The holidays are upon us and I was wondering if I could start our annual Christmas letter this year with some data points? Festive, I know.
In 2021 more than 67% of Americans supported raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour. In fact, that number has stayed above 60% for more than 5 years and only keeps increasing. Despite the country’s broad support legislation has either stalled or died in the halls of Congress under both political parties.
Meanwhile, billion-dollar corporations have capitalized on the pain and anxiety of a global pandemic. They have made over $1.3 trillion more than they had prior to the advent of the COVID-19 era. Billionaires have brandished their insane dreams of touching the stars. Meanwhile, our neighbors and friends wonder if they can continue to pay their mortgage, buy Christmas presents, or choose between a much-needed new pair of shoes or a long-overdue oil change.
As our nation shudders beneath all this economic turmoil and hardship, a personal story from just this week caused me to reflect and find hope.
What Dignity Means to Delfina
Our longest-tenured employee, Delfina opened up about her time with Dallas Maids with me earlier this week. Delfina has 15 years with our company, joining the team when we were only in our third year.
She has seen our highs and lows and provided consistent, quality service through it all. Yesterday she shared with me that because of Dallas Maids’ industry bucking pay standards, she was able to put both her daughters through college. She was so pleased to share that her choices were not between groceries or an electric bill, but between which Christmas presents to buy to spoil her children.
Delfina’s story isn’t the only one like it in our company. This year she is receiving her 15-year service award – a gold ring. We also have two staff members receiving their 10-year service award this month as well – a silver ring.
This is employee consistency in an industry that averages 300% turnover rate in a single year. Much of this consistency comes from the stellar leadership of Lupe and Monse. They manage the daily operations of Dallas Maids and their work has fostered an extended family atmosphere. Our team is able to divide the sadness amongst ourselves on the hardest days. This way, no one carries a burden alone and multiply joy in the brightest moments to celebrate things like children graduating college.
All of this is possible because you, as our customers, care about people. Dallas Maids is not the cheapest cleaning service in town. I know that – you know that. Google reviews certainly knows that! But for paying a slightly higher price our customers know that the service will be 5-star. And, more importantly, that not only will the cleaning artist cleaning their home be treated with dignity and respect. They will be the same person cleaning your home for years, having a chance to grow with the family.
The living wage in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is $15.21 for a single individual and $20.43 for a couple with two children. Our employees surpass that minimum standard of pay. And that is because of a robust company culture and a customer base that values not only quality but also dignity.
I have no political pull. I can’t meander through the halls of power in this country and actuate change that will lift so many out of poverty. But, I do own a business. And I can use that business to serve customers and empower employees to work hard while earning a respectable wage that doesn’t just enable survival, but thriving.
As Christmas approaches, I wanted to share this simple moment of joy with you. Your patronage at Dallas Maids has meaning and it provides real dignity. It sends children to college, buys Christmas presents without anxiety, and puts smiles on dozens of my teams’ faces each day. That is certainly a reason to celebrate this holiday season.
Greg and the Dallas Maids’ Happiness Team