Ineffective Janitorial Services Can Flood Your Desk With Complaints
http://www.stathakis.com/blog/the-single-smartest-strategy-for-finding-effective-janitorial-servicesAre you grappling with the many problems that arise when you have ineffective janitorial services? From a building that looks sad, grimy and uncared for to an email box full of complaints, it’s a bad situation to find yourself in as a Facility Manager. One of the main reasons you outsource you cleaning services is so that you DON’T have to micromanage them and have FEWER problems. So when your janitorial services company is either incompetent or phoning it in, it’s time to start considering your options. Is it time to give your janitorial company the boot? But choosing a commercial cleaning company isn’t an easy feat. There are so many and all of them claim to be good, how do you really know? An examination of the signs that your current commercial cleaning company is failing to deliver on their promises to you can help us frame what is required when you go searching for your next janitorial services company.
When a Few Off Days Becomes A Few Off Weeks Becomes a Few Off Months…
No one is perfect even as we’d like to see ourselves as such. Even the best janitorial companies will have an off day sometimes. But if the day is turning to days is becoming weeks trailing into months, something has to give. Commercial cleaning companies are made up of people, and people make mistakes and forget things. But doing so with any regularity is a much bigger problem, and a problem you can’t solve. Consistently inconsistent janitorial service is an issue that belongs to your building maintenance company and it’s one they have to fix on their own. Poorly performing teams are often the result of bad people processes and screening, insufficient training, poor management, none of which you can even remotely control. And when the cleaning services have sunk to this level, it’s not likely your Detroit janitorial company can right their ship anytime soon. When a few mistakes have become a pattern of mistakes, it’s time to move on.
Don’t Let THEIR People Problems Plague YOUR Facility
People and people processes are the cornerstones of all service businesses. You can have every part of operations figured out but if there are issues with your frontline people, everything falls apart. If your janitorial company has people problems, you can bet they’ll become YOUR problems in short order. How can they not? What people problems show up the most with contract cleaning services? It might be that your janitorial cleaning services isn’t attracting and screening the right people for the work. Maybe they don’t offer the competitive pay and benefits that a help attract and retain the best people. Perhaps in an effort to cut costs they are engaging in illegal hiring or illegal subcontracting. This is a problem that will quickly become your problem and presents liabilities you want zero part of. People problems may also stem from a lack of adequate training and effective management. This will lead to poor performance and even higher turnover, which then impacts the amount of new faces in and out of your facility. Finally, we all understand that a commercial cleaning company willing to take shortcuts with their people is willing to take them everywhere. Not exactly the recipe for effective janitorial services.
When THEY Skimp on Training YOU Lose On Service
Adequately trained office cleaners and custodians are vital if you are to get consistent, effective, responsive service. Effective cleaning necessitates both general training in cleaning and training specific to YOUR industry and facility. Cleaners need to understand safe chemical storage and usage, cleaning for health, how to operate equipment most effectively and signs that it may need to be serviced or replaced. They need to understand where they can contribute to green cleaning goals. They need to be clear on the consequences of poor job performance and they need to know there are rewards and incentives for great work too. Effective employee training isn’t just vital to the level of services you receive, it impacts how people feel about their work. Well trained cleaners feel better about the work they do, they feel competent and professional. All of the benefits of solid training are passed along to you the customer in the form of satisfied, competent, professional cleaners caring for your facility at the level you need.
Is Your Janitorial Services Creating Unnecessary RISK & LIABILITY
Nothing is more important that protecting the safety of your building’s occupants and shielding yourself from unnecessary risk and liability. If your janitorial services company aren’t doing all the things they need to in order to assure that, it is certainly time to give them the boot. Don’t let your janitorial services company use illegal hiring or subcontracting under your nose. Just because you don’t know about it doesn’t mean you wont feel the weight of its consequences. Similarly, you must confirm that your Detroit janitorial company is screening their employees, every single time. That means criminal background checks, drug screening, employment verification and reference checks, at a minimum.
How Old, Poorly Maintained Equipment Makes a Bad Situation Worse
Commercial cleaning equipment has gotten better, quicker, greener, quieter, lighter, more ergonomic, more efficient and more effective. The right janitorial equipment can significantly cut labor hours which is the single largest component of janitorial pricing and costs. Reduce janitorial hours and you reduce cost, which translates into lower prices for you. Dated and poorly maintained equipment isn’t saving anyone money except perhaps your janitorial company. But even for them, operating with the best and most effective equipment reduces labor hours, unusable equipment, frequent service and more. If your cleaning company is making due with equipment that has seen better days, it’s time to give them the boot.
When Janitorial Prices & Expectations Are Fuzzy
Commercial cleaning prices must be clear for a few important reasons. First, as a Facility Manager, you deserve to know EXACTLY what something is going to cost you. You have budgets to meet and any contracting partner you work with has an obligation to help you do this with good information. Second, transparent pricing gives you the opportunity to compare different janitorial bids and pick the one that offers the most value. Third, clear pricing helps you budget, forecast and otherwise plan out the rest of the pieces of your facility maintenance puzzle. Finally, clear pricing outlines clear duties and expectations and helps assure you and you janitorial services company are on the same page and understand what constitutes success.
When Inconsistency Reigns
As we’ve previously noted, mistakes happen, things get missed, service dips as a new hire acclimates to the requirements of your facility. But these issues should be few and far between. If inconsistency reigns in your facility maintenance, it is time to give your current janitorial service the boot. Maybe they get it right some of the time, but as the saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day. If you are getting consistently inconsistent service, the truth is, you are not getting what you paid for, period.
When Your Janitorial Services Company Leaves You Hanging
As we said, mistakes can happen, issues can arise. Sure if it’s with any regularity, something is amiss, but as important as not making regular mistakes is, is how your commercial cleaning responds when things do go off the track. If your Detroit janitorial service doesn’t respond immediately to issues, there is a problem. If they tell you 'we’ll take care of it' but they never do, you have a problem. If they do not have a formal system to handle complaints and issues, you have a problem. Sure, it is on you to relay issues to your janitorial services company, but once you make them aware, steps to remedy it should begin immediately. And then THEY should check in with you to be certain the issue is rectified to your satisfaction. If you are not getting that kind of responsiveness from your current commercial cleaning company, it is time to give them the boot.
When Apathy Has Become the Norm
Apathy starts with missing little thingshere and there grows into an attitude that missing little things is acceptable. And the worst part about apathy is it is highly contagious. An apathetic cleaning team will impact your services sure, but it will also infect your business, your employees, tenants and customers. Seeing a facility where the cleaners don't care translates to the perception that you the Facility Manager don’t care. When apathy starts to seep into your facility, it is time to give your Detroit commercial cleaners the boot before you have an epidemic on your hands.
When Communication With Your Cleaning Company Has Broken Down
When you call, does it take days to get a call back? Do you have to call multiple times to get something taken care of? Maybe you don’t even really know whom you are supposed to call. If communication with your cleaning company is broken or absent, it’s probably time to give them the boot. You outsourced your janitorial services to make things easier, not harder. You shouldn’t have to be chasing them down to get the job done right.
When You Get the Sense You Might Not Be Working With a True Professional?
Professionalism is paramount in every industry and the janitorial, cleaning and building services industry must operate with the systems and processes of a truly professional company. That means great people, training, and management. That means not leaving you and your facility open to safety, security or liability risk. That means operating with consistency, reliability and communicating regularly. That means things like wrapped company vehicles, uniforms and badges and other hallmarks of a professional company. One way to confirm a baseline plus level of professionalism is to use industry certifications like the CIMS, Certified Industry Management System to weed out companies that just are not committed to continual improvement.
When Too Many Mistakes From Your Janitorial Company Makes It Clear It’s Time to Move On
Mistakes happen, missteps will occur, but when bad service is becoming the norm, it is time to give your cleaning company the boot. You, your facility and your building’s occupants deserve better. You deserve to get your value from your commercial cleaning without an inbox full of complaints and the stress of having to manage your cleaning contractor’s people. If your janitorial company is garnering more complaints than compliments, it’s time to give them the boot. There are companies getting it right, day after day and not only do you deserve that level of service, it won’t necessarily cost you more than the lackluster service you are getting now. While finding the right partner isn’t effortless, arming yourself with good information allows you to ask the right questions and get the information you need to make sound choices in your facility.