Maintaining a clean and sanitary office environment is essential to the success of your business. Most companies will hire a professional cleaning service to take care of this rather than hiring a full-time janitor. A cleaning service will usually come in after hours, cleaning all areas of your office. You’ll probably find several office cleaning companies in your city, so you’ll have to choose the one that’s right for you. Though you may be looking to save money, the company with the lowest cost isn’t always the best deal.
Selecting a commercial cleaner is a big commitment. It can be daunting. On the surface, many providers look equal. But they aren’t. This is why hiring the wrong one can turn into a nightmare.
If you’re a business owner or property manager, how do you avoid this nightmare? There are many reasons thoroughly vetting your Detroit janitorial services company is worth the time and effort.
SECURITY: The cleaning staff is in your space every day, with access to every office, conference room and potentially sensitive areas.
EMPLOYEE HEALTH: The quality of cleaning directly affects the health and wellness of your employees and visitors.
COST: The janitorial contract is one of the more expensive line items in your financials. Make sure you are getting value for your money.
It’s hard to know what to look for in a janitorial company if you don’t know the industry.
There are the obvious questions: “How long have you been in business?”, “Who are your clients?”, “Are you insured?”. And you should ask these. However, you need to go beyond this. You need to understand whether a company has the processes and procedures in place to truly deliver the first-class service you expect.
- QUALITY CONTROL
IS THE CLEANER’S WORK BEING INDEPENDENTLY INSPECTED BY OTHERS?
Often, the very people who are cleaning your space are the ones inspecting their own work. This translates into no true inspections being conducted, at best, and in some industries, this is considered a conflict of interest.
This is why you need to ask if and when inspections are being conducted, and if so, by whom. Ask for documentation of their quality process.
Quality Control Program Inspection
Your commercial cleaning services company should have a separate team of people routinely inspecting their work. Ideally, this would be a dedicated Quality Control department that has automated processes and procedures in place to track and report their findings. The process should ensure the results are reviewed with staff and additional training happens to improve performance.
PROimage Facility Services uses the Sweptworks software to independently inspect what our cleaning specialist our doing.
- PROCESS AUTOMATION
HOW IS THE COMPANY BECOMING MORE EFFICIENT THROUGH PROCESS AUTOMATION?
The reality is the janitorial industry is not known for being cutting-edge.
Many companies still use antiquated paper processes for just about everything. Not only is this time consuming, but it’s highly error-prone and inefficient. In the end, it is costlier than the expense of moving toward automation.
Some examples of areas that should be automated are:
TIME AND ATTENDANCE TRACKING
Janitorial companies have a large number of hourly staff. Time tracking and payroll processing by paper is extremely inefficient.
Tools such as Swept, and others, allow staff to clock in and out through an automated system, reducing paper errors and significantly reducing the hours required for this enormous HR task.
In commercial buildings, janitors are cleaning multiple floors, restrooms, offices and common areas. Monitoring quality by “eyeballing it” or even on paper is highly ineffective.
Companies that do not have an online inspection tracking tool may not be very serious about their internal Quality Control.
Robust tracking systems, such as market leader Swept, are specifically designed for conducting janitorial inspections. These tools allow for consistency across inspections, photo upload for subsequent review, and robust reporting capabilities. This allows you to slice and dice the data to track trends and make intelligent decisions based on real information.
Asset tracking in the cleaning industry can be very difficult without the proper tools in place. Poor asset management can lead to inefficient work performance. It also leads to many additional expenses for unnecessary repairs and replacements.
Cleaning companies own a plethora of cleaning equipment, anything from vacuums to snowplows. Asset tracking should be automated, easily tracked and reported. A good asset management system is critical to ensuring the equipment is operating at optimal performance.
- HIRING AND RETENTION
HOW ARE THE COMPANY’S EMPLOYEES SCREENED?
Your cleaners are essentially an extension of your staff. Like your staff, they have full access to your space and are in it every single day.
In your own company, you thoroughly vet candidates before offering them a job. The same should be true for your cleaning company.
You should expect that your cleaning staff has undergone:
- Nationwide Background checks
- Reference checks
HOW DOES THE COMPANY ENGAGE ITS EMPLOYEES TO REDUCE TURNOVER?
Let’s face it. The job of a cleaner isn’t glamorous. Retaining employees can be a challenge. This is why the janitorial industry is known for its high turnover rate.
Your cleaning company should have practices in place that aid employee retention, such as:
Creating upward mobility opportunities within the organization
Offering training programs that empower the staff to learn and grow. Offering benefits and awards.
- Attendance Bonus
- Retention Bonus
- Flexible Hours
- 90 Day Pay increase
- Guaranteed Hours
- Customer Satisfaction Bonus
- Employee Referral program
- CLIENT ENGAGEMENT AND TRANSPARENCY
HOW DOES THE CLEANING COMPANY ROUTINELY ENGAGE ITS CLIENTS, IF AT ALL?
Lack of client engagement results in a disconnect between you and your cleaning company. Messages don’t get relayed and managers become out of touch, causing you to spend way too much time dealing with cleaning issues yourself.
You should expect your cleaning company to have a well laid out communications program, as well as a regular management level presence in your building or space. If they cannot guarantee this, it is likely because their managers are in charge of dozens of buildings. This means they may not have the bandwidth to visit yours regularly.
WHAT INFORMATION DOES THE COMPANY REGULARLY PROVIDE TO CLIENTS?
A good cleaning company should be able to provide quarterly or semi-annual reporting. Some important reporting topics are:
- Cleaning recommendations
- Inspection results
- Customer satisfaction and feedback
- Sustainability reports
- This feedback will help drive planning and strategy and improve efficiencies.
Contact us today to learn more about what to look for when evaluating your cleaning contract.