June 29, 2021

6 Ways to Improve Cleaning Staff Efficiency and Productivity

cleaning staff member cleaning windows in an office building

Getting your cleaning team to be more efficient and productive is easier said than done. Labor shortages, absenteeism, and increased workloads are just the icing on the cake when it comes to a typical day in the cleaning industry.

On top of that is the current task of preparing cleaning teams to meet new standards related to COVID-19.

Plus, BSCs and property and building managers often manage cleaning teams across multiple locations, some miles away from the home office. This can make it hard to communicate and manage the team.

Therefore, it is important to set up a clear plan for onboarding, continued training, and making sure your staff is supported at each location you manage to keep your team efficient and productive.

Below are some steps to help you increase the efficiency and productivity of your cleaning staff:

1) Proper Training

Putting together a training program for cleaning staff is necessary for multiple reasons.

  • First, proper cleaning relies on a lot of detail work. Not all workers will come to the job already knowing what to look for, plus everyone’s standards and ideas of “clean” are different.
  • Second, as the manager or director of the property, you have experience that comes from working at the property and with the client. Your gained knowledge should be passed along to your staff to empower them to do the job well and to your client's standards. Not only can this increase efficiency for your staff, but it can also result in a more satisfied client.
  • Third, showing staff exactly how you want a space cleaned and with what cleaning supplies, will help to ensure that they follow the steps. Leaving it up to employees to figure out on their own means your standard of cleaning might not be met, which ultimately leads to less efficient work and less productivity.
  • Fourth, training staff on how to properly use equipment, such as the consumables on vacuums, can result in better care and proper use of equipment—causing it to last longer and reduce material costs.

"...an investment in training can also boost business owners’ profits due to more efficient staff and more economical use of equipment and supplies,” according to CMM.

  • Lastly, training should be an ongoing process as this will ensure that staff continue to follow the steps they were trained on and do not get off course. It is easy for all of us from time to time to take a shortcut—by continuing to train staff, reminding them of the importance of following the outlined steps, you can keep the team doing the same thing each time—ensuring the cleaning is done the same way by each person on your team.

The result is more efficient and productive cleaning and less time wasted on having to re-clean.

2) Create a Cleaning Plan

Your team will benefit from a clear cleaning plan. This may take time to create initially but eventually, it will help your team stay organized and focused, which ultimately leads to increased efficiency and productivity.

According to Tim Poskin, the executive director of ISSA’s Workloading and Benchmarking Council:

“Now is the time to have a robust and transparent cleaning plan and execute it at a high level. Making it up as you go leaves your organization at risk. Instead of checking a box as “clean” or “dirty,” track detailed data on how facilities are cleaned and levels of cleanliness, then optimize your processes for improvement.”

Mapping out the order in which you want cleaning tasks completed, such as dusting and wiping down all surfaces before cleaning floors, can have a substantial impact on the overall quality of cleaning.

Not only that but by mapping out these steps, your team will eventually show up to the space each day knowing exactly how to tackle the job. This creates efficient practices that lead to staff being able to take on more responsibility over time.

3) Quality Equipment

Making sure you invest in quality equipment can have a direct impact on decreasing downtime and increasing productivity. For example, floor cleaning machines can be costly, but they make a significant difference in keeping floors clean and safe for anyone using the building.

ICE Cobotics offers floor cleaning equipment through an all-inclusive subscription service. While buying the equipment outright is common industry-wide, there are many benefits to using a subscription service.

First, since the equipment is provided through a subscription-based plan, service is a huge benefit that comes with each machine. An ICE Cobotics subscription includes maintenance, parts, service, and customer support through their Client Care team.

The Client Care team helps monitor the equipment through the fleet management software program, i-SYNERGY that is installed on equipment. The Cient Care team helps monitors equipment, machine alerts, and notifications, and even sends technicians to help if the problem can’t be solved remotely.

Not only does this help managers, but it also helps to keep the cleaning team working and not dealing with machine downtime and maintenance issues—many of which can result in hours of lost work time and weeks of machine downtime.

Second, remote monitoring capabilities allow managers and BSCs to monitor equipment including location, operators, run time, and square footage. This data is captured in easy-to-read reports and can be used to help teams create optimizations and more efficient cleaning practices.

4) Proper Supplies

Along with quality equipment comes proper cleaning supplies. Keeping all supplies stocked and in one easy-to-access location can be a huge time saver. This way cleaning staff know exactly where to go, and they don’t have to hunt down the supplies they need to get the job done.

It’s also important to simplify. Too many kinds of cleaning products can make the job more difficult, due to having to read multiple labels. This takes time away from getting the job done. A condensed and clearly labeled selection of cleaners allows the team to get right to work safely.

5) Automation

Automation is another way to increase staff efficiency and productivity because it is designed to expand the scope of services and capabilities of cleaning staff.

Adding autonomous technology as part of the cleaning team allows tasks like floor cleaning to become routine and standardized across multiple teams and departments

Routine floor care is not always a top priority and all too often staff resort to spot cleaning due to other priorities taking up their time. By adding Cobots, routine floor care can still be done and since autonomous equipment follows a set route each time it is deployed floors are consistently and effectively cleaned.

Plus, adding autonomous floor scrubbers allows staff to be freed up to focus on higher-order concerns. While the floors are being cleaned, staff can focus on bathrooms and high-touch surfaces that need extra attention.

Add to that the ease of use and the fact that cobots take on repetitive tasks, and your staff might just feel even more supported and productive.

6 ways cobots support staff infographic image shows cobots supporting staff members with cleaning work

6) Support Your Staff

Supporting and recognizing your team can go a long way toward creating an environment that people want to be a part of, and this is necessary for ensuring the job is done well.

Keeping the appropriate number of staff on hand is essential to improving efficiency and productivity. Not only does having the right number of people for the scope of work ensure the job will get done, but it also helps staff to feel supported knowing they are working on a team with a common goal. This can improve cleaning staff job satisfaction.

Developing employee recognition programs or creating a little healthy competition between teams can go a long way in creating camaraderie and boosting morale. In addition, it is important to build trust and get employee feedback and recommendations.

Giving your team a say in the work is a way to let them know you care and trust their earned experience. In the end, it benefits all.

ICE Cobotics is an industry leading technology and cleaning equipment company specializing in autonomous solutions and the all-inclusive subscription. Reach out to one of our automation experts for more information.

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