5 Reasons Why Cleaners Aren’t Living Up to Your Expectations

Very often we see that commercial cleaners start off a contract enthusiastically but gradually become complacent. This leads to a lackadaisical attitude and sub-standard work. In this blog post, we explore why it is so hard for them to maintain the same standards consistently.

We can’t deny the fact that our exceptions are always high. Here are the reasons why you are having a poor experience with your cleaners:

1. A Lack of Good Systems, Checks and Balances

You will find that very few people stay motivated and work to the best of their ability. You must challenge your cleaners to achieve defined set goals and deliver high standards. Monitoring your staff’s work by conducting audits regularly will keep you on board with their adherences to standards and processes.

Commercial cleaning isn’t rocket science. Without any training or procedures, it can be difficult. You need to make sure that your cleaners are using specialized professional-grade equipment and chemicals. It is important to have a system that offers good employee training and clearly defined schedules of Quality Assurance checks. Moreover, opting for an employee performance management program and a reporting system will make communication easy for everyone. For a great tool to conduct quality assurance checks at your cleaning sites, learn more about our SmartCleaner software.


2. A Faulty Cleaning Plan

Most cleaning companies suffer from a massive gap between their sales staff and cleaners. Sale staff promise the world on a shoestring in order to close a deal. Unfortunately, these unrealistic promises have to be delivered by the cleaners.

The salesperson establishes the specifications for cleaning. This includes the maximum amount of time, which the cleaner will be paid to complete it. So if a salesperson under-prices your contract, this will likely result in them engaging an inexperienced or sub-par cleaner to do the work, and/or the cleaner cutting corners so they are able to finish the job in the allocated time.

Another common pitfall is missing key tasks when establishing your site’s cleaning specifications. The price which you have quoted for your cleaning is based on a specific list of tasks. If it doesn’t include dusting the blinds, cleaning the door jams or emptying the bins, then they haven’t recorded the amount of time this will take, which means that the cleaner has to either cut corners to get the job done or the cleaning company might simply turn around and tell you they never agreed to do the task in the first place.

If you have missed out on the cleaning specifications, then you’ll need to re-negotiate these with your client and you will probably need to accept that this will mean an increase in cost. Be extremely clear on the things you will be covering, their frequency and to what standard it needs be done. Make sure that this is documented in the cleaning specifications, which you sign-off.


3. They Don’t Understand Your Level of Expectations

Since you have been doing this for a long time, you would know exactly the kind of results expected. But this is not always the case with your employees. The things that look obvious to you might not be the same for your cleaners. We need to bear in mind that they might not be properly trained. Your employees may think that they are doing a great job but they might not know that finer details such as leaving streaks on shiny chrome are not the result you are looking for. Yes, you can tell they wiped it, but you’re looking for spotless chrome with no streaks.


4. Clients Creating Additional Work for Cleaners

Professional cleaning services are cost-effective because cleaners are engaged to carry out a predictable series of pre-determined tasks. Unlike a live-in butler or housekeeper from the days of old, their work has set boundaries and does not incorporate ad-hoc tasks. This is driven by the fact that they are working to budgeted hours and are likely have several other sites to visit during their shift.

Unless you have negotiated in the cleaning contract, clients should be advised not to add tedious tasks to the cleaner’s activities. For example, leaving piles of dishes in the sink will prevent a cleaner from being able to wipe down the area as they would’ve done otherwise. The same is true for desks and other surfaces which may become cluttered over time – your cleaner will clean the surface of your desk, but if you allow dust to accumulate on piles of paper, that is outside of their control.

This is simply a matter of education and awareness. Make sure your clients are aware of what the cleaner is responsible for and what they are not responsible for. Lastly, if there is something you really feel should fall under the responsibility of the cleaner, renegotiate your cleaning specifications and get it recorded so everyone understands what is expected.


5. Your Cleaners Do Not Understand Why It Is So Important

Your cleaner might think that you are just being finicky when you point out mistakes. This is because they don’t know how important it is. From your experience, you know that if the client comes in right after the cleaning and notices a few spots that were missed out by the cleaners, they will think that your company does sloppy work and does not pay attention to detail. So it might be a good idea to explain to them why it is important rather than just pointing out what they are doing wrong.

On the other hand, there are times when people are afraid to admit that they don’t understand how to do something and instead of asking for help, they may stay silent. For example, a cleaner could be using too much chemical on the cleaning cloth, which is why there are streaks on the sink faucets. Ongoing training can help iron out such flaws as well.

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