Help Your Cleaning Crews Get More Done Every Shift
Your payroll is taking the biggest cut from your profit margin. In fact, for the vast majority of BSCs, the cost of field labor ran more than 50 percent of revenue, according to an ISSA/BSCSAI benchmarking study. That will only increase as compensation for both new and experienced field workers continues to climb.
You can’t afford to let employees go—you need every one of them to do the work necessary to ensure customer satisfaction. Although you may not hear a word of praise for a job well done, anything less may get you fired quickly.
But there’s another option for improving margins: Increase worker productivity. You can’t just drive your crews harder—otherwise you’ll have a turnover problem as well. Forty percent of BSCs that responded to the benchmarking study reported that turnover already runs 50 percent or more.
The solution is to help your field crews get more done while they’re on the job. Key ways to improve workforce efficiency include training them to finish tasks quickly and well, working with a partner who can provide a range of high-performance equipment, and training your crew to work smarter.
Training employees to complete work quickly and successfully
Once you hire staff, even if they have prior cleaning experience, they need to be trained in your company’s way of doing things. It’s critical to have systems and processes in place to manage the complexity of a cleaning business, particularly one that’s growing.
Erica Young, an implementation project manager, said in the 2018 Facilities Management Survival Guide, “Ensure there is a standard process, train all relevant parties on that process, then operate day-to-day with the expectation that the process will be followed. Doing so allows people to focus on what needs to be done, as opposed to carrying the mental load of figuring out how to do it.”
Training helps new workers get up to speed faster and increases productivity. For every task—sweeping, floor polishing, carpet extraction, window cleaning—you must ensure your employees know how to perform it to your standards. You’ll get better results, more consistently—and you, your employees, and your customers will be happier. It’s best to provide direction in written manuals.
You and your supervisors must make your expectations clear—what employees should do and when, why they should do it, and how results will relate to their performance reviews. Then be sure to provide constructive feedback on their work and praise them when they do a good job. You may find employees are a valuable resource to identify ways to increase efficiency.
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Providing the right tools to maximize productivity
To help your crew be as efficient as possible, you may need new, flexible, high-performance equipment, plus training and tutorials on the best way to use it to complete cleaning and maintenance tasks. A great way to ensure they have the best equipment for the job, without a large capital expenditure, is to rent equipment.
A rental partner can help you scope out the job site and the tasks you need to perform, then help you choose the tools that help you accomplish the work most efficiently. That’s especially important as you target new industry segments or provide more services to customers.
For example, an auto-scrubber may cost you from $5,000 to $60,000 to buy. Or you can rent it and try before you buy until you’re certain that you’ll have sufficient demand to justify the investment. You can also rent a machine that can handle more square footage more quickly. So, if a client wants to add a new section that increases the floor you clean from 20,000 to 60,000 square feet, it won’t take you three times as long to do it.
If you’ve been scrubbing floors but your customer now wants you to buff once a month, you can also rent a buffer and add that service. In fact, with the right equipment, you can add services you never considered. For example, if you’re washing the windows only on the first floor, you can rent a lift to reach the ones on higher floors. A top-notch rental company can train your employees in proper lift usage to ensure the job gets done safely.
If equipment you own breaks down, you can also rent replacements, so your cleaning schedule—and customer satisfaction—doesn’t take a hit.
Flexible, well-maintained rentals can help you improve workforce efficiency by testing new models, speeding up tasks, adding new services, and replacing equipment you own while it’s repaired. That ultimately means more productive employees, more satisfied customers, and more money in your pocket.
We hope this blog provided you with ideas to improve workforce efficiency at your company without losing employees. If you have questions, please contact a Sunbelt Rentals representative. We’re here to help.