Facility management binder on a desk with sun peaking through window

What Are Facility Managers Looking For In Commercial Cleaning?

A facilities manager has a big job. In most cases, this person is responsible for everything from managing telecommunications and allocating office space to overseeing grounds keeping, equipment planning and even vending machine stocking.

Managing the facility’s daily janitorial team shouldn’t be part of that list. Choosing the best cleaning company is certainly within the job description, but the ongoing management of that team isn’t something that should sit on the shoulders of the facility manager. It’s the responsibility of a good commercial cleaning partner.

We talk to a lot of facilities managers, and when they ask us to come in and assess their cleaning needs, we naturally ask why they’re unhappy with their current commercial cleaning partners. Almost without exception, they say they’re most frustrated by crews that:

  • Don’t show up on time (or at all)
  • Perform subpar work; are apathetic about the job
  • Don’t do what they say they’ll do (either specific tasks or a level of detail)

Not only are these things frustrating, but require a big chunk of their time to manage these teams – whether it’s finding out where they are, checking their work, or following up to make sure they’re doing all that’s expected of them.

So, what’s the solution? Make sure your cleaning team is well-managed by its own leadership. This should include:

  • Regular and unplanned (surprise) inspections of the crew to ensure that the quality of cleaning is outstanding
  • A crew manager or supervisor with significant longevity with the company to ensure that all expectations of the customer are being met at all times
  • Thorough, ongoing training of team members so that they’re always using the safest and most effective cleaning methods

Facility managers also say they’re disappointed by lack of communication with the cleaning company management or owner, and lack of proactive input into the facility’s appearance and maintenance. What it takes to solve these issues is a commitment to do “whatever it takes” to get the job done right, and that’s not possible without getting input from customers frequently so that issues can be resolved immediately.

So really, it’s the job of a commercial cleaning company not just to clean (and do it well and on time), but to take a weight off the facility manager’s shoulders by proactively managing its team. Because, in the long run it’s our job to give facility manager’s one less thing to worry about.

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