Here are four mistakes cleaning companies make when it comes to quality control. Solve them by making employees aware of expectations, keeping track with quality control inspection software and more.
— John Guaspari
Quality isn't something you define.
You can think your janitors did a great job cleaning the mirrors or that the vacuum equipment you’ve purchased is good enough. But author and business consultant John Guaspari reminds us that “quality” work and “quality” products are ultimately determined by what the customer thinks. They get the final say.
But now, let’s go beyond the term and definition of “quality” and talk about how to regulate it for your cleaning company through quality control.
What is Quality Control?
Quality control is simply an established program that focuses on maintaining quality standards for products and services.
According to Anthony Maione, vice president of Core Management Services, a quality control system should include items such as: inspection plans, requirements for reporting, work expectations and key performance indicators.
It’s a no-brainer that cleaning companies always want to offer high-quality services and products. But the way that quality is measured, checked and enforced often falls apart because of common mistakes.
As the first of a two-part series, here are four of the top eight quality control mistakes that cleaning companies might make and how to fix them:
Criticize more than educate
Yes, you need to address negative trends or issues with your janitors. But the last thing you want to do is gather feedback from inspections scores and use negative results to belittle or embarrass an employee. “Use the quality inspection process to identify and validate the positive cleaning outcomes first,” said Maione.
“[Then] focus on the most prevalent and critical deficiencies, such as the most common three deficiencies in a cleaner’s area or the three area types with the lowest scores.”
If problems keep occurring, remind your staff of the expectations set in your quality control program. Stay professional and composed when you meet with them and they will be more motivated to improve their efforts.
Employees not aware of expectations
But what if you haven’t taken the time to educate your janitors on what expectations have been set in your quality control program? Or worse, are they not aware that there is a program in place?
A 2015 Gallup survey revealed that only 50 percent of employees throughout the world could confidently say that they knew what their managers expected of them.
If you haven’t already, schedule a time to meet with your cleaning employees and discuss your quality control program with them. Make it clear the level of quality you expect from each of them, what their responsibilities are and when you will follow up.
Use pen and paper, not quality control software
Keeping track of your inspection results and work quality issues in a notebook or with Excel hurts your effectiveness. You end up with a lot of clutter and wasted hours of sorting, filing and searching. This will only hinder your efforts to maintain an effective quality control program.
Your time on the job is valuable and limited. Technology like quality control inspection software, can help you submit and find information much faster. For example, you can see what the inspection scores are for each client location or which rooms in a location have the worst cleaning quality with only one tool.
Train some staff more than others
You might think that your custodial supervisors know enough and can be trusted when it comes to quality control. But this can create problems if you mainly focus on training janitors and other front-line workers.
Craig Cochran, from the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Georgia Tech, says that companies usually do a great job with training their hourly employees. But too often, salaried employees and managers are overlooked.
“Salaried and managerial personnel need more — not less — training because their decisions and actions have larger and more lasting effects,” said Cochran.
“When an hourly employee makes a mistake, it could cost money. When a top manager makes a mistake, it could put you out of business. Train your employees early and often.”
More to Come…
CleanTelligent Software offers many services for managing quality control, such as inspections and work orders features that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Learn more today on our solutions page!
And please read part 2 of this blog post for more top quality control mistakes.