One of NYC’s fastest growing startups is changing the way tech treats its employees

August 26, 2016

Conventionally, companies create bad jobs with low wages, minimal benefits and limited training in order to scale while keeping costs down. This strategy serves companies well in the short-term. In the long-term, cheap labor leads to high employee turnover, a decrease in employee productivity and a lack of loyalty within a corporation.

Managed by Q, an office management company that provides companies with on-demand maintenance services, is thinking long-term. Abandoning convention, Managed by Q, or “Q” as its workers call it, is developing an employee culture around a strategy that invests in people.

Backed by over a decade of research, the "good jobs strategy" is a concept developed by Adjunct Associate Professor of Operations Management at MIT, Zeynep Ton. Ton’s strategy proves that through an investment in employees, companies can offer the lowest prices to customers, generate higher profits and ultimately create greater customer satisfaction.

Managed by Q offers a suite of services to its clients — including cleaning, maintenance, I.T. support, security, and supplies. While a fleet cleaners, assistants, helpers and handymen is ingrained into Managed by Q’s business model, the gig-economy is not. In congruence with the good jobs strategy, Managed by Q doesn’t employ these workers as independent contractors, but instead provides W2 jobs. Moreover, these jobs offer above market wages, paid parental leave and benefits like healthcare, 401k, bonuses, paid time off, career development programs and flexible scheduling. Back in March, the company also announced a first-of-its-kind program that provides stock options for all of its employees, at any level within the company.

“When Dan first started the business it was about creating the best experience for clients,” said Managed by Q’s NYC General Manager, Laura Castaing. “At the same time, it was clear early on that to do that, we had to find and create an environment where the people who were providing this service to clients were also highly motivated and felt like they were getting the most out of their job. Ultimately, that would translate into the quality of the work.”

At its core, Managed by Q’s mission revolves around creating better working environments through technology. Practicing this philosophy, Q starts with itself. All of Managed by Q’s workers, or ‘operators,’ have access to an operator app where they’re able to see their schedule weeks in advance, adjust their availability, receive feedback and access extensive training programs. To date, Q employs over 600 operators nationally.

From a pure profit and loss standpoint, any company wants to drive as much revenue as possible. And while this human-centric, conscious capitalism may seem like it would have a negative effect on revenue and growth, Managed by Q is experiencing the opposite effect.

“For us, our clients are really appreciative of the quality of operators that they’re getting,” said Castaing. “With higher quality work, they build a stronger relationship with their operators. With that quality service, a client is more likely to stay with us for a longer period of time. Not only do we get a client that stays with us longer, so our retention rate is higher, but people can also have opportunities to grow within the business, as a lot of our business comes from referrals. What we’re seeing now is increased revenue from referrals, we’re losing fewer customers and the cost of acquiring a new customer is lower. As time goes on, you see the model see higher revenues and profits.”

Ultimately, the good jobs model works at Managed by Q because the business revolves around long-term relationships where high quality service and trust is involved. While these pillars aren’t a priority for every company, today’s fast-growing 1099 economy includes quality and trust at its core. In this way, Managed by Q has acted as a pioneer by investing in its people, and tech giants are following suit.

The company was founded a little over two years ago by Dan Teran and Saman Rahmanian, and has since become one of the fastest growing startups in New York. Over the past two years, the company has expanded to San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles, and now cleans cleans over two million square feet of office space in New York City.

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