When it comes to hiring a cleaning service or janitorial company, there is a pretty big range in what is out there. There are the little guys, the big guys and everyone in between. There are high priced cleaning companies, low-balling start-ups and a variety of choices between the two extremes. Facility managers have many factors to consider when evaluating prospective cleaning companies. And yet all too often, they are not aware of one of the most critical components of safeguarding the health of employees and customers, cleaning for health.
Does Your Janitorial Services Company Really Get It?
Cleaning for health isn’t just some industry buzzword; it’s a real directive with real outcomes for both janitorial companies and the facilities they maintain. Cleaning for health focuses on best practices that effectively clean in a way that minimizes the spread of disease causing germs and utilizes products and practices to safeguard the health of everyone involved: janitorial employees, you and your staff and your customers. What kind of practices fall under cleaning for health?
- Color-coding cleaning rags to avoid cross contamination. Color-coding can help make sure a towel used to clean a toilet isn’t used again to wipe down a door handle.
- Proper labeling of cleaning products with specific use instructions to insure cleaning staff knows precisely how each product is used.
- Training of cleaning personnel on using contact times and dwell times to insure disinfectant efficacy.
- Utilizing well understood best practices like “touch point” cleaning for maximum impact where it is needed most.
- Regular equipment maintenance to insure optimal operation and effectiveness.
Seeing Is Not Always Believing
Cleaning for health is one of those nearly invisible components of a successful janitorial service provider. Unless you see a cleaning company employee use the rag just used on a toilet to wipe down your phone, how do you know? As a facilities manager, do you want to or even have the time to educate yourself on every cleaning products dwell time or usage instructions? Didn’t you hire a professional janitorial service in part so you didn’t have to manage the day-to-day cleaning?
Finding a Janitorial Company That Makes Cleaning For Health a Priority
So if you cannot see if your janitorial company is cleaning for health, how do you determine if they are? And what if you are looking for a new janitorial service provider, what can you do to insure you hire a cleaning company that will make cleaning for health a priority? You have a couple of options. First, any reputable janitorial company not only understands the concept of cleaning for health and its importance, the actually have a plan. Cleaning for health will come up in their sales information, it will be part of their employee training and even their management and responsiveness measures. If your cleaning company can’t tell you precisely what they are doing to insure cleaning for health, they just aren’t doing it. SO ask to see their plan and if they don’t have one, keep looking. The right cleaning service can tell you about their plan, their training and how they make cleaning for health a priority.
A Shortcut to the Shortlist of Great Cleaning Companies
One way you as a Facility Manager can save time and cut through the clutter of too many cleaning services just making a lot of promises is to use professional certification to create a short list of prospective cleaning companies. Professional organizations like the ISSA offer voluntary certifications like the CIMS or cleaning industry management standard. Far from being an honorary award or title, these certifications are tough to get and tough to keep. Any cleaning company or janitorial service that has a current certification standing of ISSA CIMS has worked hard to implement and adhere to the very highest standards within the industry. These companies are vetted in a number of areas to insure they follow best practices both in their operations and services. While no cleaning company is perfect, the companies that strive for certification are serious about what they do and intent on delivering the best to their customers.
Better Cleaning Doesn’t Have to Mean More Expensive
You might be thinking, “fancy professional certifications, well that’s sure going to cost me,” but the reality is, better doesn’t always cost more. In fact, many of the best janitorial service providers are so efficient in the way they do business, they will cost less than far inferior cleaning services. A janitorial company that hires and manages great people usually has a significantly lower turnover, meaning lower onboarding costs of new employees passed on to you and more consistent service. Established, professional cleaning companies have relationship with vendors and buy cleaning supplies and paper products in bulk often passing on the savings to their customers. Likewise, the best run cleaning companies will know how to adjust services to fit your budget while insuring cleaning for health is still a priority.
Cleaning For Health Matters
Cleaning for health can make the difference when it comes to employee satisfaction, employee absenteeism and even happy tenants and a fully occupied building—all measures of success in business and facilities management. Cleaning for health, meaning a clean that really minimizes the spread of disease causing germs, doesn’t have to cost you any more than subpar cleaning that puts your health at risk. As a facility manager, you just have to ask the questions and use the resources available to you, like industry certification, to find your way to the janitorial service providers who are as serious about their business as you are about yours.