Wondering about how you can maintain security in the commercial facilities you clean?
So, you are about to send people you barely know into a facility to provide cleaning services for a customer whom you have convinced should trust you. Though in reality, your customer doesn’t really know you. Should you be concerned about security for commercial facilities? Is your reputation on the line? Are you exposed to potentially significant liability? Yes, yes, and yes!
Whether you are just starting out or you’re a well-established cleaning company, by necessity you must hire people. Lots and lots of people. No one needs to convince you that the frontline cleaners you hire are key to the success of that contract and, really, your whole company.
Your clients are expecting you to provide the level of service that you promised and, frankly, they don’t want to have to think about it. They want their place spotless every time they show up and they also expect you respect their property. They expect that everything of value will be precisely where they left it and in the same, or better, condition. Your people are going to have access to every corner of their facility, and are often going to be alone in the building. What are you going to do to ensure that everyone behaves ethically and professionally?
You should hold your cleaning service to the highest standards in every way, and security must be near the top of the list. Ensuring security for commercial facilities begins before the janitorial team even enters the building. There are specific protocols that should be observed to keep security concerns to a minimum. Consider these suggestions:
1. Detailed Background Checks
This is traditionally the bare minimum you should do to provide some level of confidence to your clients that your employees have been properly vetted, even if it is really somewhat of an illusion. A background check is intended to sift out people with less than honorable intentions. Unfortunately, it is not really the best indicator of safety and unfortunately eliminates from consideration some of the best potential candidates out there. Increasingly, companies are finding that individuals with a criminal record make great employees once you get past the stigma.
2. Intensive Training
This is one of the single most important factors not only for security but for your overall success. Too often, though, training is rushed and overlooked. The rush to get accounts staffed with a warm body seems never-ending. It is equally important to train employees on security protocols as it is to train them to clean. Training one but not the other can provide disastrous results. A clearly defined security training program is an excellent differentiator from your competition. If you present your prospects with a detailed and clearly defined security plan as a part of your proposal, you certainly stand out. Consistently implementing such a plan will give your customers an extra level of confidence in your team.
3. Uniforms and IDs
Sure, it’s one more thing on your already full list and it’s another expense, but this one goes a long way to build customer confidence in your organization. Allow me to recount a story to illustrate this point. I once got a call in the middle of the night from the local police department inquiring if my company provided cleaning service for a particular establishment. I said that my company did, in fact, clean that facility. The officer then requested that I come down to the site to confirm that the two individuals currently in their custody were actually my employees. I begrudgingly dragged my butt out of bed, dressed, and drove across town.
Upon arrival, I saw several squad cars with lights flashing and two sheepish looking guys sitting cuffed on the curb. Interestingly, two key elements were missing from this picture that would have mitigated the whole situation. Though mandatory for me, neither employee was wearing their uniform or badge. Their excuse was that they didn’t want to drive all the way home to get them. When the police witnessed two men leaving the establishment late at night each with two large bags, they assumed that something shady might be going down.
My employees had done an excellent job of cleaning the site and when done, they each grabbed bags of trash and headed for the door. If they had been wearing their uniforms, neither would have been picked up. Properly uniformed and badged employees give you confidence that the above scenario is less likely to play out for you and it gives your customers confidence that your run a professional, well-trained, and ethical team.
4. Bonded and Insured
Taking preemptive steps to protect yourself and your clients is not only a great safety measure but also a solid sales tool. Many companies require a janitorial service bond and general liability insurance before they will consider you as their provider and, frankly, they are right to do so. You should cover yourself and them before you even get started. It’s not worth the risk to skip this step!
While not always practical for some facilities, staffing locations with more than one employee can help in reducing security concerns for commercial facilities. Sure, people can be bad influences on each other, but building teams of properly vetted, trained, and motivated employees could help the group hold each other accountable.
Security for Commercial Facilities Sets You Apart
Customers appreciate a janitorial service contractor that prioritizes their building’s safety by addressing security concerns before they even quote the work. Be the service provider that stands out from the competition!