Outsourcing Commercial Cleaning? 6 Pitfalls to Avoid
Most businesses manage their cleaning needs by outsourcing cleaning services. If you are an office manager looking to contract a commercial cleaning service for the first time, you should avoid making the same mistakes that many others in your position have made in the past. To help you make the right decision, Nicholas Pastras, CEO of Smart Cleaning Solutions, a cleaning company CEO with more than 20 years’ experience working in the cleaning industry, came up with this list of 6 pitfalls that you should avoid when outsourcing commercial cleaning.
Don’t Hire Cleaners Without Experience in Your Industry
Sure, cleaning isn’t rocket science, so you may be tempted to hire cleaners based on their enthusiasm and a good attitude, but in reality, there is a lot of organization and systematic thinking required to really clean a property properly. Reliability is extremely important in commercial cleaning. That’s why experience cleaning in your specific industry is important. A failure to ensure appointed cleaners with adequate experience might mean you end up sacking them and having to go over the interviewing and hiring process again.
Experience really matters when it comes to commercial cleaning. Many new cleaning companies make big promises during interviews but they fail to live up to the expectations of the clients. When you are dealing with inexperienced cleaners, you more than likely will have to ask them to fix the same issues over and over, and that can be frustrating and time-consuming.
To avoid this, when you meet with a cleaning company, find out how many years of experience they have, and whether or not they have other clients with businesses that are similar to yours. This is especially important if you are in an industry where hygiene is critical, or your business is subject to regulatory standards. Medical facilities, aged care centers, and food businesses are all required by law to meet certain standards of hygiene and hiring an inexperienced cleaner who fails to meet those standards may cause you irreparable damage to your business.
Don’t Hire Cleaners Without Adequate Insurance
You are exposed to potential legal liabilities whenever cleaners are on your premises, so avoid hiring cleaning companies that don’t have adequate insurances like legal liability coverage and work-care. Its recommended that commercial cleaning companies should carry a minimum of 20 million in public liability insurance. If you hire a cleaning service that doesn’t have adequate insurance, your own policy could be exposed to claims, and your premiums could spike. You should also avoid hiring a cleaning service that doesn’t have a current work care policy for their workers as these workers will inevitably expose your business to greater risk.
Don’t Hire Cleaners who Can’t Demonstrate Quality Control Processes
Every cleaning service you interview is going to claim that its services are reliable, but don’t take their word for it. Find out what quality control processes they use, and how they audit their work throughout the period of the contract. Avoid hiring cleaners who don’t have established quality control processes. Instead, hire a company that uses a quality management system, preferably the ISO 9001 QMS which requires external accreditation and regular audits by the International Organisation for Standards. Also, the company you hire should at least carry out weekly checks and monthly audits to assess its workers.
Don’t Engage Cleaning Companies that don’t Screen Employees with Police Checks
Avoid commercial cleaning companies that don’t take adequate measure to reduce security risks. Cleaners have daily access to your valuable assets, so they should be well vetted and screened with police checks to make sure that they don’t have criminal tendencies. You should look into the cleaning company’s internal hiring process and find out how much attention they pay to their staff’s background checks, immigration status, and security training. Cleaning staff should be trained to maintain security at your office, and they should also wear uniforms with name tags whenever they are at your premises, to make them easy to identify. Ensure that the staff are well trained because untrained workers are more likely to vandalize your property or to leave doors unlocked.
Don’t Forget to Specify the Scope of Works and the Cleaning Schedule in Writing
Avoid signing a contract with a cleaner before you come up with a cleaning schedule and scope of works in writing. You must have all the terms in writing so that they can be referred to if you have any misunderstandings with the cleaners in the future. Sit down with the salesperson from the cleaning company and make sure that they pay attention to all your concerns. Write down all the areas that have to be cleaned and how often each cleaning task should be performed. Your cleaning schedule and scope of works should be included in the cleaning contract so that things aren’t open to vague or unfavorable interpretations.
Don’t Hire Cleaners Who Can’t Communicate Efficiently
Communication and feedback are important in commercial cleaning, so you should avoid hiring cleaners who don’t value open and efficient communication or worse, can’t speak adequate English. The cleaning company you hire should be able to answer your calls during business hours and promptly respond to your concerns. The company should also relay your feedback to its cleaners as soon as possible so that mistakes are immediately rectified. A manager should be assigned to your account, and you should be introduced to all the cleaners who will be working at your offices.