Drake's Blog

By

Janitorial Bid Analysis: At-a-Glance

CleanlyRun Bidware Features

From time to time, we like to highlight some of the system features of CleanlyRun (aka CleanGuidePro) Janitorial Bidware.

***

The At-a-Glance button:  CleanlyRun‘s Janitorial Bidware includes a speedy — and color-coded — way to spot any high-level bid issues as you navigate the system’s bid creation process.   Specifically, the At-a-Glance button for each bid will turn either Red, Yellow or Green based on step-by-step analysis.

 

 Bid Status: Good – The At-a-Glance Bid Analysis detected no problems.

CleanGuidePro blog post image

 

 Bid Status: Warning – The At-a-Glance Bid Analysis detected one or more issues that were flagged as Warnings.

CleanGuidePro blog post image

 

 Bid Status: Error – The At-a-Glance Bid Analysis detected one or more Errors.

CleanGuidePro blog post image

 

Good to Know:  The way to make the At-a-Glance button “go green” is for a proposal to pass all of the Bidware’s standard checks.  However, any Warning/Error flags are for your eyes only — they’re not included on the final proposal — so you are free to proceed with a “flagged” bid as you see fit.

For example, the system might flag a bid for having a low Profit Margin, which means that you’d be – statistically speaking – leaving money on the table. (More about Profit Margin here.) You can then choose to edit this flagged bid, or move forward without changing anything; the At-a-Glance button is just there to “offer its opinion”.

Just a little help, at a glance… CleanGuidePro Successful bidder

By

Determining the cleanable square footage for a janitorial bid

Ask Drake

Grand Master Janitor

With the truly, humbling success of CleanlyRun (aka CleanGuidePro), we’ve received a lot of questions (from companies all over the world) about a variety of topics in the janitorial industry. Allow me to share yet another one of them with you.

Hi Drake: I’m new to the cleaning business, and I have a couple of questions. Does “lot size” mean “square footage”?  And how can I find the square footage of a building without measuring, but rather searching the business information?

CleanGuidePro blog post image

Answer:  First, thanks for growing your new business with us! I’m glad you asked about these metrics, because it’s knowing the cleanable square footage that is key for your janitorial bid.

First, lot size is the size of the land, rather than the size of the building that sits on it. Total building square-footage is the actual size of the building, which may or may not be the same number as the total cleanable square footage.

You can get the total facility size in any number of ways: from your potential customer (e.g. pre-bid info pack), by counting ceiling tiles (2′ x 2′ or 2′ x 4′), or by using a measuring wheel or fancy laser meter.  However you derive this figure, it would be due diligence to double check it on the local property appraisers website.

However, your client may not need you to clean every square foot of their facility. For instance, a medical facility might restrict you from cleaning rooms that contain special equipment. So you can determine the cleanable square footage by scheduling a Pre-Bid Walkthrough.

I think of janitorial bidding as an art as well as a science, and it took me a long time to hone my bidding skills and determine what produced the most consistent and accurate results for my business. It always came back to starting off with the exact cleanable square footage for the job. In my experience, when I took on a job without knowing the exact area that I’d be cleaning, too much guesswork often caused me to lose money on the job. In some cases, I was essentially paying someone to clean their building.

So decades later, that’s why we designed our online bidding system, CleanlyRun Janitorial Bidware, based on the expectation that every effort has been made to get the proper figures for the cleanable square footage. For me, this is a basic requirement to bid a job.

And don’t be afraid to politely ask the client for a little more time for due diligence during the walkthrough. I’ve never had any prospect tell me no when I’ve asked to walk the building on my own in order to make some calculations, review some areas and/or take additional notes. It helps you tremendously and lets them know that you’re thorough.



CleanGuidePro Successful bidderDrake

By

Janitorial employee theft accusations

In the cleaning business, accusations of janitorial theft are rare, but occasionally, you will get this customer call: “We came in this morning, and widgets were missing from someone’s desk. We’re not trying to accuse anyone, but… only the cleaning people were here last night… so it had to be them.”

Your business has been accused of theft! This is a very serious charge. In fact, it’s #8 (DO NOT STEAL) on the top 10 “DO NOT DO” list, just two below #6 (DO NOT MURDER).

Yikes! How do you handle this situation?


CleanlyRun blog post image

Years ago, a wise man told me, “Drake, do the right thing, and the right thing will happen.”

When your company receives an accusation, the right way to handle it is to empathize with and listen to your customer, get all the facts, get your staff’s input, ask your customer how they would like you to proceed, and then make a decision. The wrong way is to get haughty, angry or blow up at your customer. All that will accomplish is a lost customer, a lost/diminished reputation, lost revenue and possibly criminal charges — even if your business was falsely accused.

I didn’t say doing the right thing is easy, or even comes naturally — but if you want to keep this customer, you have to remain calm and do right by them. Remember, it’s the foolish person that says everything that’s on their mind. Trust me on this one. I’ve played the fool with my mouth more than once, and the wrong thing happened every time.

With that said, and in the hopes of helping someone who may be new to the janitorial industry, I’ll share a few real-life examples of how I’ve responded to accusations of employee theft during my three decades in business.

  1. Falsely accused of janitorial theft, and vindicated: This is the most common scenario. A customer calls to report that something is missing, and it has to be the cleaning people. You investigate, but soon get a call back noting that the missing item has turned up.

    Actual scenario: A client rep telephoned that she left her purse in her desk, and her wallet was missing. She was positive that it was in her purse, so it had to be taken by my staff. I listened more than I spoke, said I would talk with the staff that had been on duty, and told her I’d get right back to her. My employees that night were an elderly husband-and-wife team that I trusted completely. They vehemently denied even going through her desk, much less taking her wallet. A few days later, I received an apology call when the lady’s wallet was found in her car. The couple was relieved that they’d been vindicated, but they didn’t want to work at that site anymore. I didn’t blame them and assigned them to a different client. I also didn’t try to make my customer feel bad or (openly) get upset. Twenty years later, we still have this account, and it is one of the largest and most loyal accounts that we have.

  2.  Falsely accused of janitorial theft, and couldn’t prove otherwise: This is a tricky one. You don’t think it was your staff, but right or wrong, the cleaner is always the first suspect.

    Actual scenario: The client, a private school, calls to say that about 10 movies are missing from their daycare classes. Can we check to see if our staff took them, or knows what happened to them?  Keep in mind, there are hundreds of kid there, each with backpacks that could easily have the movies in them, but I digress. My staff denied taking them, and I believed them. I said the same to my customer and offered to pay to replace the movies, just to be above reproach.

  3. Simply informed of janitorial theft: This situation is more likely at larger facilities with hundreds of employees. The customer doesn’t call with a direct accusation, just a notification of a situation.

    Actual scenario: The facility manager at a building with more than 1,000 employees calls to let us know that there has been a “trend” developing. Disney trinkets have come up missing from employees’ cubicles.  This building has many employees of its own that work there late into the night after our staff has gone, and there are 24/7 security and cameras everywhere. I don’t think the culprit was one our folks, but alerting our whole staff that all eyes and cameras are on them is a good deterrent. Without accusing anyone, we informed our staff and supervisors there to keep their eyes open. By the way, this client is still a beloved customer, and we have a great relationship with them.

  4. Accused and proven janitorial theft: This has only happened twice to my cleaning company in 28 years. Call it luck, great hiring, or the grace of God –we have been blessed with few occurrences. (I’m going with the grace thing.) I was raised not to air your dirty laundry in public, and I’m a firm believer and practitioner of that philosophy. But because actual theft is so rare and I believe this story will help someone, I’ll share.

    Actual scenario: A customer calls, saying that we need to come in and take a look at a video. We meet and watch a video of a new staff member taking $6 off a desk. (It was a teenager that had been recently hired to pull trash.) I was truly shocked, saddened and disappointed to see this. I listened to our client and asked how they would like me to handle it. Of course, the client wanted the employee off of their campus and wanted the money replaced. They did not want to press charges. The employee was terminated from our company immediately. Our client was gracious in not firing us. They said that we were the best service they’d ever had and didn’t blame us personally for one bad apple. I still felt responsible, but grace does abound.

Some perspective… I take pride in running a company based on integrity, honesty and doing the right thing, always aiming to be above reproach and never giving the appearance of wrongdoing. For starters, my staff is highly screened, background-checked, and instructed not to even take a piece of candy off of someone’s desk (even if it has a “Free Take One” sign on it). And I’m pleased to note that over the years my awesome team has turned in lost wallets, cash, cell phones, diamond rings, credit cards, checks, laptops, iPads, jewelry, and the list goes on and on. Out of thousands of employees spanning three decades, the number of janitorial theft accusations has been minuscule, to say the least. I’ve very proud of these good folks!


CleanGuidePro Successful bidderDrake

By

Janitorial Profit Margin versus Janitorial Cost Markup. Which to choose?

Not understanding the difference between Janitorial Profit Margin and Janitorial Cost Markup is one of the most common pricing mistakes in the cleaning industry.  I’ve seen way too many new business owners decide to price their janitorial bids solely on Markup – “I’d like to make $500 on this job” – rather consider the Margin of Profitability for the work…

Both terms – Margin and Markup – help you calculate profit, but prioritizing the wrong one could hurt your bottom line.

Let me break it down.
CleanGuidePro blog post image

Margin: (a.k.a. Profit Margin) is the percentage of the final selling price that is profit. In the highly competitive janitorial services industry, Profit Margins can trend low for very large jobs — say, 12 to 15% — but that range is unprofitable for small to medium clients.

Markup: (a.k.a. Cost Markup) is either the (a) Dollar amount above cost, or the (b) Percentage of the cost that you add on to get to a bid price.

So which approach should you use? As a general guideline, it is probably better to focus on your Profit Margin rather than a Cost Markup in a service business. A higher Profit Margin percentage matters more than a higher Cost Markup percentage. For example, a 25% Cost Markup only yields a 20% Profit Margin, which means that your markup isn’t as profitable as it may seem at first glance.

With margins, a 50% Margin means that half the selling price is profit. So, a 50% Margin means there is a 100% Markup — as you have added 100% of the cost price to make the selling price. (With margins, a 100% Margin is only possible if the cost price is zero.) In short, a focus on Profit Margin is more effective when it comes to pricing your janitorial bid.

Of course, situations and customers vary, and the choice to prioritize Margin or Markup is yours. Fortunately, CleanlyRun Janitorial Bidware displays Markup and Margin right next to each other, so you always know what is your Profit Margin’s equivalent Cost Markup — and vice versa.  In addition, we’ll suggest a minimum Profit Margin/Cost Markup for each bid that you can adjust as you see fit.

On a related note, I’ve touched on how the Profit Margins of smaller businesses can be higher than bigger ones, even with a lower Fair Market Price.

That’s enough math for now! 😉

CleanGuidePro Successful bidderDrake

By

Janitorial Fair Wages

Ask Drake

President and Co-founder of CleanGuidePro

With the truly, humbling success of CleanGuidePro, we’ve received a lot of questions (from companies all over the world) about a variety of topics in the janitorial industry. Allow me to share yet another one of them with you.

Question: I’m new in the business and have been doing all the work myself, along with my wife helping. I want to go after larger accounts that will require me to start hiring employees.

I feel that if I pay my cleaners $14-$15 an hour, they will all do a great job, thereby eliminating complaints. Also, I’ll let my potential customers know this and be able to charge more. What do you think?


CleanGuidePro blog post image

Answer: Sounds good in theory.  Pay them more, they’ll perform better and my customers will gladly pay me more!

Unfortunately, after 26 years in business, hiring 1,500+ employees, experimenting with wages and interacting with hundreds of customers, this approach simply does not work in practice. Your question has two parts. let’s take a closer look..

  • Q1: Pay entry level cleaners $14-$15 an hour, (when the prevailing wages are $8.05 -$9.00) and they’ll perform better.

    A1: Maybe, maybe not. My experience has been that the vast majority of “poor performers” will perform just as poorly at $12.00 an hour as they will at $9.00.  However,  a market–rate employee should quickly move up to higher wages as their performance warrants it.  (And performance can be improved with proper training, supervision and followup.)  In other words, higher wages are earned, not a given. So definitely reward your top performers in short order, but don’t assume that starting a new hire at “above market” rates will guarantee a high performance.

  • Q2: My customers will pay me more to get better service, “if” I pay my employees more.

    A2: Good luck with that. Listen for the deafening silence of the “crickets” when you approach your clients with that logic. Customers today “expect” great performance and outstanding value in their selected service providers. They want and deserve great service at a fair market price. Take great care of them, cherish and yes “love” them. You will make more money though extra project work, carpets, floors, supply sales, customer loyalty and invaluable references!

Trust me on this one. Pay the fair and prevailing wage, provide training, supervision and followup. Increase pay based on performance and charge your customer a fair market price, then take care of them and watch your profits and business increase!


CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake

By

Janitorial Employees versus Subcontractors?

Who cleans your buildings? Your janitorial employees or subcontractors? Not sure what the difference is? Well, as a business owner you should know the difference and be committed to classify your cleaners correctly. It’s not difficult to determine and it would behoove you to do it right, thereby avoiding costly IRS penalties, fines and tax levies for unpaid payroll tax liabilities on misclassified workers.


CleanGuidePro blog post image

Over the course of 25 years in the janitorial business, this has been my experience…

An employee: If you have the right to control or direct not only what is to be done, but also how it is to be done, then your workers are most likely employees. Basically, if they answer to you, wear your uniform, use your equipment or vehicles, use your chemicals and you train them how to perform the tasks, they are definitely your employee. Therefore, you must deduct and pay the appropriate employee payroll tax liabilities of your state or jurisdiction.

There are numerous accounting software programs and payroll companies that can handle this for a nominal fee. They calculate the correct payroll tax deductions, write the payroll checks, file timely and accurate quarterly reports, such as 940’s, 941’s, UCT6’s, etc..

EMPLOYEE PROS:

  1. They do it your way! You hire your own people, train, supervise, inspect and personally control the quality.
  2. You know exactly who’s in your buildings.
  3. You make a higher profit margin percentage than using subcontractors.

A Subcontractor: If you can direct or control only the result of the work done and not the means and methods of accomplishing the result — then your workers are probably independent subcontractors (whose wages are reported to the IRS via form 1099). An example of using a legitimate subcontractor would be to pay another janitorial service company – (that has their own license, liability and workers comp insurance) – a percentage of your total contract revenue to clean a building.

I’ve used subcontractors on select projects and I’ve also been been a subcontractor for some huge national companies (on statewide cleaning contracts). I’ve made a legitimate and legally classified profit in both scenarios. But 99% of the time, I use my own employees…

SUBCONTRACTOR PROS:

  1. When you’re awarded contracts in other cities or states and the logistics and distance of the location behooves – (I just like that word) – you to use a local cleaning company.
  2. You just set the guidelines and expected results. The subcontractor hires their own people, trains, supervises, inspects and personally controls the quality.
  3. You cut one monthly check to your subcontractor, minus your profit.

Keep in mind my friends, whether using your own employees or a subcontractor to fulfill your contract service requirements, classify them properly.  (There are plenty of IRS guidelines and accountants to help you.) Want to sleep well at night? Pay the tax man correctly!



CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake

By

Janitorial Company Newsletters

How necessary are Janitorial Company Newsletters to the success of your business? In your own mind, you can make a case for or against just about anything and be satisfied with your decision. “It’s time consuming, it costs money, probably no one will read it anyway, blah blah blah.” Then be content with your decision, right or wrong. Let me challenge you to make a right decision concerning all things, but specifically Company Newsletters.


CleanGuidePro blog post image

As the Good Book tells us to spread the “good news” and admonishes us to focus on, “whatever is good, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, to think and report on such things.” In the same spirit, a “Good Newsletter” that recognizes and praises employees for outstanding performance, perfect attendance, anniversaries or birthdays, just to name a few, is invaluable to your company as a whole!

In the janitorial business, especially, where only one or two employees are assigned to a single building with little or no contact with other employees, newsletters are a great way to keep them feeling part of the team. Let me give you my Top Company Newsletter sections, (in no particular order), that have shown the love to my many employees and customers over the years!

  1. Customer Spotlight: We send our newsletters to our customers as well. We highlight one of our customer’s facility managers in each of our monthly newsletters. We put their pic and a brief Bio of them. We tout their good qualities and what a pleasure it is to team up with them. Everyone loves to see their name and pic in print and it strengthens our business relationship. Win-win!
  2. Helpful Customer Tip: Things such as, “Did you know that using Roll Towels vs Multifold Towels, Jumbo Roll Tissue vs Household Toilet Tissue can save you 20% in annual supply cost?” They (accurately) view your company as a valued partner in keeping their costs in control, plus you’re seen as an expert in the industry.
  3. Employee Milestones: New employees, 6 month, 1 year, 2 year, 5 year anniversary, birthdays, etc.., whatever to put their name in print. As I said earlier, everyone loves to see their name in print, for whatever reason.
  4. Employee Praise: If you, one of your supervisors or a customer reports an exceptional job done well, performance, or anything good about your employees, tell it/give a shout out in your newsletter.
  5. News Updates: “We were just awarded the contract for ABC or XYZ companies”, “We just implemented such n such software to better serve our customers and employees”, etc. Shows your employees and customers that your company is highly in demand and the real deal!
  6. Safety Tip: Reminders to put out wet floor signs at all times, never push down on trash cans with your hands or how to deal with a bloody spill at a medical job site all convey that you as a company are concerned with your employees safety and well being.
  7. Crossword Puzzle: You can find these all over the internet to copy and paste. Try to use questions and answers that are cleaning related. Such as, what floor cleaner is best to use on waxed floors..? Answer: Neutral Cleaner. I was actually surprised, but people love crossword puzzles!
  8. Offer Services to your Customers: Let them know that you offer janitorial supplies, residential carpet cleaning services, tile/grout cleaning, etc.. You will get extra work.
  9. Training: Offer reminder monthly training tips, such as restroom training, vacuuming, detail vacuuming or dusting tips. Keep emphasizing the basics!
  10. Message from President: Offer an encouraging word to your biggest asset, your employees. Give an uplifting message that inspires from you or a quote from someone that inspires like Zig Ziglar, that said “people don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care, about them”.. Inspire and empower your employees!

Spread the Good News my friends. Month after month. You won’t be sorry, I guarantee it!


CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake

By

Janitorial Advertising – Top Tips for what really works!

Ask Drake

President and Co-founder of CleanGuidePro

With the truly, humbling success of CleanGuidePro, we’ve received a lot of questions (from companies all over the world) about a variety of topics in the janitorial industry. Allow me to share yet another one of them with you.

Hey Drake: We’re new to the janitorial business and looking for tips on how to advertise our services. Any suggestions?


CleanGuidePro blog post image


Answer: Very good question. First, let’s distinguish the difference between advertising and marketing. Advertising is the media (print ads, billboards, flyers, etc.) that you use to promote a product, service, or an event whereas Marketing is the message.

Since this question is about advertising methods (or media), here’s my take on what has worked best for me over the last 25 years.

  1. Yellow Pages: When I first got in business and started to think of ways to advertise my services, the first thing that came to mind was the yellow pages. I called my local yellow page salesperson and discussed what would be an appropriate page size ad to start with. The first question was, “how many trucks do you want to have on the road?” They said a small ad would produce small results, but a big, full page ($1500/month) ad would guarantee (although nothing in writing) BIG results! I settled on a business card size ad for $247 a month that produced little to no results. After that, I went with the free listing in the yellow pages for every business that has a business phone and actually got better response. Unless you’re a bail bondsman, I wouldn’t suggest this medium.
  2. Local Weekly Flyer: Much cheaper than the yellow pages and can run for 1 weekly issue or 3, but not great results. Everyone wants the cheapest price. I don’t recommend it.
  3. Word of Mouth, Customer References: Do what you say you will do, do great work and your customers will recommend you! This has been a big one for me and it’s free.
  4. Radio: I tried this a couple of times. Zero response! Maybe I didn’t give it enough time, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the janitorial industry.
  5. Golf Tournament Hole Sponsor: I’ve done this a number of times for customers that have annual company golf tournaments and ask me to sponsor a hole for anywhere between $150- $500. They put my company name on basically a yard sale sign, on the tee box that says “This hole sponsored by, My Company Name with a phone#”. I haven’t gotten any new business from this form of advertising, but my customers appreciate it and I usually get a sleeve of 3 new golf balls, so I’m sure I’ll keep doing it. Plus, me “likey” golf!
  6. Team Sponsor: Name on back of jerseys: I’ve only done this once at the request of a hospital manager. He asked me if I would sponsor his softball team by buying jerseys for the whole team. Since he was using over $20,000 a month in my services, I readily agreed. It only cost $1000 for the jerseys and in fairness I did get my own personal jersey. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do…
  7. Television: I’ve never done it and have never seen another local or regional cleaning company do it. I have seen a number of national restoration companies on late night television touting their flood drying capabilities. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you own a restoration company or a car lot.
  8. Vehicle Lettering: I’ve had my share of calls from potential customers that saw one of our company vehicles and got our phone number from it. This is less about advertising and more about projecting professionalism for your company and your fleet. I can’t really quantify new business from it, but do it anyway.
  9. Business Cards: Ah, the little white card and the power therein. Have them, give them and you will get business!
  10. Direct Mail Marketing: This is the Holy Grail of advertising in my experience! You can “cheaply” mail out post cards, flyers and brochures to your potential targeted market. With the right message and a call to action, you will get an almost predictable 2-4% response rate from potential customers calling you to place a bid on their facilities!


Keep in mind that janitorial advertising done correctly, using the right media, with the right call to action, will produce potential customers asking you to place bids on their facilities!



CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake

By

A lack of integrity. Tales from the dark side of the Janitorial Business…

Integrity has been defined as being honest, having strong moral principles or just having character. Yet, it all boils down to doing the right thing. There’s an old proverb that reads, “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but they who make their ways crooked will be found out.” Bingo! The truth always comes out eventually. Call it karma, reaping what you sow or the Law of Reciprocity, but what is done in secret in the dark will be exposed by the light in due season. (By the way, the light is usually a company system or procedure violation that eventually sounds the alarm.)

Bad versus Good

Inevitably, after 25 years in the janitorial business, I’ve encountered a number of “crooked ways” of doing business (whether it was by a customer, supplier, competitor or employee). So with that said, I thought that Halloween might be an appropriate time to share a few assorted “Tales from the dark side of the Janitorial Business”…

  • A potential customer (for a national property management company) personally offered me over $20,000 a month in janitorial business if I would give him a monthly kickback. I declined his offer and later heard that he was fired.
  • A five year “trusted”, full time cleaner was discovered to have been manipulating our telephone clocking system (in multiple buildings) for several months, resulting in thousands of dollars in extra pay. As a result of this theft, this person didn’t qualify for unemployment and couldn’t receive a positive job reference. (Sadly, we later heard that they also lost their home.)
  • A supplier quoted prices for quality products but sent generic equivalents instead. That lack of integrity lost him $4,000 a month in business from me.
  • One of my (formerly good) employees recommended his/her adult child to work with them at the same job site. Turns out that these two family members took turns working alone while clocking each other in (something that was surfaced by an software upgrade). Both were terminated.
  • A customer, a go-getter at a national (pawn) chain who was on the fast track to becoming a Regional Manager, was found out to be making fake loans to fake customers and pocketing the ill gotten gain. After an accounting audit found him out, the fast-tracker was terminated, prosecuted and had to pay full restitution.
  • One of my employees (who was scheduled for an eight hour shift 5 days per week), was soon found to be going home after the fifth hour and and coming back to clock out just before the eighth hour. This person’s job was immediately terminated.
  • At one of the retail stores that we clean, a manager was bringing prostitutes into the back office after hours. He stayed on the clock and his overtime activity was eventually viewed on an in store camera. He was terminated and his wife left him.
  • Some of our competitors were found to be illegally classifying employees as subcontractors, thereby not paying the state or federal payroll taxes. They received huge fines and went out of business.
  • Back in my company’s early days, we did a bunch of subcontract floor work for another (much larger) cleaning company… However, all off their checks bounced and despite numerous promises, we never did get paid. They later went out of business.
  • A consulting manager at a hospital asked my janitorial company to perform some extensive work for an upcoming inspection. Later, when the invoice for the job was submitted, the manager denied requesting the work. At a face to face meeting with the hospital board, the truth came out and the manager was fired.

 

For perspective, I should note that I’ve had hundreds of customers and have employed close to 2,000 people over the years; The vast majority – 99.99% – have been good and decent folks, with integrity to spare. It’s the .01%, the bad apples, that have tried to spoil the bunch, but they were ultimately unsuccessful.

Having Integrity and doing the right thing is not only the right thing to do, but it also has no downside, my friends. So keep doing it right! You won’t be sorry, I guarantee it!

 

Halloween pumpkinDrake

By

Janitorial Employee Training – Top Tips!

Who needs janitorial employee training? Let me give you three groups that benefit greatly from it… Your company, your employees and your customers!

Janitorial Instructor

“Hey, come on..” you say. “Who needs training to sweep, mop floors and empty trash?  Besides, on the job training is good enough, right?”  Well yes, if you want your company to be “good enough”, with average employee turnover, average customer retention and average to below average company growth. But, if you want an exceptional company, with exceptional employee retention, exceptional customer retention and exceptional company growth you will definitely need to have a formal Employee Training Program.

Yes, training employees costs money, but that’s the wrong way to look at it. Training is actually an investment in your company that always provides a return on investment from day one.  After 25 years in the janitorial business, I’ve learned that for every dollar I’ve invested in training, I’ve seen a minimum of three to ten fold  return to my bottom line!

I can’t emphasize strongly enough that your customers need to see consistent cleaning results from your company every single day in order to keep cutting you a check each month. Training your employees, supervisors and managers from day one in the proper techniques, procedures, policies and systems will keep those checks coming in!

As I’ve developed and tweaked my Employee Training Program over the years, I’ve found that covering the following (high level) topics have produced consistently well trained employees:

  1. New Employee Handbook, Company Policy: (Part 1 of Orientation Class): This is a classroom training session where new employees are given their employee handbooks, uniforms, clock-in instructions, etc.. The handbooks are reviewed and they sign a form that they have received, understand and will comply by them.
  2. New Employee Safety Training Manual: (Part 2 of Orientation Class): This is a classroom training session where employees are trained in regards to safety and hazards on the job? Employees are given a safety test, results are verified and corrected until everyone understands the correct answer and a copy is placed in each employee’s file.
  3. New Employee Basic Cleaning 101 Training Manual: (Part 3 of Orientation Class): This is a classroom training session where all the basic cleaning tasks are explained and reviewed. Things such as, dusting, detail work, trashing, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, restroom, direct supervisor and customer interaction.
  4. Restroom Cleaning Training Manual: (Part 4 of Orientation Class): This is a classroom training session, where step by step restroom cleaning procedures are demonstrated and emphasized. Restroom cleanliness is one of the top areas of your customers will judge your performance. Keep them clean!
  5. Supervisor Training Manual: This is a classroom training session, where multiple topics are covered. Your site supervisors need to be trained to be leaders, trainers, problem solvers and mentors. This training will cover everything from basic cleaning and stain removal to budgets, work loading, specialty work, supply ordering, employee evaluations, customer relations and much more.
  6. Floor Care Training: This is classroom and on the job training sessions, primarily for your “Floor Techs”, where floor care cleaning techniques (primarily waxed floors) and procedures are explained, reviewed, demonstrated and learned. Things such as floor stripping, scrubbing, auto scrubbing and buffing/burnishing.
  7. Carpet Care Training: This is classroom and on the job training sessions, primarily for your “Carpet Techs”, where carpet care cleaning techniques and procedures are explained, reviewed, demonstrated and learned. Things such as spot cleaning, fiber identification, portable units, truck-mount units and general carpet cleaning maintenance techniques are explained.
  8. Specialty Work Training: This is classroom and on the job training sessions, primarily for your “Floor Techs and Carpet Techs”, where specialty cleaning techniques and procedures are explained, reviewed, demonstrated and learned. Things such as tile and grout cleaning, pressure washing, upholstery cleaning and exterior window squeegee cleaning to name a few.

 

I’ll go into more detail on each of these training topics in future posts. But however you structure your employee training, you’ll never regret making this winning investment in your business!

 

CleanGuidePro Successful Residential Cleaning bidderDrake