A great many things go into effective, efficient office cleaning, but none of them more critical than very good people receiving very good training. Of course, other factors impact service and pricing. But without proper training you can be sure that you aren’t going to get the level of services you need in your facility and you certainly are not going to get real value for your maintenance budget. Open communication, preemptive solutions to common problems, and solid management practices are all a direct result of proper training. It isn’t your job to train your cleaning staff, but you better believe that if they haven’t been trained, you’re going to have a constant stream of problems that land squarely on YOUR desk. The primary reason to outsource you commercial cleaning service is to save you time and money, not to create more issues for you to sort through. Fortunately, there are a couple of red-flags you can be on the lookout for to save yourself from companies that don’t know what they are doing or how to train and manage their employees to succeed in your facility.
The State of the Janitorial Closet Mirrors the State of Your Office Cleaner’s Training
If there has ever been a quick visual sign of the quality of a company’s training it is most certainly the janitorial closet. If there are dirty mop heads and buckets lying about, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that is what is being used in your facility. Proper organization and safety practices go a long way in improving efficiency and the quality of your cleaning service. Chemicals should be stored safely and cleaning equipment should be put away in such a way that facilitates ease of access to more commonly used items. The janitorial closet should also feature up-to-date Data Safety Sheets. Failure to keep equipment clean, chemicals properly labeled and the Data Safety Sheets in view and updated is a hazard and an unnecessary liability. Office cleaning companies that focus on effective, comprehensive training instruct their teams on the importance of keeping a neat, clean and organized janitorial closet from the perspective of safety, ease of work and client perception. The janitorial closet can be like the proverbial canary in the coal mine, if the janitorial closet is in disarray, it is a sign that there are far bigger problems that you CAN’T see.
Is the Only Consistency From Your Office Cleaning Service Inconsistency?
Even the most professional office cleaning companies will occasionally drop a ball. But if your office cleaners drop more balls than they catch or drop the same balls over and over again, there are most certainly training and management issues in play. When your office cleaning service misses the same tasks over and over again, it's a safe bet to assume your cleaning company’s training is incomplete. Any commercial office cleaning company worth their salt has a systematic process for ensuring that daily tasks are consistently completed correctly. A digital checklist can work wonders for keeping everything running smoothly. Mistakes are going to happen, but a properly trained cleaning staff and accountability can help reduce the amount of tasks that are missed so that you don’t need to be chasing down daily disappointments in the form of uncompleted work.
Does Your Office Cleaning Company Have New Faces Every Day?
The office cleaning industry has a pretty high turnover rate, still, there are things the most effective office cleaning companies do to help attract, recruit and retain good staff. When companies experience a constant revolving door of staff, no one has the chance to learn the ins-and-outs of YOUR building. On top of that, companies with high turnover often don’t have the time to give new employees proper training and throw them into your facility trying to fill holes in service. Not only does this affect the quality of the service, it perpetuates the cycle of turnover. Employees that haven’t been given proper training tend to feel out of their depth or that their work isn’t important resulting in their leaving. Companies that don’t offer competitive wages, benefits and incentive programs will almost always have this problem. As with any service industry, people are a company's most important asset. If they aren’t treated as such by being provided with the training to succeed, you are likely to see too many new faces in your facility making you feel like your facility is the unwitting training ground for your office cleaning company.
Open Communication is the Key to Any Successful Relationship
Communication issues can plague the office cleaning industry. If your needs are not being communicated down to frontline cleaning staff, was there really a point to telling their management? Being forced to repeat the same requests is frustrating and a waste of your time that creates tension in your relationship with your cleaning company's management staff. This is another issue that can be completely addressed by proper training. Open communication is key to any functional business relationship and as such professional cleaning companies will take it very seriously. Many have success with a communication log book so that you can easily pass information back and forth while keeping a record of it in case it is ever needed. These open book communication practices help foster accountability, reliability and make things run smoother for everyone involved.
Best Practices Are Nowhere to Be Seen
Companies that take training seriously will design their training programs around industry best practices. If your commercial cleaning company isn’t keeping up with industry innovation, you’re not getting the level of service you and your facility deserve. For instance, the commercial cleaning industry can have issues with cross-contamination. It is easy to accidentally use the same rag you used in the kitchen that you used in the bathroom. Color coded microfiber cloths for specific areas were introduced to help combat this issue and have been incredibly effective at reducing the risks associated with cross contamination. By assigning a specific color cloth to specific areas, it is easy to see which rag you need to get to clean the surface in question. If your office cleaning company doesn’t both follow industry best practices and train their teams according to these practices, they put the health of you and your employees at risk and lower the overall quality and value of the service you are receiving.
Show Me Don’t Tell Me
The surefire way to avoid these massive issues is to understand how janitorial training is supposed to be done and to check to see what your prospective cleaning service is actually doing. Certainly, every company is going to tell you that they have a comprehensive and robust training program in an attempt to secure your business, but can they show you? Any professional cleaning company that actually takes their training seriously will be more than happy to show off how they go about preparing their teams to deliver results in your facility. A documented training program and quality assurance systems to keep cleaning technicians up to date on industry best practices goes a long way in demonstrating competency and an ability to correctly service your building.
CIMS Certification: A Powerful Tool In the Search For Your Next Office Cleaning Company
Now, most Facility Managers are busy people and looking under the hood of every prospective commercial cleaning company probably isn’t feasible. Fortunately there is an alternative, the ISSA’s CIMS and CIMS-GB certification program is a powerful tool for identifying which companies have solid training programs and that place an emphasis on industry best practices. CIMS certification is a robust, industry specific certification done through a neutral third-party designed as a tool for companies that go above and beyond industry standard to separate themselves. Just seeking out the ISSA’s certification programs demonstrates a level of commitment to industry best practices. Companies that possess the CIMS certification have demonstrated a consistent level of excellence in every aspect of commercial cleaning, including training and staffing practices.
As you know, any office janitorial company is only as proficient and capable as their frontline staff. The level of consistency and quality you receive is a direct reflection of their training and management. If it seems like your office cleaning company might not be cutting it anymore, contact us here at Stathakis to see how we can help you.