When we talk to Facility Managers about their office cleaning companies, we typically hear a few different things:
“They started pretty good but now it feels like their just phoning it in.”
“Our services are not very good but I can’t afford to pay more.”
“Office cleaning companies are pretty much all the same and not in a good way.”
“Just when we get things worked out with our office cleaning company they send us new people and it’s like we start all over again.”
I get tired of it and complain which eats more time up for me. Then things are better for a short time before the level of service goes right back down.
“I hired an office cleaning service because I was tired of getting so many complaints, now I think I actually get more.”
“One week is can be pretty good and then the next week, I’m like what happened? There is zero consistency.”
“When there is a problem, and that’s pretty often, I don’t even know who I’m supposed to tell about it.”
Hearing some of these common complaints, it’s no wonder considering and shopping a Michigan commercial office cleaning company can make you want to pull the covers over your head and try to think of something else. Add to this the fact that there are easily hundreds of choices when it comes to your office cleaning. There are the big guys, the ‘one man and a van’ operations and everything in between. But which office cleaning company is right for your offices?
When you are a Facilities manager at an office complex, how can you see through the hype to find a professional office cleaning company that won’t phone it in but also won’t charge you a king’s ransom just to keep your office building clean and well maintained? Can you find a commercial maintenance company that understands what services are most important to you and how to delivery consistently good office janitorial without you needing to follow them around at night?
There Are Very Good Office Cleaning Companies
It might feel like commercial office cleaning companies are all the same but they are not. Like any other industry, there are some really good ones and some pretty scary ones. The reality is there are so many cleaning companies that it can feel like they are all the same because the truly good ones can be hard to spot in a sea of choices. What are the good guys of office cleaning services doing differently that sets them apart? The most professional, esteemed office cleaning companies do some things different, like:
1.How They Find Their People
Screening like E-Verify should be used to insure employees have a legal right to work. Likewise, the better office cleaning companies do the following:
- Education Verification
- Employment History Verification
- Professional References Verification
- Criminal History Verification
- Drug Testing
2.How They Train Their People
Training should be initial and on going with a solid focus on safety and cleaning for health. Additionally, there should be a thorough, documented safety program.
3.Accountability Systems to Insure Consistent Quality Service
For any company bigger than a handful of people, you just cannot get by without systems and procedures. These help everyone understand what is expected and ma out a path to success!
4. CIMS Certification
CIMS certification is a voluntary industry certification that industry leaders achieve to demonstrate how hard they have worked to deliver quality and consistency to their customers and lead their industries in quality improvements.
There is no reason there should be any confusion over what you are getting for your office facility maintenance budget. How can you compare quotes and bids with cloudy or shady pricing? And if you don’t know precisely what services you are paying for, how can you assess your office cleaning company’s performance?
There Are Also Office Cleaning Companies Out There Who Are a Hot Mess
Some of these office cleaning companies are pretty shady and not at all committed to good work and happy customers. There business practices reflect this. Others are legitimate in their business practices, but they just don’t have knowledge or systems in place to deliver very good work. Are these shady people trying to pull a fast one? No, more likely they lack experience or are being mismanaged. They probably don’t know how to identify and address the issues that get in the way of giving great, responsive service consistently. What are these office cleaning companies doing wrong?
- There is no formal quality assurance program so managing the office cleaners onsite falls to you the customer robbing you of one of the reasons you outsourced your office cleaning to begin with.
- There is not a documented safety program putting OSHA compliance at risk and increasing your liability.
- They may try to hire good people but lack the effective, systemized background and drug testing, leaving you, your team and facilities vulnerable.
- They don’t have a formal, thorough training program that keeps people safe and cleans for health.
- They may have variable and confusing pricing and a lack of experience that leads them underbid your job. Soon after they are hired, they’ll either do less work or come back to you looking for more money.
- They may use undocumented workers and/or illegal, which put you and your reputation at risk.
What Can You Do to Get the Right Office Cleaning Company and Avoid the Hot Messes?
It can be very challenging to separate the good guys from the not so good guys, but it can be done. The single best thing you can do as a Facility Manager is ask a ton of questions. That means asking the question AND getting visual confirmation on many of the answers. What should you be asking?
First, how many hours they plan to work per week. Multiply those hours time 4.33 weeks in a month and divide that number into their monthly price. That will give you their hourly billable rate. In Michigan the minimum hourly wage is $8.15. So if the number is anywhere close to $10.00 per hour, the chances are they are doing something illegal that is putting your company at risk. Second, you should ask to see their written Safety Plan. If they don’t have one or can’t show it to you, this is a very bad sign. Office cleaning companies who care about their customers, employees and professional reputation make safety a priority. If they truly operate with safety in mind, they will have their safety plan readily available for you to peruse.
Finally, ask a prospective office cleaning company to provide you with written documentation from their background check company for every single employee that will step foot in your building. Yes, this step takes time but too many office cleaning companies take shortcuts here that can spell disaster. Whether it’s insurance, screening, training or other critical service factors, confirm, verify and verify again.
Is There An Easier Way to Find the Right Office Cleaning Company?
Whether you get a recommendation from a colleague or a company’s website looks they are real pros, you should always verify information and dig a little deeper. A few extra hours spent double-checking can save you a great deal of time cleaning up a mess later. One way to save yourself time, money and hassle is to create a shortlist of companies who are already CIMS Certified. This guarantees that you are already working with industry leaders committed to success, best practices and satisfied customers. From there, you can negotiate what you need and look at price points to determine what works best for your offices or facility. The reality is there are very good office cleaning companies who will do very good, consistent responsive work and not just phone it in. Do the upfront work to find the right office cleaning partner and you will set your offices up for years of great maintenance.