Four tips for improving cleaning staff productivity

The cleaning industry is highly labour intensive with businesses allocating a large majority of expenses to funding man power. Efficiency of staff and productivity are paramount to the success of cleaning companies. The longer it takes staff to complete tasks, the more they have to be paid, increasing expenses and minimising business profits.

So how do businesses get the best out of their staff to ensure the greatest productivity? Cleaning companies should aim to provide staff with solutions to clean quickly and efficiently while ensuring that the finished result is still sparkling clean. Below are four tips which aim to help cleaning business owners get the most out of their staff.

1. Use the best you can buy

Providing cleaning staff with the highest performing cleaning products and tools will enable them to do the best job possible in the shortest amount of time.

“Highly concentrated cleaning products are much more effective than their cheaper, watery counterparts,” says Paul Agar, Managing Director of Agar Cleaning Systems.

“They will instantly improve cleaning staffs’ productivity through utilising higher quality ingredients, which attack soil faster and provide quicker results without compromising safety or damaging surfaces.”

Spending slightly more on products upfront can reduce your expenses over the long term through minimising manual labour and improving the life cycle of cleaning chemicals.

Don’t make the decision to invest in a supplier lightly – search for quality products, seek referrals and run trials to ensure you make the right decision for the needs of your business. Agar’s cleaning products have been designed with the cleaner in mind, ensuring that each product provides unmatched performance.

2. Cleaning less frequently may be a false economy

How frequently a cleaning task is completed will greatly affect the amount of time that it takes to be cleaned. Surfaces which are only cleaned weekly will build up a greater amount of soil than surfaces which are cleaned daily, requiring more time and effort to return them to the desired finish.

Furthermore, cleaning less frequently generally requires a greater amount of cleaning products to be used to achieve the same result.
Where possible, have staff aim to clean more difficult areas more frequently such as bathrooms, floors and kitchens. Regularly removing grease, soil, soap scum and dirt will ensure that build up does not occur and cleaners will be able to consistently achieve beautiful finishes without reducing productivity.

3. See training as an investment, not a cost

The Australian cleaning industry has seen a shift in its employees over the last few years from career cleaners to casual workers. Staff are no longer spending decades in the industry perfecting their craft, rather signing up to the popular entry level job for its universal abilities (people from all over the world practice the art of cleaning).

Unfortunately an eagerness to work and some experience cleaning at home does not always equate to competent professional cleaners. Simultaneously, equipping employees with quality products and a schedule of tasks does not guarantee that they are going to be efficient at the job. Cleaning staff need to be shown the most productive and precise means for achieving the best cleaning results.

There are a number of options available for training cleaning staff including certificates from various TAFEs, registered training providers Lennox Institute and Daniels Association as well as online short courses from institutes such as the Building Service Contractors Association of Australia (BSCAA) and in-house training.

If you are providing new staff with on-the-job training it is a good idea to outline what your expectations are. Provide them with worksheets which highlight what the desired standards are as well as outlining how long they should dedicate to each task. It is also a good idea to provide them with other information which may save them time, such as the order of which tasks should be completed and which products to use for what surface as well as any other tips you have found useful.

While staff are training to reach the cleaning standards within the detailed timeline, it is a good idea to assign them a cleaning partner to ensure that they are performing the tasks correctly.

It is also worth auditing staff cleaning practices after they have been in the role for a certain amount of time to ensure that they are completing tasks in the most efficient and effective manner.

Agar provides online chemical handling staff training which teaches employees safety requirements and risk management procedures for using cleaning products. To sign up to the program, please visit http://agar.otrain.com.au/login/index.php and register.

4. Keep them motivated

Keeping staff motivated is a challenge regardless of the industry and cleaners are no different. Lack of motivation can have a major impact on productivity but there are ways to counteract it and ensure that you get the most from your staff.

Motivating staff does not have to hit your hip pocket, in fact many managers are now realising that drive is less to do with the dollars and more about the employee’s sense of self-worth. With this in mind focus your attention on generously praising staff when they do a good job.

Run small competitions and give out regular rewards to members of your team who are performing well. Take the time to recognise their successes in front of the other members and other employees will strive to be the next person who is acknowledged.

Build a company bond through doing things together outside of work, sharing business successes and thanking staff for their contribution as well as letting them in on company goals.

All of these little things add up to give employees a greater purpose in their roles which can help you improve the overall productivity of your business.

5 thoughts on “Four tips for improving cleaning staff productivity”

  1. I like how you said, “Lack of motivation can have a major impact on productivity but there are ways to counteract it and ensure that you get the most from your staff.” My wife works with a commercial kitchen cleaning service and is in charge of her team. She is pretty new to the position so we’ve been looking up tips every night. Thanks for the great motivation ideas!

  2. Your staff are the backbone of your business – not your customers because without good staff, you’ll have no customers! I believe in quality training and above average remuneration to retain the best staff.

  3. Excellent points! Keeping morale up and clear vision makes staff work over the top for you! I also agree that the best products are very important in being more efficient, but also over delivers for your clients. Thank you for the advice!

  4. I totally agree with this post! Employees are the most important asset in your business and treating them well, your business will achieve much.

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