CEO Innova Services Group – Sanitisation without the sterilisation of the human experience.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to the presentation of common areas in building complexes, no matter the size. For many on-site or facility managers, it is a juggling act to meet the appropriate cleaning standards and deliver a satisfactory service within allocated budgets.
Through founding and managing a commercial cleaning company, I’ve found some items are often overlooked by teams who assign and clean common areas. This is why I’ve outlined five considerations commercial cleaning teams should keep in mind as they navigate their clients’ needs today:
1. Keep first impressions in mind. We all know that this is one of the most important aspects and intents behind cleaning common areas (aside from safety and hygiene). Yet, too often, critical items are missed by cleaning professionals or are not included in the scope of work due to budget constraints. In recent times, there has been more education around what is acceptable, and people are expecting more efficient solutions from their cleaning providers.
Knowing this, I encourage my teams to use all their senses related to cleaning, and you can do the same. For example, look for fingerprints on glass or glass surfaces, marks on walls, cobwebs, streaky tiles, etc. Assess whether, when you touch a surface, it’s free of dust, grease, grime and build-up. Similarly, consider the smell: Is the area inviting? Does it exude the vibe the owners of the premises want? Do the cleaners need to work with the maintenance team to address any issues, such as mold, dampness, etc.?
2. Be thorough when cleaning reflective and high-touch surfaces. Reflective surfaces are some of the hardest to manage and keep clean due to their location in high-traffic areas. While architects design these for their visual effects, if they’re not maintained properly, reflective surfaces can double the visibility of what isn’t being looked after; they show every flaw and imperfection, including dust, fingerprints, smudges and spills.
Furthermore, remember that never before has cleaning high-touch surfaces been such a priority as today. The pandemic has made it a necessity to ensure sterilization and sanitation are maintained 24/7 across all premises and buildings.
3. Embrace technology and innovation. Over the past 10 years, technology such as microfiber cloths, the iMop and many more have revolutionized the cleaning industry. There are now more machines on the market than ever before, many of which can support or outperform human labor and have reliability and performance that are second to none. Consider whether investing in a new machine could provide cost savings or varied options for your clients.
4. Prioritize preventative maintenance. I’ve found the cleaning industry is riddled with a reactive approach to preventative maintenance. Many think, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” But this way of maintaining a building can reduce the life of assets, the quality of the building and its functionality, as well as heighten risks to the people who visit. It is imperative to have a thorough cleaning strategy included in the property’s preventative maintenance plan to ensure the full life span of assets is achieved.
5. Keep safety top of mind. Causing zero harm is always the priority; however, this hasn’t always been the case in the cleaning industry. Now with a multitude of choices of chemicals, machines and technology, I am seeing fewer harsher chemicals used. It is imperative that facility managers provide adequate storage space to their contracting cleaner and take into consideration ventilation, access and proximity to the public. Employers of cleaners must ensure they provide consistent training and toolbox talks so their teams are aware of risks and hazards for each particular site. This will allow quality to be focused upon when employees feel safe to deliver their service.
In all, I have found that when these considerations are taken onboard by facility managers, public areas are maintained, safety incidents are reduced and the life of the asset is extended. By focusing on these five areas, you can help meet the expectations of your clients and ensure they see a return on their investment.
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CEO Innova Services Group – Sanitisation without the sterilisation of the human experience. Read Coraline Dufroux’s full executive profile here.