Latest News from BPCA

03 August 2020

Incentives for pest management professionals

 Business Feature | PPC100 August 2020

In this article, Paul Bates, Managing Director at Cleankill Pest Control, talks about motivating and inspiring staff using incentives, beyond giving a simple paycheck. 

Keep your workforce happy  Incentives for pest management professionals

You start your working life at around the age of 20 and, for many people, every day is the same. Get up, go to work, do your job and go home - for possibly the next 50 years if the retirement age carries on increasing.

How nice it is then, to have rewards and incentives thrown into the mix? These can help maintain an interest and stop every working day from feeling the same as the last.

But in many companies there is an attitude of ‘we’re paying them to do a job, why should we give them any more?’

That, I believe, is an attitude that invites a drop in quality, loyalty, and damages the work ethic.

To be a successful business all staff need to buy into the ethics and values of the company; reward and recognition is always something that we have seen at Cleankill as being integral to this.

As we have grown and achieved the Investors in People gold standard, we have managed to maintain a service quality that means over half of our contract base has been with us for more than five years, and our termination levels are the envy of many major national companies.

In addition, our staff turnover is very low, with some employees who have been with us over 15 years, and some staying well beyond retirement age.

How do we maintain this level as we grow?

Well, initially our package for our service staff is among the best in the industry – all staff will have a good base salary after achieving Level 2, they have opportunities for overtime plus new business leads are paid at 5% commission of job or contract value.

Everyone has 25 days of annual leave, plus bank holidays. We pay the full pension contribution for all employees, which means that they do not have to contribute. All staff are covered under a four times annual salary ‘death in service’ benefit for their dependents.

In addition, all staff are invited to join the Cleankill private healthcare scheme for themselves and all dependants, including adult children up to the age of 24.

What do we do that is over and above that? Well, on a whole company scale, every two years we have an away-day event.

We have a conference in the morning, a team-building exercise in the afternoon followed by a three-course private dining meal and a free bar all evening.

Recent events have included RIB racing around the Isle of Wight, a Crystal Maze afternoon, a laser war game in the New Forest, and a trip to Lille on Eurostar.

Paul Bates, Managing Director, Cleankill Pest Control,

The whole company also gets together for a lunchtime Christmas meal, followed by an afternoon of ‘socialising’ (in true pest control fashion) and we pay for transport home or overnight local hotel accommodation.

These events are so important for all staff to recognise what they are part of, and that the growth and success of Cleankill is in their hands.

There is also job security for the older members of the team and the opportunity to see that prospects for promotion are possible alongside the company growth.

Throughout the year the team leaders will set both team and individual targets over specific timeframes, such as quarterly or a single treatment cycle.

These may involve targeting the technicians to achieve a minimum number of contract routine calls over a six-week period – each technician who achieves the target will get a prize of their choosing up to a certain value.

More involved team incentives will be based on points systems including the numbers of leads submitted, the number of client testimonials received in the office and the cleanliness of vans during a spot check.

The winning team will then have a budget for a team afternoon out. Recent events have included axe throwing, ten-pin bowling and a birds-of-prey handling afternoon. These events will also include administration staff who are allocated to the specific teams.

As well as the general incentives, once a year the managers will choose a short period of time to do ‘the wiff-waff challenge’. Green or gold numbered table tennis balls will be placed by the management team in external rat boxes. Each green ball found gets the technician £5. A bigger reward is given if they find the golden ball and champagne is given if all balls are found.

Not only is this a great incentive (often just before Christmas), it also acts as a good quality assurance check by the managers as the numbering system will allow us to see if ‘the all baits checked’ comments on the service report are actually true!

As well as the team building and financial reward aspect of incentives, we also ensure that when client testimonials are received in the office they are sent out to all staff. It doesn’t matter who you are – everybody likes to be recognised, especially for good work!

As we grow, it is important that we maintain all of the quality aspects of the business.

Paul Bates, Managing Director, Cleankill Pest Control,

As Cleankill grows (or as we come out of lockdown!) I see no reason that the reward and recognition of our staff should stop. My company only has staff and customers - I cannot afford to lose either of them.

Got a story?

If you’ve got some news or advice to share with readers, get in touch.

Source: PPC100

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