Ultimately It Comes Down to People What is the most important component of ANY successful office cleaning program? Hands down the answer is the employees. Chemicals, equipment, or the latest and greatest high tech cleaning systems all have one thing in common, it is PEOPLE. None of those things are a magic bullet for thorough office cleaning unless the person behind it is doing good work. So if employees are so integral to good or above average office cleaning, why do Facilities Managers hear so much about everything else? If your office cleaning company or perspective office cleaning company tells you more about their products and equipment than their people, consider it a huge red flag. Sure, it’s possible you are dealing with the gadget guy in the company, the one that gets excited over every new gadget and tool but it may also be a sign that the Office Cleaning Company just doesn't get it. After all, it is kind of fun getting the newest, latest, and greatest cleaning equipment. And certainly for those of us in the office cleaning business, the idea that something might help us do our jobs better is a thrill, but implementing it successfully beyond writing a check to buy it is what separates the good Office Cleaning Companies from the not-so-good or even downright subpar companies.
How Hard Can It Really Be to Find Low Skilled Employees?
Many people wrongly assume that because cleaning work is considered low-skilled that it is easy to find good people and train them. That is just not true. The reality is, the longer any of us do something, the better we become at it. And finding very good cleaning people means looking for people with a very special skill set. An ideal cleaning team member is:
- Detail and task oriented
- Capable of accepting direction
I know a great many highly educated and skilled people who would make terrible cleaners. So a good cleaning company does everything to find people with the most possible traits that will lead to success. Sometimes it’s great referrals from other employees, sometimes it’s pre-employment screening and sometimes it is just trial and error. But a good office cleaning company management team, once they have found these quality employees, works very hard to keep them.
Turnover is a Killer When It Comes to Good Office Cleaning
As a Facilities Manager, it can be stressful and labor intensive to have a sea of new faces in your building time and time again. You finally get comfortable with the cleaning crew, work out any kinks and they are going along doing a good job and then suddenly gone. You can only hope that this new face has been screened and trained to all the specifics and the nuances of your building. Not only does high turnover affect the smooth running of your facilities and your own workload, it can present a security risk. Sure even good companies have turnover, in fact, it can be pretty high on average in this industry but a revolving door of new people in and out is bad news and a sign that something is out of balance.
So What Is the Solution to Finding the Right Office Cleaning Company?
If you are looking for a new office cleaning company or considering a professional office cleaning company, look for signs on how they feel about their people and their training programs. Ask questions like the following:
- How do they find, hire and screen to find good people?
- Once they have a solid worker, how do they train them to be an A+ cleaner?
- Does the cleaning company offer a comprehensive training program in each and every area they specialize in?
- How does your office cleaning company handle service requests and complaints?
- How are good people recognized?
- What kind of benefits and incentives are offered for team members who do very good work?
- Is there a company culture or philosophy, what is it?
- How are non-performing employees managed?
The chance are that if a office cleaning company can answer THESE questions, it’s likely that they already have great products and state-of-the-art equipment because a company that understands it ultimately comes own to people just gets it.