We’re in the middle of examining the most common transition problems that arise when a customer hires a new janitorial service. Below is a discussion of Problem No. 5
Problem No. 5: Missed areas. Missing an entire area is a problem that can occur in large buildings or buildings with multiple areas requiring key access. This happens for several reasons. The primary reason is that the crew is not familiar with the building and does not know the layout. I am aware of a cleaner that performed A+ cleaning on the first floor of a building and was totally unaware that there was a small upstairs that he was supposed to clean.
Another reason entire areas are missed is that a cleaner may become so focused on detail cleaning on the first night that they accidentally “skip” or “miss” an area. Tasks that might take 10 minutes to complete in the fifth week often take 30 minutes on the first night. When this happens, cleaners can become so focused on one task that they lose focus on the overall routine and they miss something or an entire area.
Solution: Good walk-through and/or highlighted map. The account manager and customer contact should do a complete and thorough walk-through with the cleaner. If the building is large, the account manager or customer contact should provide a map of the facility and the cleanable areas should be highlighted and assigned a number. For example, if a janitorial company is starting a large, one story medical facility and there will be four people cleaning it, the janitorial company can divide the facility into four quadrants and assign one person per quadrant. This simplification technique allows each crew member to focus only on what he or she is responsible for cleaning. They’re also less likely to get lost!
If the building is extra dirty, the cleaning crew might decide to spread out the detail cleaning over several days (or even weeks). This prevents the crew from becoming so focused on the detail cleaning that they lose focus on the overall routine.