Statistics That Matter in This Article:

  • 55% of commercial cleaning businesses lose business every year because of a lack of service quality or non-performance.
  • In a 2020 survey by Georgia Pacific PRO (GP PRO) 55% of surveyed customers said that their perception of Janitors has increased.
  • Employee turnover in cleaning businesses is over 200%
  • 65% of Americans haven’t received recognition or appreciation from their managers in the last calendar year.
  • States have recognized cleaning professionals as essential workers.
  • Moore’s law suggests that computer processing power has continued to double every 18 months since 1970.
  • QR Codes were invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary.
  • The US has over 290 million smartphone users.
  • Most smartphones have built-in QR code scanners
  • Millennials will become the largest generation in the workforce.

Problems Today


Public Perception of Janitors & 200% Employee Turnover

For years, the public perception of workers in the cleaning industry has been poor. They’re viewed as unskilled, uneducated, and unintelligent. But these professionals aren’t unskilled. Many need to follow complex OSHA guidelines. They’re not uneducated and unintelligent. They need to know which chemicals to use based on the task at hand. Without janitors, could the public maintain facilities? Not without proper education and training they couldn’t.

That’s why all cleaners are trained specialists. They know that they’re the ones who keep buildings clean and healthy for occupants. And if they don’t know, it’s the job of managers to stress their importance and appreciate their hard work.

Employee turnover in cleaning businesses is over 200% and one key reason for this is lack of appreciation. In fact, Gallup’s research suggests that 65% of Americans haven’t received recognition or appreciation from their managers in the last calendar year. But it’s not just managers who can do a better job appreciating cleaning professionals, it’s also the public. Doing so requires education and bridging the gap.


However, there’s good news.

In a 2020 survey by Georgia Pacific PRO (GP PRO) 55% of surveyed consumers said that their perception of Janitors has increased. Covid-19 brought the need for cleaning services to the forefront like never before. Like doctors and nurses, states recognized janitors as essential workers in the fight against the virus.

But as the world shifts beyond Covid-19, will the appreciation for janitors be forgotten? Will the cleaning industry and the public grow closer or further apart?  How can we continue to progress the momentum of public appreciation that’s been gained?

If these questions can be answered, the cleaning industry will not only thrive, it will flourish.

Adapting to the Millennial Workforce: The Largest Generation in America

In 2019, according to U.S. Census Bureau data presented by Pew Research Center, Millennials became the largest generation in America, surpassing Baby Boomers. Now, they’re set to become the largest generation in the workforce.

Millennials are anyone born between the years 1981 and 1997. In that period of time, this generation has experienced the rapid growth of technology. From the floppy disk to the internet, the smartphone, and now the Internet of Things (IoT). Technology is second nature to millennials and it’s not stopping. In fact, Moore’s law suggests that computer processing power has continued to double every 18 months since 1970.

Having grown up with it, millennials expect technology to be part of their day-to-day including at work. Franchisees are embracing that.

Kevin Scott, the owner/operator of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services of Rancho Cucamonga-San Bernardino in California has welcomed hardware technology such as electrostatic sprayers. He and his staff, comprised of millennials, also use Janitorial Manager, a cleaning software to streamline operations, control costs, and much more.

Transform your cleaning operations with proper time tracking. Schedule a Discovery Call at your convenience to learn more.

Technology is a competitive advantage

Advancements like these are transforming the commercial cleaning industry, and millennials will continue to be users of the innovations to come. Today, technology is a competitive advantage over the competitors who don’t use it. Millennials can be the driving force over the competition who don’t embrace its use.

Office Complaints

One of the most common office complaints from employees is poor custodial service. When employees notice a dirty restroom or an overflowing trashcan, that’s a poor reflection on the contract cleaner or facility maintenance team. Complaints can be detrimental to contract cleaners resulting in client turnover.

The numbers tell the truth.

55% of contract cleaners lose business every year because of a lack of service quality or non-performance. But if contract cleaners can curb their client turnover to meet cleaning standards, the result is simple:

More revenue and new business opportunities await.

If cleaning standards cannot be met- especially in the age of Covid-19, clients won’t risk jeopardizing the health of their employees. They’ll find someone else who can provide clean and healthy environments. In-house providers will do the same.

In-house providers are no exception either. Too many complaints can leave managers with no choice but to show their employees the door.

Increasing Client Expectations

To keep employees safe and healthy in the fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases like the flu, clients are demanding more. They’re asking building service contractors for more frequent and complete cleaning.

To keep up with the demands, employees need to be thorough in their cleaning. They also need to understand client expectations that are documented so that everyone is on the same page and the client needs can be met.

Finally, they need to have accessible communication channels to handle immediate requests (like supplies or cleaning). In doing so, a strong relationship and trusted partnership can be formed, increasing retention.

Solutions & Benefits:

Janitorial QR Codes. How We Got Here

The key problems (listed in the previous section) have intersected with technology with the development of Janitorial QR Codes.

QR Codes were invented in 1994 by Denso Wave, a Toyota subsidiary. Businesses began using QR Codes with specialty scanners, but it wasn’t until the development of smartphones that consumers began widely using them. Today, the U.S. has over 290 million smartphone users, and the majority have built-in QR Code Scanners.

For the cleaning industry, Janitorial QR Codes can provide several solutions including:

  1. Meeting client expectations
  2. Responding to Needs Faster & Reducing Client Turnover
  3. Reducing employee turnover through recognition
  4. Documenting procedures
  5. Encouraging communication with the public
  6. Increasing responsiveness to client & public feedback
  7. Adapting to the Millennial workforce
  8. Maintaining Equipment

Let’s dive in:

Meeting Client Expectations

As Covid-19 has increased the demand for facilities to be clean & healthy, cleaning operations have had to adapt. More steps and thorough cleaning are important, but more requirements leave the door for mistakes. To assure that cleaning professionals complete all procedures while cleaning, Janitorial QR Codes can be scanned, populating a checklist of detailed steps. The cleaner can check them off as they go.


For Example:

  • Empty trash cans
  • Scrub toilet 1
  • Scrub toilet 2
  • Mop floor

This guarantees that cleaning steps aren’t overlooked. In doing so, client expectations are met, and employees are protected from accidental cleaning errors and disciplinary action. This avoids client as well as employee turnover. And for BSCs, more satisfied clients pave the way for testimonials that build trust, establish credibility, and provide social proof to potential clients.


With accessible communication, failure is not an option. That’s why to assure employees that facilities are clean, The Cleveland Clinic recommends establishing strong communication between key stakeholders such as facility management and building occupants (employees). Or, if cleaning is outsourced, contractors should meet with a designated leader of their client’s cleaning program. 

Responding Faster

JaniKing states that one of their seven steps for customer satisfaction is to respond to messages quickly.

Whether it’s responding to an email or returning a voicemail, customer needs should always come first. The same goes for responding to sudden cleaning requests.

For example, consider a spill. At the moment, it’s frustrating, but what’s even more upsetting is when needs aren’t handled quickly and the problem persists. Public Janitorial QR Codes solve this by increasing responsiveness to public needs. Once a QR code is scanned and feedback is provided, cleaners are notified and can take action. Aaron Bond, Operations Manager of Kidron Janitorial Corp recognizes the benefit of instant QR Code feedback.

He says, “It gives the customer the opportunity to take care of the feedback, as opposed to going back to the office, and typing out an email [to the cleaner]. That instantaneous feedback is what I like.”

Also, clients can rely on their employees to submit requests rather than the employees relying on management to submit them. Like a game of telephone, the message can be lost in translation or forgotten altogether. With Public QR Codes, messages are never lost. Plus, management can eliminate spending their time submitting cleaning requests.

Supply Requests

When BSC clients and even the general public notice that supplies need to be replenished, responding quickly is also necessary.

For example, an employee may walk into a restroom, wash their hands, but notices that they don’t have paper towels to dry their hands. With a QR code above the dispenser, they can scan the code, immediately alerting cleaners of the outage. Then, the cleaner can swiftly respond to the request. QR codes can be placed for each type of supply too like toilet paper or even hand sanitizers (critical for fighting infectious diseases).

On-site cleaners can do the same thing too. If while cleaning they notice that paper towels are low, they can scan a QR code so that the request can be fulfilled by a coworker. Or, they may use it as a reminder and take it upon themselves to complete. With QR Codes, supplies are always refilled promptly, keeping clients and the public satisfied and healthy.

Millennials + Technology = Higher Quality of Clean

As millennials continue to dominate the workforce, they’re more technologically literate than any other workforce generation. Only 68% of Baby Boomers own smartphones compared to 93% of millennials. This tech-savvy generation has the experience and competence to utilize smartphone features (like QR Codes) for work related tasks.


QR Code downloads soared 750% between February 2020 and August 2021. Restaurants have contributed to its rise as they have opted to replace physical menus to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Widespread use of QR Codes provides cleaning operations the opportunity to integrate this technology and improve their quality of clean.

Here’s how:

When a cleaner is at a location, trying to remember all the areas that need to be cleaned and what was cleaned can be difficult. If a task was missed, that can spawn a negative call from the client. But this is preventable.

Pretend the area that an employee is cleaning is a restroom. By scanning a QR Code placed on the bathroom wall, a checklist will appear listing all the steps that need to be completed. As steps are completed, the employee can check them off on their smartphone.

By doing so, the employee is protected from making mistakes and client expectations are achieved. Plus, employees don’t have to carry around paper documents with cleaning instructions. Procedures are documented on their smartphone. And when procedures are documented, client expectations can be fulfilled easier.

Fulfilled needs are an opportunity for recognition from managers and clients too. Timely recognition can help to fuel employee retention.

Public Recognition

While the public has gained a greater appreciation for the work of cleaners in the fight against Covid-19, it cannot stop. Turnover in the commercial cleaning industry remains high (200%) and lack of recognition is partially to blame.

But Public Janitorial QR Codes can integrate the public and cleaners to increase recognition. The public can scan a QR Code, rate the cleanliness of an area, and leave comments. Then, cleaners can be notified of their good work. To encourage public participation, a note can be left above the QR Code that could say:


‘Scan to Rate My Cleaning!’ or ‘Tell Me How My Cleaning Is!’

Never before in history has there been an opportunity to integrate the general public and cleaners. Janitorial QR Codes are the recognition tool that cleaners deserve. Higher employee retention is only a scan away.

Maintaining Equipment

The cost of an automatic floor scrubber can range between $1,150 and $30,000. If equipment like this isn’t maintained properly, breakdowns can occur or, it may need to be replaced.

Equipment can reach longevity with Janitorial QR Codes. Placed on the outside of the equipment, these QR Codes function just like when cleaning an area. Once scanned, a checklist of instructions will populate for the cleaner to check off as they go. This prevents the cleaner from forgetting which helps extend equipment life.

Aaron Bond of Kidron Janitorial Corp also uses QR Codes for maintaining their equipment.

“We have a few floor scrubbers. There’s a post-maintenance [checklist] after you use it,” explained Bond. “You make sure you clean the squeegee, make sure you rinse out the tank. We have implemented that so I know that it was finished. I can’t go and check that every single day and equipment like that if it’s not being maintained, it breaks down, and then there’s costs associated.”

These simple procedures are ensuring that equipment breakdowns are prevented and their lifespan is maximized.

Verifying & Documenting Work

Verifying work and ensuring that employees are compensated fairly, lets managers anticipate costs and improve their budgets. With Employee QR Codes, the employees’ time completing each area (like a restroom or breakroom) is recorded. Managers can access the reports helping them anticipate payroll costs as they continue to grow their businesses.

Additionally, BSC’s can overserve their clients by providing reports of QR Code scans to verify that work has been completed. Enhanced transparency builds trust and deepens the client relationship.


Today’s cleaning standards are focused not only on appearance purposes- but they’re also health-oriented. Maintaining clean and healthy facilities is possible with the right tools. Janitorial QR Codes are a leap forward in improving cleaning quality. With improved cleaning quality, client retention can rise.

Cleaning professionals are also stepping into the public spotlight, being appreciated and recognized. With Janitorial QR Codes, the time to finally increase employee retention is now. A new era of cleaning is here. For good.

Understand the full value of Janitorial Manager with a free consultation call, scheduled at your convenience! Get in touch today to learn more.