Picture this common scenario: the owner of an ad agency asks employees to perform cleaning tasks during their downtime….only nobody follows through. Dishes soon pile up in the break room. There’s an ant trail on the floor (gasp!) So the owner posts a humorous meme near the sink kindly reminding everyone that their mother doesn’t work here. But alas, the problems endure. The business owner is befuddled as to why all efforts to improve workplace cleanliness are lost on the staff. Sound familiar? Let’s look at reasons why keeping your business clean can be challenging.
At BCS we want to help business owners avoid feeling like they’re stuck in the Greek myth of Sisyphus, pushing a metaphorical ‘boulder of cleanliness’ up a steep hill every day, only to wind up back where they started the next morning.
First Step is to Ask Yourself: Why are We Self-Performing the Cleaning?
For small to medium sized businesses, every expense counts. Especially during challenging times when operating budgets may need to be reduced. One common way business owners tighten the belt is to re-examine various vendor services and decide which ones they can live without. One of the first services under consideration to be cut is often janitorial. And why is this? At first glance one might assume that anyone can effectively wield a broom. After all, it’s not rocket science, right? Maybe Julie or Tom have some time in their day? The business owner pats his/herself on the back for what they think is a savvy budget cut. Eureka! We’ll just clean the office ourselves!
So You’re Self-Performing the Cleaning. Now What?
Cleaning responsibilities have been designated to one or more individuals. The cleaning is figured out. As the business owner you’ve moved onto the next thing. But soon the level of cleanliness goes from inconsistent to downright bad. After a customer complains about the restroom conditions, you hit the panic button. What went wrong? Tom conveniently claims that he’s too busy now… Julie wants a raise for the added cleaning responsibilities…
You Then Compensate Staff for the Added Work. You’re Good Now, Right?
You have designated staff in place. You’ve compensated them with a bump in pay to do the cleaning. As the business owner you now set your sights elsewhere. Only, to your dismay after a few weeks it’s apparent that no vacuuming is being done. You assume Julie must know how to clean. This is fast approaching awkward territory. The problem: Julie doesn’t know how to clean efficiently and she lacks experience with commercial cleaning. The answer: training is clearly needed. But how?
You Research Commercial Cleaning, and Then You Train Your Staff.
You take time out of your busy schedule to watch cleaning videos on YouTube and read a bunch of blogs. Then you work with Julie on cleaning expectations. You even spend a bunch of money on some expensive, but necessary new cleaning equipment. Then you relax, knowing you’ve gone above and beyond to support your employee’s cleaning efforts. Only, nary a month later, the cleaning issues persist. Tom complains that excessive dust in the office is triggering his asthma. A flu bug goes around the office and people are missing work.
Keeping Your Business Clean Still Proves Challenging.
Clearly there are still problems with the cleaning. What now? The answer: a system must be in place to help guide the cleaning efforts. It could be a good idea to draw up a cleaning checklist for the staff to fill out. This holds them accountable. In addition, someone should be periodically inspecting the cleaning for quality control purposes. They should look for inconsistencies and point them out to whomever is performing the cleaning. And they should do this in a respectful manner. But who has time for all of this?
You Have New Tools, Training, Systems….but People will be People.
A month later it’s clear that your customers are hyper-aware of the importance of cleanliness. This is part of the long-lasting cultural impact from Covid-19. They’re nit-picking your lobby conditions.
When you confront Julie she complains that the cleaning is taking much longer than expected. She states that it’s too challenging to clean while her co-workers are actively working. Additionally, she’s too tired at the end of the day to do any cleaning. She’s bitten off more than she can chew by volunteering to clean. And perhaps so have you as the business owner.
What Else Can you Do?
No one volunteers to take over Julie’s cleaning duties. You hear crickets when you ask your team about weekend cleaning. Overtime anyone? Before you know it, Julie is now pregnant and going on maternity leave. You’re fed up and about ready to throw your hands up in the air. You’ve sunk a lot of time and money into this endeavor only to be back at square one.
Consider Professional Cleaning Services
Believe it or not, these scenarios are more common than you’d think. The reality is that managing quality, consistent janitorial is difficult to do. Consider letting the pros manage the cleaning so you can focus on more important things- like your business. Service options can be as few as one cleaning service per week. You may be surprised to find out how many service options there are, to meet nearly any budget.
At Business Cleaning Solutions our cleaning programs are custom created to meet the needs of each individual business. No two businesses are the same, therefore neither are the cleaning challenges. Our cleaning consultants can assess your workplace at no charge and put together a tailor-made cleaning plan just for you. Consider scheduling a free consultation today.