Almost four years ago when we started Managed by Q, we began building our business on the simple principle that if we invested in our people by creating good jobs and opportunities to grow, it would pay off in the long-term. We became students of Zeynep Ton’s Good Job Strategy, and drew inspiration from high road employers who came before us.
We found ourselves being compared to gig economy companies pursuing a contractor model and companies billing themselves as “uber-for-X.” People questioned if our bet would pay off—the New York Times called it our good jobs gamble. We thought of it less as a gamble, and more of a theorem that we had to prove—if we invested in our workforce, we could achieve greater employee retention, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and ultimately build a better business. Tom Perez called it enlightened self interest.
This skepticism strengthened our resolve to prove that the choice between good jobs and a good business is a false choice. It was not always easy, and for the first few years we were all literally working night and day to make the business work. We did everything we could to support our colleagues in the field, and everybody cleaned.
Today, we’re excited to announce that our good jobs strategy is no longer a gamble. Managed by Q’s service company, Q Services, reached nationwide profitability this month.
We could not be more proud of the hard work of the 700 Q Services employees who work tirelessly every day and every night to deliver a great experience to our customers, and the leadership of Q Services who have worked tirelessly to manage the business to profitability while keeping our values front and center.
Over the years we’ve learned that while technology can drive efficiency and scale accountability, you can’t wave a magic wand and turn a bad business into a good one. It is our greatest hope that we can serve as inspiration, or at least a proof of concept, for a new generation of businesses. We wanted to share a few insights that helped us get to today:
- We focused on our strengths - saying no to services and customers that we could not serve well or profitably
- We worked with our customers to build predictability around their service needs instead of being on-demand, all the time
- We invested heavily on training the next generation of leaders from entry level roles, fully 70% of our Supervisors started as cleaners
- We empowered our Supervisors on the frontlines with training and tools to lead their teams of Operators, because everyone deserves a manager who cares about them
Today is a proud day for everyone at Q, but it is still early days. While profitability of our Q Services business unit is a great milestone, it is just another step on a long journey to make the world work better, for everyone.