Motivating Cleaners – Startup Serial Part #18

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When I first started Gleem (previously Tidy and Shiny), I pictured myself building a passive income, and being able to escape to South East Asia where I could live is solace: benefiting from the Western economy, and living a much more affordable life.

As the business progressed, this vision started to erode. It was replaced by a much higher form of motivation that I’d like to elaborate on:

Magdalena¬†is a good friend of mine. For years she worked long hours in jobs she didn’t enjoy, for companies who didn’t care about her.

She is like a huge number of people who feel restricted to a working future like this because they have a limited number of qualifications or a lack of confidence in their language ability.
Gleem now exists to empower people to take pride in the work they perform. We’ve started with cleaning, an industry worth over ¬£6 billion per year in the UK.
We treat our staff in a way that helps them enjoy their jobs and because we are committed to paying our cleaners above the Living Wage. This develops staff that are reliable, dedicated and hard working. They are engaged with our mission.

Harnessing a team of employees is a tough enough job by itself, but consider that the majority of our cleaners don’t interact with many Gleem cleaners on a day to day basis, and that they only infrequently visit us in the office: It’s quick to see how our Gleem housekeepers and site-keepers could become disenfranchised with a business that they rarely interact with.

Now we don’t have the magic formula for this, but we are steadily deciphering what motivates people, and how we can show them that we value their work. Motivating our workers is, for me, the MOST important thing I can be focussing upon. I’m determined to figure it out, and I can’t wait to see more of the smiling faces of Gleem employees who love their job!

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