Janitorial Marketing Blog

Efficiency is doing thins right effectiveness however is doing the right thing. Any janitorial manager or owner would argue both are important, but knowing the right way to perform a janitorial task and effectively executing it is the most important foundation of any employee working for a cleaning organization. It is not enough to simply hire a potential employee with a certain janitorial skill set and assume he or she will be efficient. In other words someone who has ten years experience sweeping floors might not be effective on your approach to hard floor maintenance.

In order to build an effective janitorial employee, staff and organization you must first have a strong business ideology. That is a firm understanding of industry standards for cleaning and a set approach for completing janitorial task that will ensure the expectations of your customers are met or exceeded. At one point in my career as a janitorial company business owner I hired no less than thirty employees from a competitor of mine. These were all veteran janitors with no less than five years experience and various set of cleaning skills. Even though they were well trained in specific cleaning task, they were not trained in a complete cleaning approach as a team. Having a complete team cleaning approach was one of my main pillars to cleaning effectiveness and absolutely one of the definitions that underlined my organizations ideology or business approach.

For this reason each and every one of these new hires worked against the person to the right or left of them making my budgeted hours and customer complaints higher. This in turn lowered my potential profit margin for this particular janitorial contract and also put me at risk of loosing it. So how is it that I had a team of thirty plus janitorial employees that were well trained on how to perform there assigned task or were efficient at it but was not effective. Well it finally hit me they were not trained on our complete team cleaning approach. Some were creating dust in areas that had just been cleaned, sweeping and mopping was done prior to dusting and wiping of surfaces, and each individual task was directly antagonizing to another team members task causing work to be done twice or appear never done at all. These employees might of been efficient at completing there task but not effective when completing there task in conjunction with many other team members.

So what are the three main ways to develop an effective janitorial employee?

The Complete Janitorial Training Approach 

Of course training employees on how to perform commercial cleaning task is essential to every janitorial organization. But not every company performs these basic cleaning task the same way. For example every single football team in the NFL has two basic goals, to score and to prevent the other team from scoring. So what makes one team more effective at this than the other? It is there approach complete from owner to coaches or managers right down to the team members. Only by understanding the complete team approach of your janitorial business can any individual janitorial employee be effective in a janitorial organization of any size. By keeping specific expectations in front of each member on your team while educating them on how there task completion effects the overall performance of a cleaning contract is important. Scheduling and task outlines are the basic building blocks for growing a strong complete team approach.

At any given time a janitorial employee should have a clear understanding on what is expected of them and the time outlined for them to complete there assigned task. Now if we are talking about one or two employees and maybe one or two cleaning contracts perhaps a simple phone call will do. But if you are building the foundation for a growing and truly effective janitorial business you will need something more. With the rise of technology you can use a platform like the Jansultants Employee Management And Scheduling software. This software gives employees there schedule, informs them of specific task and keeps a line of communication open with management for any changes. 

By using the Jansultants employee task scheduling software you have the ability to outline all of the skills for each employee and match them to the appropriate task they are trained for. It also gives the employee a visual overview of there working schedule. Providing appropriate training and a understanding of how a employee fits into the overall complete team cleaning process of your business is essential. You will be surprised at how explaining and training a janitorial employee on how there role truly effects a contract and in turn your business, creates a since of ownership on how they perform there various task, thus making them more effective.

Defining Clear Performance Expectations 

So after training a janitorial employee on how your company approaches each and every contract in order to be effective it is important to convey crystal clear performance expectations. Technically they were not there when you signed the cleaning contract or when you asked the customers for there expectations. So you have to make sure you and your janitorial staff from management down understands what it takes to be effective while fulfilling the task for this cleaning contract.

For example I had a six day contract that included over 65,000 of heavily populated office space. After a three and a half hour walk thru and drilling the potential customer on the many things they would like to see improved we get to an door deep in the maze of this office building. The person doing the walk thru with me pulls out a different key to open the door while saying "now this is going to be your biggest task of all". He opens the door there are no papers on the desk and the office truly looks like it isn't being used. He then says "this office belongs to the owners daughter that comes in for only one hour a day but she hates her chair to be pushed up to the desk. It must be pushed back as far as possible every single night".

Now to me that appeared to be the most simple of things to get done every night. It turns out the last four cleaning companies in a two year span was let go for this reason alone. Seeing that this contract would have a team leader and a manager checking this simple task every night I was sure it would not be an issue. In the first month of me stopping by to check up on this account, almost every other night you guest it the chair was in the wrong place. This influenced me to create a colored coded system for each and every account to ensure that issues that were crucial for each account was well defined. 

Overall performance for my janitorial business was summed up into three key performance indicators or KPI'S. These KPI'S were:

  • Customer Complaints
  • Attendance
  • Walk Thru Grade
  • Time & Material

From least to greatest each of these KPI'S were assigned a percentage equaling 100%. Customer complaints being the most crucial and therefore would have the largest effect. An employee not showing up to work or calling off the day of being scheduled would have the second greatest effect. The grade received after a walk thru by management would have the third largest effect and if the task performed for a particular contract came with in budgeted time and materials would have the least effect.

One could argue that all of these KPI'S are important to the life of a janitorial contract and they are. But it is even more important for you as a manager or janitorial business owner to find out which of these KPI'S are strengths and which are weaknesses of your team. Then begin to outline a clear defined plan to meet all of your goals for each and every cleaning contract you perform.

Owning Versus Doing A Janitorial Task

Well lets admit anyone is capable of doing a janitorial task at least one time effectively. Is there a way to make that employee own that task every single time they do it? During the time prior to the smart phones and before internet technology was so advanced I would print up carbonless check off forms for each cleaning contract that employees would check mark there task and have to sign, then the team lead would sign and then my night manager would sign. I insisted that everyone owned every single task they performed. Today project management platforms like the Jansultants JS Project Management software allows for management to breakdown task, text staff while a task is being performed and track time and completion while the employee is signing off on the completion in real time.

Wow! If I had that power at my fingertips I would of saved so much time while creating a more effective janitorial employee. If a person puts there digital signature on a task as simple as emptying a garbage can they will be twice as likely to do it well and in turn be the most effective janitorial employee they can.  


In summary be sure to train your entire janitorial staff not just on how to perform a task but how to perform the task effectively with your definition of a complete team approach. Make sure that approach is understood by each and every member of your staff. Be sure in clearly define the expectations of each employee no matter what they're task may be. Set goals and KPI'S define what they are and how they can be reached individually and as a team. Remember that if each member of your team owns his or task to the smallest detail they are more likely to see it thru making them and effective janitorial employee.

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We consult any company associated with the building maintenance industry with in the United States.

    919 East Colfax Ave. Denver CO. 80218



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