Contract Cleaners ? A Guide for Business Part 2

In the first part of this article I put forward 7 questions that I believed were important to ask of your potential cleaning company. In this article I will explain the relevance of the first two questions and the answers you get to you as a business.

  • What is your staff turnover?
When the top 150 Cleaning Companies in the UK were asked this question the answer came back as 73%. That means that within a 12 month period 73% of their cleaning staff have left and been replaced. What is the relevance of this figure to you? If the figure you get back is higher than about 25% it is likely that if you engage this firm then you are unlikely to have the same cleaners for very long. You will have a constant stream of new cleaners. This is not good for building up a working relationship or continuity. Worse still might be the answer 'I don't know exactly' because this probably means they are trying to avoid giving you an insight into the correct figure. They can of course lie!

  • Do you provide verifiable training?
Cleaners might simply be hired to cover a particular clean, shown what to do and left to get on with it. Verifiable means that the company has a recognised training scheme which is documented and you can see the date and times training of your staff has taken place. Is training necessary? You might think not. Everybody should know how to clean because we all do it! Commercial cleaning is not like cleaning at home. The cleaner has a time limit in which tasks must be completed. They must be trained in how to carry out those tasks as quickly and efficiently as possible. Secondly not all the tasks will be assigned to every cleaning slot. Some tasks might for example be designated as weekly in the cleaning schedule or even monthly, for example cob webbing. However the staff must be trained that if they see a cobweb they remove it then and there and not wait until the schedule allows them to do it! This may sound petty and common sense but not all cleaners are capable of working outside their little boxes and schedules without proper training.

To you as a business it is actually quite important that your cleaners are capable of doing things as and when needed and not necessarily waiting for the appointed time on the schedule to come around. So ask the question and then probe a little deeper into the cleaning companies view on cleaning schedules.

David Andrew Smith has been working for many years in the cleaning industry and is the owner of, general cleaners and also the owner of who are specialists in natural stone care and maintenance of such natural stone as marble, granite and limestone

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