Quality Control Programs
What is a Quality Control Program? If you ask most janitorial services to describe theirs, you would probably hear statements similar to the following: “We train our janitors well, and we inspect their work regularly.”
Thorough training and inspections are very important, but it says little about what is really involved in running a top notch janitorial company and providing consistent quality cleaning year after year. There are many important aspects of a business’s operation that affect employee performance and the quality of their work. Following is a summary of the comprehensive Quality Control Program we implement at Nash Janitorial:
“A Ten Step Quality Control Program”
Hiring & Screening: When we interview people, we look for applicants who are highly motivated to do janitorial work, who have the right attitude, and who have the necessary abilities we are looking for. The person we hire for the job is screened thoroughly. We check up to three references, and for some clients we also do background checks after we have hired the person. We look for employees who prefer to work evenings, who have a good work history demonstrating trustworthiness and reliability, and they must have good references from previous employers that confirm the traits we are looking for in our employees. Thorough screening is the first step to reducing turnover and finding people who will do well at janitorial.
Thorough training: It’s not enough to just show a new employee how to clean. We try to thoroughly train our people by demonstrating our methods, by observing and correcting the new employee’s work, by requiring that they read our Training Manual & Employee Handbook, and by following up with supervision and reinforcement training when needed. We follow a checklist of training categories to ensure that nothing gets missed.
Supervision: We supervise our new employees frequently to ensure that they understand what is required of them and so that they learn to do quality work. After they have proven they can be reliable and trustworthy, we continue to inspect their work on a weekly basis; more often depending on the difficulty of the building and the performance of the employee.
Regular evaluations: Feedback through regular evaluations is an important tool we use to let our employees know if their work performance and cleaning quality is meeting our standards. It helps them understand where they need to improve, and clearly reenforces our expectations. We give each employee an evaluation form on payday along with their bonus for work well done.
Good communication: Showing respect, being supportive and clearly communicating expectations is very important to a positive working relationship and for getting good performance from employees. Most people do better work when they are treated with respect and are recognized for their hard work and for the contribution they make. We continually make efforts to keep communication lines open to our employees for their input, or should they need to express their concerns or grievances. Employees should feel safe to air reasonable grievances without retaliation from supervisors or management.
Performance incentives: We try to offer significant incentives to our employees to reduce turnover and make their work more rewarding. We pay a higher than average wage for janitorial in this community through our bonus system for quality work and reliability. We offer opportunities for advancement to employees who are motivated and able to take on more responsibility and move up to a supervisory or floor work position.
Extra detail cleaning by the owner and supervisors: No matter how reliable and good the majority of our employees are at their work, there will occasionally be details that are missed. People have their good days and bad days, and sometimes tasks get overlooked, and the quality of work can slide. This will happen in even the very best of companies, no matter how comprehensive their quality control program is. The extra detail work done by Pam, Jan and our supervisors is one more way we attend to detail and try to make sure that tasks are not overlooked. We are very hands-on.
Proper equipment and cleaning supplies: Cleaning personnel cannot clean efficiently and well without the proper equipment, tools and cleaning products to help them do good work. We want our employees to take pride in their work. When they know that they have the best tools and products at their disposal, it encourages them to do better work. We make a huge effort to keep our carts clean and tidy and the janitorial supply areas organized. Cleaning tools should be in good condition, and most importantly we service our vacuums regularly to ensure that they are in good condition. A damaged or improperly cared for vacuum will not adequately remove dirt from carpets and mats.
OSHA compliance and ergonomics awareness: We make sure that our cleaning products are properly labeled and that SDS forms are at each site along with very specific building specifications. We educate our employees to understand what cleaning chemicals they use, and how to work safely and avoid illness and injury on the job. We have had very few on the job injuries over the 20 years our company has been in business. This is something to be very proud of in this industry. We want our employees to be safe and to be able to do janitorial work without risk to their health and wellbeing.
Hopefully this newsletter will give our clients a better understanding of how we’re trying our best to ensure that they get the best service we can give them. There is no such thing as a perfect janitorial company, and even the best cleaning services may not be able to make all their clients happy all the time, but we want our clients to know that we continually do our best to strive for the high standards we know you expect, and that we expect of ourselves.