Never Judge A Book By Its Cover?
While we have all heard the old adage ‘never judge a book by its cover,’ we as humans are hardwired for precisely these kinds of nearly instantaneous judgments. And science tells is that once these ‘first impressions’ are made, they are very difficult to counter, even in the light of new information. And not only do these initial judgments occupy a semi permanent place in our minds, they affect our feelings, how we process new information and our actions. These ideas about perception matter when it comes to the care and cleaning of our facilities.
For example, say that someone gives you two collector baseball cards. The cards are exactly the same except one is sitting at the bottom of a dirty, bent shoebox and the other is carefully mounted in a Lucite holder nestled in a shiny black box lined with red velvet. Which baseball card is going to be seen as more valuable? Of course, the baseball card with the nicer packaging. Just the packaging is enough to alter one’s value of the card itself, even though the cards are exactly the same. So your business is like the gift, but your facility is the packaging. The overall cleanliness and condition of your facility has a strong impact on how your business is perceived from customers to colleagues to employees.
Poor Commercial Cleaning = Poor Perception of Your Business
Customers can view a poorly maintained building as an indication of your ability to deliver quality and the standards to which you work. Employees likewise often view the condition of the facility as an indicator of the level of performance and standard of quality you expect from them. Of course it seems like when it comes to commercial cleaning, when people do notice something it is far more likely to be something that needs attention or didn’t get done rather than something positive. This is likely to translate into complaints piling up on your desk or unnecessary vacancies. But what does this mean with regard to our janitorial services?
Visual Cues In Your Janitorial Services
Of course, our commercial cleaning companies must still clean for health eradicating those invisible germs that spread disease and increase workplace absenteeism. But these very necessary tasks don’t really get noticed for the very fact that they are invisible. Still, it means your janitorial services company and building services contractor must be aware of the way visual cues impact the perception of the quality of their services and your facility. Of course the starting point to this is does a room look clean? Visual signs of poor maintenance in a bathroom for instance will include an overflowing trash can, dwindling or empty hand washing supplies like soap and hand towels and wetness collecting around sinks. Conversely, well stocked hand washing supplies and oft emptied trash cans heighten a sense that an area is being properly maintained. Also, a restroom checklist indicating the last time the office restroom was cleaned can send occupants a visual cue about ongoing cleaning. Likewise, evidence tells us that good smells correlate to the perception that a space is clean. While we don’t want our cleaning services to mask a dirty bathroom with clean smells, they can add clean smells to a well maintained restroom to heighten the perception of solid maintenance. Similarly, we know that spaces that appear poorly maintained will get even dirtier quicker. Like in a dirty restroom, users are far more likely to litter and far less likely to wash their hands leading the restroom to get dirtier faster.
Should Our Office Cleaners Be Invisible?
And so often our janitorial services are hidden from view. Our office cleaners and maintenance staff are in the background often cleaning at night like invisible fairy godmothers that replace our soiled Wednesdays with fresh new Thursdays like magic. Depending upon the cleaning needs of your building or facility, a day porter service, a specialized day cleaning team, might provide both the round the clock service your busy facility requires as well as a highly visible indication of your commitment to a clean and well maintained facility. When they see office cleaners, day porters and cleaning teams move throughout your building attending to things, customers, visitors and employees get the message that office cleaning and maintenance is a priority.
Managing the Reality AND Perception of Clean With the Right Commercial Cleaning Company
When it comes to facility cleaning, office cleaning, medical cleaning, industrial cleaning, school cleaning and more, perception is reality. So your office cleaners and commercial cleaning companies must understand not only how to clean your facility well, but how to heighten building occupants perception that a facility is being well cared for. Because perception becomes reality with regard to your cleaning and maintenance, you need a janitorial company that understands the implications of the work they do and how to both clean your facility AND use visual cues to indicate your building is well maintained. If your janitorial company isn’t delivering on their promises to you or you feel your facility maintenance is less than optimal, it may be time to reexamine your choices. While it isn’t always EASY to do the work of finding the right commercial cleaning services to partner with, it’s ALWAYS worth it. Finding an effective building services contractor that offers an understanding and willingness to meet your facility needs with solid work, great teams and real value not only keeps your people safe and your building properly maintained, done right it can make your life and workload more manageable.