A carefully planned Day Porter Program can deliver great value to many different types of facilities. Whenever a client asks us what exactly does a Day Porter do, we always answer with the question, "What would you like them to do?"
Day porters are there to make your life easier by keeping up with cleaning tasks and filling gaps in service or helping out where needed. Some of our most successful Day Porters earn the trust of our clients by going well beyond the normal touching up restrooms and cleaning the front door glass.
With this level of customized service, the people inside your facility can feel very cared for when they see and interact with the person delivering the services you as a Facility Manager provide for them. Likewise, there are always to do list items added and unplanned needs and that extra set of eyes and hands during the day can go a long ways in helping you manage such day-to-day interruptions. While a Day Porter program can be just what you facility needs, there are a couple of issues that might arise in your own Day Porter Program that I want to offer you solutions to from my own experience.
#1 DAY PORTER FEELING CONFLICTED:
PROBLEM: While most customers want a Day Porter at their disposal to address their immediate day-to-day demands, the Day Porter will likely have a number of regularly scheduled responsibilities in line with commercial cleaning services that they are being pulled from. This may cause some conflict in your Day Porter’s schedule because they can't attend to their normal duties when getting constantly pulled away to do other things.
SOLUTION: The solution is to give them a schedule and list of “must get done” duties with a reasonable amount of time to complete them. Then you and your staff should commit to not interrupting them during those times. It could be an hour in the morning, an hour in the afternoon, or half the day. Just be willing to protect that time so your Day Porter can complete their regularly scheduled tasks and keep your facility running smoothly.
#2 DAY PORTER VERSUS NIGHT CREW
PROBLEM: The Day Porter versus the Night Crew scenario is one that can easily creep into your facility management. You like your Day Porter and trust them very much because you see them everyday. On the other hand, you don’t see the night cleaning crew very often and even though they do a good job you really have never had the opportunity to bond with them in the same way you have with your Day Porter. This makes it real easy for your Day Porter to start reporting nighttime cleaning problems that you may have to address with the cleaning company. Your Day Porter says it was the nighttime cleaning crew’s responsibility and you don’t really know whose responsibility it is, you just want it done. While it is human nature to deflect responsibility away from one’s self, this situation can very easily turn into "The Day Porter versus The Night Crew" situation. The result of this kind of tug of war means you the client often end up in the middle and needed work may get overlooked.
SOLUTION: Make sure that your cleaning contractor has the Day Porter and Night Crew responsibilities clearly outlined. This way it can’t always be assumed that it is the Night Crew’s responsibility. Additionally, don’t turn the Day Porter’s job into being the cleaning police. You will get a lot more value from your cleaning service if the Day Porter and Night Crew work together instead of against each other. It is reasonable to miss one trashcan each week if the cleaning crew is emptying 450 each night. So why can’t the Day Porter take care of that one trashcan and move on instead of creating drama that can waste much time and resources and leave somebody upset. As a Facility Manager, you can nip some of these issues in the bud by encouraging your Day Porter to take ownership of small issues when they arise rather than just reporting them.
The common thread in making any Day Porter Program successful is communication. Just make sure that you communicate, communicate, and communicate on everything from daily responsibility, to what is working well, and what needs to be improved. Likewise, make sure that you keep your Contract Cleaning Company and MIchigan commercial cleaning company in the loop to help manage your Day Porter and resolve any issues between the day and evening teams. After all, that is why you hired them and they should be more than eager to help in making sure you get the best value possible from your Day Porter Program.
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