The importance of valuing your cleaning staff

20th of August 2019 Article by Paul Ashton
The importance of valuing your cleaning staff

Paul Ashton, ceo of cleaning services company Birkin in the UK, explains why it is vital to take care of cleaning staff.

Our employees are the backbone of our business and in this industry, which can receive a negative reputation, we must ensure our employees feel secure and valued at all times. Unfortunately cleaning is not seen as glamorous, so it does tend to get negative attention. We believe our employees do one of the hardest jobs - it is manual labour and involves unsociable hours and high demands.

Therefore we are sharing some basic steps that we believe all cleaning companies should take to ensure a great working relationship with their employees. This will help to make them feel valued and can therefore provide the high levels of service clients expect:

Pay the Living Wage

Paying fair wages is the best way to show your employees you value them and the work they do for you. In our industry, cleaners provide an invaluable service to our clients' working environments, ensuring their workspaces are kept clean to help with their long-term health. Without cleaners the working environment would deteriorate, and you would see a significant increase in sick days which will, in turn, have an impact on company productivity.

Provide full training

Full, accredited training should be provided to all cleaning teams, especially those who complete specialist tasks. Investing time and money into training will reap great rewards and is proven to improve retention of staff rates.

With thorough planning and the right people with relevant industry qualifications leading the way, the potential for a great training programme is endless. Never forget to cross-train your employees and ensure their record of training is continuously updated.

Enable strong communication channels

Communication is key in all industries and day-to-day life. In the cleaning industry, it doesn't just involve the client, it also includes service partners, contractors and cleaning teams. On-site teams require daily support from contract management teams in order to feel supported and to know they have contacts should an issue arise. Our teams ensure daily communication via telephone and email, but also weekly site visits to ensure discussions take place in more detail where required.

A high quality cleaning company is more than just the sum of its parts so the opinions and suggestions of all its employees will be a good indicator of the type of culture that exists within the business. Taking the time to listen to feedback from employees will make them feel valued and will provide valuable insight into their perception of the business.

Encourage positive relationships

Initiatives such as Thank Your Cleaner Day are encouraging people to acknowledge the hard and important work that cleaners do, often in challenging circumstances. In addition, we would recommend letters of congratulations, reward schemes and social media sharing for jobs well done - these are always positive ways of improving employee and client relationships and breaking down the communication barriers.

Valuing employees is more than just a requirement as it improves their wellbeing, ensures better standards of work and reduces turnover.


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