A Pinterest quote by Lailah Gifty Akita reads: “When your environment is clean you feel happy, motivated and healthy.” We agree. As housekeeping is important so is working in a clean and hygienic work environment.
Companies who care for the wellbeing of their employees are the businesses who grow and prosper. A top priority of any business should be the hygiene and cleanliness of the workplace not only as part of looking after the general wellbeing of their staff but also as part of the image they want their brand to portray. The health and safety of all employees and guests are dependent on the cleaning staff.
Cleaners are extremely important in any business and so often overlooked by management. Sad to say though is that most cleaning staff themselves are demotivated and do not realise just how important their jobs are. A lot of companies also don’t invest in their cleaning staff’s skills development. They don’t educate their cleaning staff on how important their work is, don’t motivate them, and don’t teach them how to clean properly and how to take pride in their jobs.
How can you start getting cleaning staff to realise they have important jobs? Richard Branson famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
1. Invest in them. So often companies forget or don’t think it is necessary to invest in low-paying workers like cleaning staff. These staff members also need to know that management cares for their wellbeing. Investing in their skills development, their knowledge and making them understand just how important their role is in the business will help them feel like they are significant in the workplace. All companies who employ cleaning staff, as well as commercial cleaning companies, should book The Mindspa Institute’s course in Hygiene and Cleaning. This practical, engaging one-day training intervention will equip all cleaning staff with the skills and knowledge they need to perform. The facilitator can speak several African languages and engage in a practical manner with all delegates.
2. Adequate tools and supplies. How can cleaning staff perform their duties without adequate suppliers and tools? The accountant can’t do his/her job without a laptop and accounting programme. Every job requires tools and supplies. Give them what they need and try and make their job easier. Things like proper vacuum cleaners or industrial floor polishers are equipment that can help them in their job.
3. Inclusion. Everyone wants to work in a fair and safe environment. People want to feel like they belong. To function like a ‘well-oiled-machine’ employees need to feel like a family. Make them feel important by including them into team-building exercises, award ceremonies, end of the year functions, staff parties, etc. You could also consider arranging a get together just for them. If the spotlight falls on your cleaners once in a while, they will feel like they belong.
4. Gratitude, reward and recognition. A simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way in motivating your cleaning staff. Educate other staff on how to appreciate what cleaners do for them and that they should not take them for granted. Teach all employees how to respect and value one another’s importance as part of the daily work environment. Reward cleaning staff for doing a good job and give recognition regularly and consistently.
5. Communication channels. If there are sufficient communication channels in place where staff can talk and perhaps complain and something gets done about it, your cleaning staff will feel like they are being listened to and are being taken seriously. They will feel like they matter and they too are important. Don’t let them down and keep your communication transparent to build their trust. Keep to your promises especially when it comes to the timeous payment of wages. Give feedback regularly on performance and achieving objectives.
Ultimately, skills development and education are a great motivator for any employee. If someone understands what they do, why they do it and how they should do it, objectives become clear and achievable and purpose is given to their lives. Most of the time both the cleaner and the employer don’t realise just how important the work that cleaning staff do, is. Find out more about this course here