Cleanliness. That’s the answer everyone is looking for.
However, knowing the answer isn’t enough. In 10th grade, my Algebra teacher would mark my paper with a giant red “x” if I didn’t show my work.
Whether you realize it or not, you want the same thing Mrs. Hensley wanted out of me. You want to see the process. You want to be able to put some foundational concepts into practice so that you can get the results you want time and time again.
Instead of using trial and error, I wanted to share 3 simple principles you can apply to your cleaning routine today that will make a drastic difference in your facility.
If you get nothing else out of this post, at least grasp this concept: lack of communication will KILL your cleaning regimen. Whether you outsource your janitorial needs or manage an in-house team, you must be able to effectively communicate with the cleaning staff.
A facility has changing needs daily just like at your house. One day you might need to do the dishes and vacuum, while the next you’re scrubbing the toilet. Cleaning shifts based on usages and communicating the ebb and flow of events and traffic within your building is vital.
Also, don’t hesitate to address your needs either. Communicate the current pitfalls you’re experiencing (and triumphs, if warranted). By withholding missed items and areas, you never give yourself the space to enjoy the full benefits of what you could receive.
Cleaning can become a very routine and monotonous thing and cleaning crews can overlook items that seem obvious to you. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you’re dissatisfied. Your crew wants you to be happy. Chances are they aren’t slacking off, rather stuck in the routine. Keep the channels of healthy communication open. This will course correct issues as they arise. And cleaning crews enjoy the diversity that comes with that.
All too often cleaning crews spend valuable time cleaning areas that aren’t important to you, or better yet, could be fixed in other ways. For example: what if Joe Blow in the corner office is a slob, how much time is being taken away from your guests’ restrooms? Your crew isn’t there to complain but rather to clean and that’s what they will do…day in and day out. But maybe a conversation with good ol’ Joe is what needs to happen.
Using inspections or joint walkthroughs to uncover pain points not only sets your expectations but allows you to see the items unseen that are being completed on a daily basis.
Making the rounds with your cleaning crews allows a melding of minds. Conducting these sort of regular checks allows everyone to work in tandem. Just as with open lines of communication, this process gives you the opportunity to point out issues but also gives your crew the space to inform you of things you may not know are happening.
This might be a big pill to swallow but just as your cleaning crew isn’t perfect, neither are you. Remember the example from Joe Blow earlier? Realizing that there are areas within your facility that can operate better instead of delegating responsibility to the cleaning crew is going to go a long way. Accepting responsibility for these points is going to foster a stronger sense of respect between you and your cleaning team. People that feel heard and respected work harder and produce better results.
That isn’t to say your cleaning crew is off the hook either. If you keep hearing excuse after excuse, there’s an issue. The team that you have in place needs to have a sense of ownership and pride and any items you present to them should always be handled professionally and as a priority. Equal parts of accountability from both sides will make your working relationship a breeze. But excuses don’t work. Mutual respect is where you will make your greatest strides.
You might argue that a know-how of cleaning or that purchasing the best products is a quicker way to a clean facility. And I agree those are important. However, what I’ve outlined above are really the first items that a Facilities Manager needs to do to help their cleaning team step up their game. Being open to ongoing conversations, willing to meet and take a microscope to the work being performed, and a willingness to be accountable for whatever transpires in the working relationship sets the tone for the real answer: clean.
Once your foot is in the door with those three things, you can easily direct a team to complete whatever needs to be done. Because now, nothing is being hidden. There are no skeletons in the closet and everyone has the tools necessary to work out the problem at hand.
You see, it isn’t enough to just know the answer. Sometimes you only hit the mark if you have some foundational practices in place that allow you to get the correct result time and time again.\
I can see now why my 10th-grade math teacher wanted me to show my work: the results are better and more consistent. And, really, that’s the same thing we want you to experience with your facility. Better, more consistent results.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how we clean and how we can best serve you, please contact us for your free consultation!