Cleaning efficiently is always important. Here’s how you can remain efficient when you’re shorthanded.
Cleaning efficiently is one of the best things we can do to keep customers happy and increase revenue. Moving through jobs at a good pace means we can add services to our offerings or clients to our roster.
That’s great when your team is fully staffed and trained. The problem, of course, is that any staff shortage, from someone calling in sick to people leaving, can put a severe strain on your efficiency. Even if you pay well above average and treat your team well, working short-staffed is a reality at least some of the time.
If that’s just a shift or two, you’re in luck. Things may take a little longer than usual, and there may be some slack to pick up, but that’s easy to push through when there’s daylight ahead. But what about those longer-term shortages? What do you do when one or two members of your team are in quarantine for the next ten days, or you have job openings that you can’t fill? Here are some ideas.
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Cleaning efficiently when it doesn’t seem possible
Cleaning efficiently means working quickly, and it also means working accurately. That can be hard to do when you’re working with fewer people than usual, but it’s important to continue doing good work. Your customers likely won’t care as much about your team taking a little more time as they would about a lower quality of work. So in an effort to make up for lost time, make sure you aren’t taking shortcuts in your work. Your customers will notice.
Talk to your customers. If your team is working slower or things start to slip, don’t wait until your customer gets in touch with you. By then, it may be too late. Reach out to them, let them know you’re working shorthanded, and things may take a little longer than usual. Reassure them that quality work is still your priority. Especially given the way the world has changed in the last couple of years, most business owners and facility managers will understand your dilemma.
Use janitorial software. If you aren’t already using janitorial software, now is the time to start. The right software can help you track your inventory, complete remote inspections, create and change task lists that your team can instantly review, and check the in and out times at each facility, so you know if your team is cleaning efficiently.
Keep your equipment maintained. While it’s tempting to put off these seemingly non-essential tasks, this is not the time you want to deal with broken or malfunctioning equipment. The few minutes it takes to keep your tools and equipment in good working order is far more preferable to the time it will take to get a loaner or purchase new items.
Determine what you can put off until later. Though not ideal, you may need to decide if there is a task you can push back. Maybe it’s a once-per-month special service you provide or a deep clean you have scheduled. You’ll need to figure out which customers may be willing to work with you on this, and, of course, offer to compensate them in some way, whether it’s a discount or an add-on service.
Hire a contractor. While cleaning efficiently is best achieved by hiring and training your own full-time team, sometimes it’s worth the effort to hire a contractor. You may even find that the person you hire does fabulous work.
Invest in your team. This is potentially one of the best steps you can take during a staff shortage. Because the last thing you want is for your staff to go somewhere else. If you’re in a position to do so, offer benefits such as a 401k. Raise your starting wages and bump up the pay of your current employees. Offer bonuses for people who stay with you. Remember, happy, well-compensated employees are more productive, and they help create happy customers.
Cleaning efficiently is always important, especially when you’re dealing with a staff shortage. Ideally, you can avoid the issue to begin with. That last tip, investing in your team, will work wonders in keeping your team fully staffed.
Even so, you may have times when there aren’t enough people to do the work. If this happens, and you don’t see anything improving, you have one last resort. Think about the clients you have and determine if there is one or two you can let go.
That goes against instinct, for sure. But you need to be critical and realistic. Is there a client that you always have to chase down to pay their invoice? Is there someone who doesn’t treat your team well? Do you have a client you dread going to work for? This might be the ideal time to let them go. You have the perfect excuse, too. You’re short-staffed and don’t have the personnel to do the work.
Whatever you decide, remember that cleaning efficiently can’t become more important than providing excellent service. Your clients won’t remember if you needed extra time to finish a job. They will remember if you did your job poorly.
Increase the efficiency of your team, reduce your costs, and improve results. With Janitorial Manager, all this and more isn’t just a dream, it’s your new reality. Contact us for a free demo right now and see how it works!