Part of your company investment goes towards the cleaning of your work premises or even home is an investment, whether you employ your cleaners directly inhouse or you contract the service out to cleaning service providers such as Green Heart Clean and many other. There have been talks of the UK economy reaching lower productivity levels than that of France and German to the extent that a 5 days task in the UK can be done in 4 days in Germany. This is major, but we also know that German workers get more holidays and generally have higher pay.
For us in the UK, and as for you the reader, the question is how can we monitor the level of productivity of your staff? Perhaps your staff are easier to manage, what about your contractors? What about your cleaning team knowing that your cleaners’ role is important in making your staff work in a comfortable and hygienic environment? The good thing is that the principles of improving productivity in one department are generally the same across the board.
How can your hard-earned money be best utilised by your cleaning company? First, this is a question we have has to ask ourselves but for us, the question comes across as “why should your clients keep you as their cleaning providers? How are we making sure they get the best value for money?) We have a lot of improvement rolling out to all staff and client as a result and we are starting to see some interesting responses.
So here is a mental description of an office. You enter the building into the reception through a large very expensive and beautiful double glass door, letting the sunlight into the reception while reducing the harshness of it with a slight tint. To the left of the rectangular reception desk is the main kitchen which leads to toilet areas (ladies and gents) each toilet has 3 cubicles and walls are tiles. On the other side of the reception desk is the large open plan office with 40 desks, this office links to the first floor where the director’s office and the Finance manager’s office. Also upstairs are 1 meeting room, a printing room and a single unisex toilet. Your cleaner arrives on your premise at 12.30 pm to clean for a 4-hour shift, it is midday, but this is the only time they are allowed to clean. So here are 3 points on how to make the most of your cleaners.
1. Washing up: This is a cleaner’s job, no doubt about it. However, giving the fact that a full sink of cups and plates being washed by hand will take about 10 to 15 minutes to clean and tidy up. This 15 minutes can be out to better use in the main office of 40 staff. You could have to get your staff to clean up after themselves or buy a dishwasher. The 15 minutes save here can be used for the single toilet upstairs. It is also important that cups are not left on the tables as it will slow the cleaners rate of cleaning if they must make additional trips to the kitchen.
2. Giving the cleaner some space: When the cleaner gets to 1 of the 40 desks, the cleaner needs to clean the table; back of the monitor, the keyboard and the telephone as well as the mouse, then the chairs and drawers need to be cleaned. The trouble is that the cleaner cannot fully clean the desk if the user stays in their chair waiting for the cleaner to finish. Many cleaners prefer to have full access as it can feel as if you are disturbing the desk user but the cleaner is only doing their job, which should only take about 4/5 minutes to clean a desk properly. This is the reason why most companies decided to allow their cleaners to come in outside of their opening hours. To ensure the cleaner does their best every time, they need the space to cover all surface including the chairs and at table legs.
3. Cleaner Certification: A professional cleaner should have developed a good observational skill. By being observant, the cleaner can exercise initiative appropriately at work. We mention to our cleaning operatives that €œyou only clean what you see, however, while observation is important we discovered that our cleaning operatives need to go through some professional course to improve their cleaning skill to reflect the current cleaning industry best practice. Have you asked what sort of certification your cleaners have?
4. Cleaner’s motivation: Cleaning is not the easiest job as it can be energy consuming and sometimes easy to become uninspired when you see yourself cleaning other people’s waste. At Green Heart Clean, we realised that simple things like improving employee engagement can help to create a better employee-employer relationship, we do this via social media, WhatsApp and text messaging. By increasing the channels of communications between cleaners and their managers, they become more open to express their feeling s on any issues they are facing at work and we can address these issues quickly before they become a problem. Have you checked whether your cleaners are motivated in their job? It is not just up to the cleaners to be happy with their job but their employer has some responsibility in this.
5. Regular feedback: there are many other areas that your business can ensure that the best value is received from your cleaner, but this is ultimately the responsibility of the office or premises manager. By letting the cleaners know of areas you find are not being done properly you might be helping the cleaners to realise a genuine omission and they can easily fix it. This way you will not need to allow the matter to go too far and end up in a contract cleaner change. Communication is usually the most effective mode of resolving most issues and your contractor’s relationship will be the same.
Efficiency is the measure of the productivity of the work being done. By allowing your cleaners to do more of those things that your staff cannot do within the allocated time you have paid for, their productivity level should be high and in return, you should have a compliant and highly satisfying cleaning service.
At Green Heart Clean we have devised a few methods to perform frequent competency check on our cleaners, we also have a schedule of cleaning that is designed for your premises only this is generally good to inform the cleaners of what is expected of them. Every office is different, so your needs might have to be tailor-made but your cleaning company can and should be interested in delivering the highest possible standard of cleaning.
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