5 Reasons Good Pet Sitters Quit
Losing a good pet sitter or office admin unexpectedly is one of the worst things that can happen to a pet sitting company.
It’s important to remember, even your best people will likely move on to other opportunities some day. So, be sure you check in with your teammates regularly, and encourage them to be open and honest with you concerning their career plans. Start this conversation right away, preferably at the new hire orientation.
Also, during your monthly check-ins, be sure to ask if your sitters are getting enough work, or if they are overloaded.
In addition to these items, there are some common reasons good pet sitters quit.
5. You Don't Pay Enough
There is a lot of talk about how pay does not matter to pet sitters because it is such an awesome job. Now, I agree the pet sitting lifestyle is pretty awesome, but people still need a livable paycheck.
If you are paying your sitters minimum wage, you will get minimum effort from your team.
Think of it this way. If you could pay your sitters $50/hr, they would never quit. So, before you start to hire, make sure your prices are high enough to cover the cost of a competitive wage for your team members.
If you are not sure how much to pay your pet sitters, check out the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website for up to date information about animal caretakers’ pay.
4. You Require Sitters to Work 7-Days Per Week
It is way too common in the pet sitting industry to require pet sitters to work 7-days per week. In the early days of my business, this was the number one reason my sitters quit.
Once we moved to the agency style schedule, which we developed, our business really started to thrive. Click here to read more about it.
3. You Micromanage Your Staff
If you’ve ever had a client not trust you to do a good job taking care of their pets, you know how awful this feels. Clients tend not to trust pet sitters until the pet sitter proves they can do a good job.
If you let this same sentiment creep into your management style, you are going to frustrate your staff.
If you have been burned by bad hires in the past, it might be hard to trust your staff. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have consistently high standards when it comes to your hiring, onboarding, and training processes. As long as these processes are good, you don’t have to worry about whether your staff is doing a good job or not. – If you don’t trust your staff, it is going to be demoralizing for them, and they will seek greener pastures.
2. Clients with Dirty Houses
If you don’t set expectations with your clients about a cleanliness standard before the meet & greet, it is difficult to set boundaries later if their house is too dirty. Working in even one house that is too dirty can cause good pet sitters to quit.
I recommend sending a welcome email to your new clients that spells out cleanliness expectations. Here is an example:
To provide service, we require your sinks to be clean (no dirty/soaking dishes), main trash cans emptied with a new bag, regularly cleaned bathroom, house must be free of mold and bugs, and in a generally clean state. We also ask that, if you have litter boxes, they are recently scooped within a few days of the start of your visits. We reserve the right to refuse service after the meet and greet if any of our pet sitters are uncomfortable with the cleanliness of your home.
Make it clear to your pet sitters that they should let you know if a home is too dirty for their comfort at the meet and greet, or during the visits. It can be an uncomfortable conversation with the client. However, if you set these expectations right away, it’s easier to say you are enforcing your policies rather than just refusing them service.
Before we implemented these cleanliness standards, we had many good pet sitters quit. Even if you as an owner took on some of these borderline clients in the early days of your company, it doesn’t mean your team members should have to put up with them.
1. You are Putting Your Clients Above Your Pet Sitters
I tell every one of my sitters that I value my teammates more than any single client. I’m pretty open with the fact that any single team member makes more money for me than any single client. Plus, if I lose team members, I can’t take on more clients.
So, if a client begins to upset a good team member by crossing boundaries, being rude, or acting like they should be the center of our world, I either find another sitter who is OK with the client, or drop the client before I lose a good team member.
If you require your team member to do something they aren’t comfortable with, they will start looking for a new job. Today, there are more job opportunities, and a wider variety, than ever before in history. So, If you demand too much from your staff, they will quit.
As a note, whenever we have a client who is overly demanding, or requires service beyond what we typically offer, I make the client less of a priority. For example, we will say, “we don’t have availability for that,” or “we don’t offer those types of services.” In a desperate situation, we will not respond immediately to their calls. Some toxic clients with unlimited money will try to take advantage of you and your pet sitters.
Usually, these more demanding clients will stop asking when we do this. It may take some finesse, but these are clients who will hurt you more than they will help you in the long run.
It’s imperative to set boundaries in this business, for the sake of your pet sitters.