ServiceMaster by Stratos began working with Shelby County Schools earlier this year. To highlight the relationship, we are publishing a four-part series focused on recruitment, training, operations and scope of work.

Recruit talented managers and service partners in a crunch? Check.
Train all new managers and service partners? Check.
Be operationally sound to ensure work is done efficiently? CHECK!
Curious as to how it’s done? Let our four Shelby County Schools Area Managers explain.

With four managers overseeing the work being done by service partners at 45 facilities, there is a wide bandwidth of skillsets in terms of operations. The company plays to each person’s strength rather than calling out weaknesses. Stratos leadership is dedicated to utilizing each individual’s strengths because it provides the balance that is needed for a team to be successful. When this is done, one can stop majoring on the minors, and focus on building up those positive skillsets that serve a manager well.

Challenge accepted
When servicing 45 facilities, challenges are inevitable. Lucky for Stratos, Ray relishes the opportunity to work through those instances.

“I love a challenge,” said Area Manager Ray Gardner. “I don’t shy away from difficult situations, I embrace them because I know overcoming them will only make our team better.”

Manage effectively
More than 135 service partners were brought on board when the Shelby County Schools contract was inked. Investing in each and every one of them is extremely important to Stratos managers.


“My favorite part of my job is working with the service partners,” said Area Manager Justin Dean. “I enjoy being able to help people develop and do their best. That’s my absolute favorite part of the job.”

Communicate, communicate
Each manager oversees multiple schools, some as many as 16! Because of this, internal and external communication is key. Managers must effectively and consistently communicate with their service partners, as well as the client to ensure the team is exceeding expectations.

“Communication is one of the most, if not the most, important thing about my job,” said Area Manager Rick Johnson. “When you’re working with people, communicating well should be the top priority.”

Recognize the impact
By partnering with Shelby County Schools, Stratos has the ability to impact the lives of children in a positive way. The team provides a healthy learning environment for the leaders of tomorrow.

“Giving the kids and the customer a great place to learn and work is so rewarding,” said Area Manager Cliffton Dowdy. “At the end of the day, I want everybody to be happy and make sure everything is up to par. I love what I do. It’s all about the kids coming to a clean environment.”

Stay tuned for part four of the Shelby County Schools blog post series where we tackle scope of work.

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