You’ve decided to make a change, but what are the first steps in preparing for commercial cleaning proposals? Take some time to think through your needs and get organized. Take a look at the checklist and make sure you’re ready to interview.Read More
Why should this be important to you?
Picture this, you’ve just given your keys and alarm codes to your new commercial cleaning company. Bear in mind, most of your office staff that you’ve personally vetted don’t have this level of unsupervised access. Wait….who’s that? You don’t recognize that fellow but he seems to be pushing a mop bucket into your server room!
Staff turnover in the commercial janitorial industry is generally high (North America industry average is over 150%). While there may be perfectly good reasons for some turnover, how does your janitorial provider manage their HR when they are under pressure to place staff in remote locations in oftentimes short notice? A warm body may be perfectly able to empty your garbage and clean your restrooms, but someone who’s been properly screened for past indiscretions is a more pressing concern to you if it seems like people are turning over quickly.
For peace of mind, it's important to know how they screen and place their staff. You may want to occasionally ask for a criminal record check confirmation to ensure they’re actually being done. Your new company should give you a heads up if Rosie is going on vacation and why Patrick is a perfectly good replacement for a couple of weeks. You will be more welcoming to him when you see him since you will know he’s the very carefully vetted and trained fail-safe in case Rosie gets the flu.
Some companies go the extra mile. A commercial cleaning hiring funnel should look something like this: Resume, phone interview, online personality assessment, face to face interview, reference check and finally background record checks. This is time consuming and costly especially when you are trying to fill a position quickly. Good companies always keep a constant drip of applicants so you can at least mitigate some of the time the process takes and deepens the applicant pool.
But here’s the win and the ROI for the cleaning company and you as their client. A hiring process as described above should not only reduce staff turnover but should also give better insight into whether someone has a predisposition to this type of work. Reducing the turnover in cleaning staff has a direct correlation to reducing turnover in the client base. This creates longer term healthier relationships where everyone from you the client, to the cleaner, to the cleaning company wins.
Interested in discussing a different cleaning option?
Loyalty is a virtue. So is patience, but how do you know when it’s time to move beyond your current cleaning provider?
Here are four clear signals that your service has reached its best before date:
1. When you don’t get responses to queries or concerns you’ve communicated to your contact. You’re in the dark. Do they plan on responding? Are they doing something in the background you’re unaware of? Have they communicated with the staff cleaning your office? Do they even care that you have an issue?
2. When you have a poor cleaner placement and your provider is reluctant to replace them. Not every location is ideal for every cleaner. It’s not going to get better by ignoring that but it will however, get worse. A poor placement shouldn’t necessarily reflect poorly on the company, not resolving the issue should.
3. When the revolving door of cleaners requires a scorecard. Your provider should keep you in the loop regarding staff changes, especially when they may have keys and alarm codes to your business. If it’s the result of turnover you should question their vetting process and be concerned about security and confidentiality.
4. When your only interaction with management from your cleaning provider is their monthly invoice. Let’s face it, you hired your current cleaning provider so you could focus on your own clients and not have to constantly have cleaning related conversations. Having said that, it would be nice to know your provider is aware of and cares about the cleanliness of your business. Is your current cleaning provider completing a regularly scheduled inspection of any kind in your space so they may correct cleaning related issues instead of waiting for your complaints?
All of these can be frustrating. There may be circumstances that have arisen that have temporarily created these situations. The easiest way to have it not become an issue is through good communication between all parties. Maybe the poor cleaner placement is a result of expectations not funnelling smoothly from you, to the service company, to their staff.
If you do decide to change who takes care of your cleaning, ask some questions you wouldn’t normally think of when interviewing the companies offering proposals: How do they vet the staff they would put in your office? What’s their training process? How do they manage and communicate with their remote operating employees?
What questions are they asking you? Are they drilling down on the real challenges you have, or are they just measuring your square footage? These are the differences that will ultimately determine if your relationship with the next company is successful or just another placeholder until the next issue arises...