9 Tips for Maximizing Your Sweeping Team’s Performance

At the pace the average commercial sweeping business’s service team maintains every night, it may seem that all that can be done is already being done to maximize performance. After all, what else is there? All the drivers are showing up at every one of their accounts, and GPS is confirming the time spent on each customer’s site. Maybe you’re even using photo confirmations of service quality. That’s certainly a good starting point for maximizing team performance. Now, add some pretty simple, proven strategies for facilitating processes, maximizing productivity, and enhancing service quality.
Here are a few measures business owners can take to strengthen employee engagement and elevate professional pride, which together can take team performance to a new level:
1. Communicate Effectively.
Clarify individual and shared responsibilities. Provide routine feedback to individuals and to the team as a group. Use feedback to celebrate successes and to provide necessary constructive criticism. Collaborate with your team on problem solving. Meet with as a group periodically, as a team-building activity in and of itself. Use these opportunities to celebrate progress, discuss general issues, to explain your long-term vision, and to inspire everyone maintain focus on it.
Great teams are focused on the objectives that advance the team toward its primary goals. Communicating on this big-picture level helps instill confidence in team members about their contributions to the success of the team and company. That strengthens a sense of performance pride and commitment to the company’s mission.
2. Set Common Goals.
Set ambitious, but reasonable goals for individuals and for the team. Establish performance benchmarks, so that you can measure actual progress toward the goals set. Monitor progress, and routinely discuss with the group what has been accomplished and what remains to be done toward the shared goals. Encourage ideas for improving progress, and even involve the team in making decisions, when possible.
Listen to employees’ ideas and their feedback on what is, and is not working well in any areas of operations. Implement their ideas, when it is practical to do so. Schedule team building activities that fit into your operating time and budget limits. You can Google countless team-building activities, that range from zero cost and only a few minutes of meeting time, to week-long excursions involving international travel.
3. Empower People.
One big challenge for many new entrepreneurs is letting go of some responsibilities and delegating them to competent and willing employees. Your own contribution to the team’s success is likely to be greater, if you can feasibly free yourself from enough tasks that eager staff members can do well, and redirect your precious energies toward more value-packed activities (like sales calls, customer relations calls, service quality checks, and perhaps obtaining funding for growth).
Start out by assigning small duties, and limit employees’ to making minor decisions and/or spending. Provide training and coaching, as needed, but don’t hover or otherwise micro-manage the tasks you delegate. This is the ideal way to build a talent reserve, to cover responsibilities during your absence and in cases of surprise shortage of resources. Also, ask employees to report on their observations of needed systemic, safety, or other improvements.
4. Have a Policy of Mutual Respect.
Promote a workplace culture of mutual respect and support among team members. Require all employees to treat all others with dignity and professionalism. Resolve conflicts promptly, objectively, and compassionately, but decisively. Model kind and approachable behavior toward others.
Management demonstrating inclusiveness and a congenial, team mindset projects a kind of enthusiasm that is contagious. It leads employees to mimic and habituate that behavior, overcoming instincts to behave more recklessly with one another’s feelings, and to instead act more conductively to team cohesion. (Seek professional HR counseling, for solutions to more complicated personnel problems.)
5. Develop Employees, and Promote from Within.
In the commercial sweeping industry, many drivers understand their current roles to be permanent, in the sense that they are not expected to build skills for positions of higher responsibility. There is, nevertheless, a need for development of these employees. Assuming that, on average, you’ve been fortunate to achieve good hires, take your staff development up a level. Give people their chance to show you their potential.
Build proficiencies by providing some advanced training, and share updates in company and industry knowledge with talented staff members. Congratulate employees on small achievements, recognize their contributions of good ideas. Let every worker know your high expectations. Identify and cultivate strong employees, and promote from within whenever possible.
6. Organize Common Work Areas.
It seems like an obvious point, but there are still many business managers who insist that their messy, disorganized workspaces are completely under control and do not present a problem for anyone. Of course, such evidence of unprofessional and undisciplined thinking in a business office does not inspire employees or any other stakeholders to have confidence in the sustainable success of operations.
Require clean and well organized shared and individual workspaces, to facilitate efficient processes, convenient access and ensure safety, to promote maximum rates of productivity. Such a professionally functioning operation enables employees to perceive their jobs as having a more competitive employment value, which promotes greater professional pride, job satisfaction, and retention.
7. Upgrade Operational Systems and Technology.
Naturally, talented employees want to work in the best environment and have high expectations for their own success on the job. Improving systems and upgrading the tools and equipment your team needs to operate at its best increases productivity, quality, customer satisfaction and retention, and employee engagement, satisfaction and performance.
Invest in upgraded communications, process management, and quality assurance technologies, to optimize your team’s efficiency. Update your information bases, for more accurate management of customer accounts, process flows, parts and materials, and supplier accounts. Modernizing can transform a team member’s sense of being on just another typical job, to being a part of a high-quality, forward-moving company.
8. Continually Work on Your Own Self-Improvement.
Continue to develop yourself. If you’re like most good leaders, you probably already recognize yourself as someone committed to life-long learning. If not, identify areas of needed self-improvement. Often, a good place to start is working on improving listening skills. Make time to read some industry and leadership articles, and read for personal enrichment. Keep up on relevant tech innovations. Take time off to decompress and rejuvenate and enjoy your family.
Beyond organizing your management policy according to the performance improvement model outlined above, a business leader’s ongoing efforts toward personal growth will give your company the kind of leader that employees want to work for. That makes self-development an improvement measure you can well count on to help you build a high-performing team.
9. Combining Measures to Maximize Team Performance
First, perform self-evaluation of your leadership skills. Are you succeeding in inspiring your sweeping services field staff to think as a team and to take pride in their commitment to customer satisfaction and support of their fellow team members? A team culture is fostered by recognizing and cultivating employees’ strengths, encouraging ideas and collaborative problem solving, having a clear policy of inclusion, and maintaining robust communications.
The above cultural components strengthen team cohesion and the team’s professional self-image. Cultivating a strong professional self-image in the team is at the core of any effective plan to maximize team performance. Performance levels will tend to align with the team’s sense of the value you recognize in them and help them recognize in themselves. Higher quality team development method in — higher quality team performance out.

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