As a cleaning company we place a very high value on our staff, they can make or break your business. They are our greatest asset and also our greatest liability. Consequently maintaining an excellent working environment and keeping staff well motivated is one of our primary goals. The same applies to most businesses although it is especially important in the cleaning industry because of the potentially high turn over of staff that is somewhat traditional in this field.
We go into many businesses in carrying out our cleaning and as the current trend is for cleaning to take place during normal working hours we see many of these in operation on a day to day basis. Some of these are large organisations with well over 100+ people working on the site others are smaller concerns with perhaps 5 or 6 people employed. Each manager has their own method of managing their staff and some of the places are happy environments where the individuals actually enjoy going to work, others are places full of grumbles where the people cannot wait to go home.
By and large the atmosphere in the workplace seems to be a reflection of the managers. It never ceases to amaze me how some managers talk to their staff or not, because quite a few have decided that e-mailing them is better despite the fact that they may be in the next office. It is written down therefore it is done and no longer my problem seems to be the attitude. From a personal point of view I could not tolerate this.
One of the reasons we go to work with others is for the social interaction and this is being gradually eroded in the modern work place. When I did work in such an establishment it became commonplace for people to send out memos. Memos had their place, if a meeting was being arranged for example where time and place and agenda needed to be specified. However I concluded that well over 90% of the memos sent out to me were not informational but requesting me to do something.
This I used to take as very bad manners and throw most of them in the bin until the persons concerned were forced into actually talking to me. Discussions we used to have around this issue always centred on how more efficient it was to send out requests on bits of paper. To me it seemed that it was depersonalising the work place and increasing the amount of paper that was being shuffled around. Now it is used as a method of everybody covering their backs in case something goes wrong. It may be me being ‘difficult’, and it may be necessary to shuffle all this paper around but I just find it sad that the workplace has deteriorated to this level in many instances.
How do we keep our cleaners happy? We treat them as human beings who deserve the right to be spoken to correctly. Please and thank you seem to be very under used words in the workplace nowadays. We find that a please and a thank you goes a very long way in maintaining staff morale as does actually talking to them rather than leaving messages.
It is very noticeable that the good environments to work in, where people are happy, the bosses actually communicate with their staff on a human level and the word thank you is heard quite a lot.
Just remember how you feel when some body says thank you to you when you have done something for them and conversely how you feel when there is no response!