I’d say the most difficult thing for me to hear from a client is that they think there is too much turnover on their route. Maybe it’s because even though dog walking is not a profession for most walkers, the majority of our walkers do stay with us a long time (over 65% have been here over a year – 5 walkers have been here over 2 years and 3 walkers have been here over three years). I guess that doesn’t really help a client whose had bad luck on their route – their walker gets the internship for a career he wants to pursue and leaves us short notice – the following walker hurts his back and the next thing you know you’ve had 4 walkers in five months. Sometimes we might need to shift the routes so the walkers have enough income and other times we need to let walkers go for poor performance too. I’ve come to realize there will be some rough streaks but what we do promise is:
1. Your walkers will be exhaustingly weeded out through a detailed application process. We try and hire well educated walkers with good social skills and a career they are pursuing.
2. Your walkers will go through 2 weeks of training and then will continue to be monitored periodically while they are here, as all walkers are!
3. With the walkers becoming employees there will be that much more supervision and organization.
4. Your walkers receive workers comp, disability, insurance, bonding, paid days off, pay increases over time and all of these are meant to attract a long term person.
5. Your walkers will use the safest walking and training methods possible.
6. We will continue to offer strong back-up coverage and have a walker prepared for those times a walker leaves early.
I guess the trade off is you most likely will not have the same walker for years on end but if I felt that would effect the service you receive or the happiness of the dogs I’d be looking for a new profession. Almost all client feedback I’ve received on walkers has been amazing and I think the majority of you would agree that we hire overly qualified persons to work here. Unfortunately when you have talented walkers they are going to leave you and sometimes at short notice. I would ask that you please put your faith in our judgment of who we hire and understand that there will sometimes be rough patches but you will always have excellent walkers.