IF I HAD A POUND FOR EVERYONE WHO HAS TOLD ME THEY CAN CLEAN…
Ok, I wouldn’t necessarily be a millionaire but perhaps afford a comfortable much-needed short break in some European City …
Over the years I have realized that recruitment in the Cleaning Industry is a constant, it’s challenging, frustrating, and of course sometimes very rewarding when you find that one jewel in the crown’ who is reliable and sometimes with a bit of training can deliver an all-rounded good standard of service.
Quite often when interviewing I am reliably told by the candidate that they can clean .. because they clean at home without thinking that in reality how one cleans their home is between them and their four walls. Everyone has their own idea of standards and we already know from watching documentaries such as recent ones with cleaners who have OCD how different people live and how much ‘muck’ they are prepared to drown in.
When training staff I try and make them understand that one must clean every premise every single day to the highest of standards .. Jokingly adding (although with a serious undertone), because our clients might have OCD and therefore we need to aim for the top, meeting the standards of our most demanding clients whilst exceeding the expectations of some customers who may actually expect less of us as a Service Provider.
I’ve learned many things about Cleaning and the Industry but one thing that I know to be very true is that for a Cleaning Operative to be good at their job and deliver a high standard of service they must possess 3 specific Qualities –
1. A Discipline – enabling the individual to have a plan before commencing the cleaning which will include where to start and where to finish, which order jobs are done in and why and last but not least which chemicals and cloths are used in which areas and for what reason ( thus avoiding cross-contamination issues ) and making sure they have the right tools to do the job. A mere task such as moping a floor can appear to be a very simple task which we all at some stage perform in our own homes or other but try and mop a floor in a busy pub or night club and lack of technique and training will result in a floor that still looks streaky, dirty and lacking in life.
2. Attention to detail – Everyone professes to have such a Quality but in reality, it is difficult to find individuals who have it and quite often needs to be taught; if that is at all possible or at least guided towards understanding what it is and why they need it. Attention to detail will result in the individual not wearing ‘blinkers’ and realizing that some things need to be cleaned daily but other tasks perhaps just need either ‘spot checking’ daily or doing, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly. Attention to detail also means that the person carrying out the cleaning can look at everynook and cranny of a certain fixture or surface from different angles and clean it to the best possible standard.
3. ‘Do they care?’ – this is the final quality. Like any other job if they care about it and what they do this will show. If going home for their tea however is far more important they will do what they need to do and no more.
The reality, the truth of the matter is that in my experience there is only a small percentage of Cleaning Operatives who have a natural skill at it, call it a ‘flair’, and do it to the highest of standards. Most Operatives need to be trained and shown how to do the job. Excellence Cleaning has always maintained that no Operative should ever be thrown into a job and simply shown where the Cleaning cupboard is. Every time we recruit and employ, regardless of how much experience the individual has we will spend 1, 2, or more sessions if necessary watching them work and guiding them through the schedule, how the surfaces should be cleaned, what chemicals, machinery, and janitorial items should be used.
I am disappointed and appalled sometimes when many of the staff I take or have taken on over the years tell me that their previous cleaning company did not give them any training at all.
A client of mine asked me some years ago if I could find a ‘traditional cleaning lady’. You may well ask what he was talking about but I understood what He meant by that. The reality is that times, as we all know it has changed. The days of Dotty and Mavis, our parents and grandparents’ generation who perhaps grew up in a totally different world to the one we live in today, grew up nevertheless in an environment where the female was taught how to keep a home, how to sew and mend clothing, etc. In that, now remote era the lady of the house was brought up with a real fine discipline of knowing how to be a good mother, excellent housewife, cook, cleaner, wife, etc. Years ago the cleaning industry was full of ladies who were very good at what they did, kept home, and also went out to work, sometimes cleaning to earn extra money for the household.
Thankfully these days have gone now but what that means is that the Cleaning Industry is no longer reliant on these wonderful ladies. It now employs men and women and in many cases men and women who haven’t been taught these skills and can’t clean or iron or cook or anything else in some cases.
This now means having to take both genders and train them on how to clean and deliver the sorts of standards we want and expect from us. This is not a ‘one off’ but where the individual is not performing we need to revisit and retrain.
Excellence Cleaning is committed to this and as such we are corporate members of B.I.C.S which stands for The British Industry for Cleaning Sciences. BICS is the most important body representing the cleaning industry and they pretty much write the rulebook when it comes to Cleaning standards and training. Excellence takes leaves out of its book and uses this to train its own staff.
Excellence and one of only a handful of Cleaning companies in the York area who have this accreditation; an accreditation that comes with experience and not one which can just be bought off the shelf.
For more information on the work that BICS carries out visit their website-