN do face to face interviews. But you need a good pool to do so. I used to run crews of 30 guys at several hotels for valet and usually there where about 3-5 I thought were really good employees. Window cleaning is about the same.
  2. Don’t ignore your instincts on prospects. You are usually right if you suspect they are too something - introverted, transient, thug, lazy, arrogant, loner, immature, ghetto, unmotivated, dull,
  3. Call references.
  4. Do a personality test on paper. I made up my own and it tells me quickly if they are intelligent, a quitter, humorous, arrogant and if they can follow instructions.
  5. Make the job a respectable job that people want to stay at:
    -Have a shop outside home if possible.
    -Pay well (the good guys can get good pay somewhere else).
    -Make sure you take time to train before OJT. Document training.
    -Commend them for their strengths.
    -Don’t nickel and dime them on everything.
    -Don’t criticize in front of other workers.
    -Give them incentives and a path for growth.
    -Respect their time off. Don’t text them all night.
    -Create a schedule and post it the same day every week. Don’t just text them the day before.
    -Brand your business and have processes.

Even when you do these things you will go through guys. But this helps big time.