April 21, 2020

How to Improve Cleaning Staff Productivity and Efficiency

touch screen computer screen with blue arrow moving upwards to show increased productivity

Cleaning for building health and safety has become evermore crucial to building owners and building service contractors. 

Finding new ways to improve cleaning staff productivity and efficiency is key to meeting new expectations, stricter guidelines, and tougher standards. This can prove to be a daunting task but an important one because of the effects on human health and well-being.

Having a clean workspace has been shown to aid in the productivity of all staff. On the whole, a clean environment helps staff stay healthier (resulting in less sick time), keeps technology and equipment clean (fewer breakdowns and malfunctions), and employees often report feeling happier and more productive when their space is clean. 

All of these things rely on an efficient and productive cleaning staff.

Thus, businesses spend thousands of dollars a year hiring staff to keep work environments clean. And, the cleaning industry is expected to keep growing. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

“the janitors and building cleaners industry is expected to grow another 7% over the next ten years,” citing projections of growth that are faster than any other industry. 

Meaning there is increasing demand to meet growing amounts of work and stricter guidelines.

Technology is going to play a crucial role in empowering staff to be productive and efficient while meeting stricter standards and guidelines.

What is efficiency?

Being efficient means achieving the maximum level of productivity while expending the least amount of energy. Efficiency is something we all strive for; the art of getting a job done to the best of our ability with the least amount of effort. This can take practice and the development of routines and KPIs that target detailed tasks.

Employers are faced with having to help their cleaning staff become more efficient and productive while taking on new standards and meeting new guidelines.

Using automation is one way to increase 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 or departments.

Autonomous equipment will follow a set route regularly and consistently and can be more effective due to being deployed more often leading to standardized cleaning. For cleaning teams, getting to routine floor care is not always a top priority, and frequently spot cleaning is done. 

By adding Cobots, the job gets done better and more often. 

Beyond that, intelligent cleaning equipment offers real data about each route it runs. The data collected is used to increase speed and performance over time—delivering higher quality and efficient cleans.

How do you measure efficiency?

Often, we measure cleaning standards through things like the appearance of a space, customer satisfaction, the amount of space cleaned during a set amount of time, and employee absenteeism—just to name a few.

These things can be hard to track, especially when trying to keep up with ever-changing needs depending on foot traffic, or the number of people working in a space. However, measuring efficiency is incredibly important.

Setting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for a cleaning team allows a business to determine where improvement is needed to make a space cleaner and safer.

Fleet tracking technology can be very beneficial for measuring efficiency. 

For example, Cobi 18, an autonomous floor scrubber by ICE Cobotics collects data as it works. 

Cobi can navigate complex and dynamic environments and identify obstacles that appear in its path while it works to clean the floors.

The robot can reroute, avoiding collision all the while collecting data for future work. The tracking of this data allows an employer to assess a route and come up with improved KPIs.

How to improve staff efficiency?

Improving staff efficiency can happen in several ways, but here are a few important ones:

  • Setting clear KPIs
  • Appropriate staffing
  • Easy access to all necessary supplies and equipment

KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are vital in holding staff accountable. Managers should outline clear expectations, cite all areas that need attention, and set benchmarks for how each task should be completed, and what the outcome should look like. These things should all be set up and explained thoroughly during training. Even more important, is following up and checking in with staff regularly.

Appropriate staffing is also an important way to improve efficiency. Not only does having the right number of people for the scope of the job ensure the job will get done, it helps staff to feel supported knowing they are working on a team with a common goal. This can boost morale and overall productivity of staff.

Lastly, no job can get done without appropriate supplies. Cleaning staff should not have to hunt high and low to find the supplies they need. Management should keep the supply closet stocked at all times. This allows for staff to check in for the day and get right to work—they won’t waste time trying to find their tools. 

How does technology improve workers' productivity and make them more efficient?

As stated earlier, having the right size staff is important, however, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a staff of humans. Increasingly, technology is a solution to some of our largest societal demands. Adding an autonomous scrubber like Cobi helps employers free up cleaning staff to focus on higher-value tasks.

Adding a robot to the team can improve the frequency and quality of the job as well—especially because they can take on repetitive tasks like cleaning floors. 

Once Cobi is training on a route, it is set to go on its own each time thereafter and this frees up cleaning staff to focus on other high-priority tasks—thus adding to the productivity of the cleaning staff.

Robots are an important counterpart in building health and safety and an important asset because they take on repetitive and routine cleaning, increase frequency by following standardized cleaning routes, get the job done without ever calling in sick, and report data back to management that can result in improved KPIs and working conditions.

Showing support for your cleaning staff

We live in a society that is increasingly focused on health and well-being and our indoor environments play a crucial role.

Cleaning staff are feeling the pressure. To reduce turnover of cleaning staff and to manage the demand for cleaner spaces, technology is key.

Autonomous cleaning equipment like Cobi, a subscription-based technology, is revolutionizing the way businesses support their cleaning staff. 

The digital support, the collection of data, the ease of use of the machine, and the ability to eliminate repetitive tasks for cleaning staff, are just some of the ways that technology is increasing efficiency and productivity for our cleaning teams.

ICE Cobotics is an industry-leading technology and equipment provider specializing in automation and all-inclusive subscriptions. Reach out to our Automation Experts for more information.

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