Auditing creates problems not anticipated

Whilst we’ve always had high standards for our work, and have many clients that will attest to that, we’ve been able to raise them ever higher with the appointment of a specialist Audit Manager last year.

This is a luxury most cleaning companies can’t afford or either don’t value enough to make it an important role in its own right.

Our Audit Manager manages no staff. Her role is not just to ensure that we’re delivering everything our clients have asked of us but to make sure we’re delivering the very best cleaning service that we can within the allotted time frames we have on every single visit.

From toilets being properly presented to table legs in the boardroom being regularly wiped down – she’ll ensure every corner looks exactly like it should. Whilst we do all of this to ensure clients are happy with the overall standards we’re delivering …….. if we’re being completely honest we do this to ensure that our clients are so happy that they’ll never leave.

Rather than see this role as a simple auditing function I personally refer to this role as being our Client Retention Manager. This diligent approach to cleaning standards allows me to work confidently with the knowledge, and satisfaction, that we’re doing the very best we can enabling me to focus on growing and constantly improving the company and making sure we’re doing the best we can all round.

However, we’ve found that not everyone likes being audited. Whilst the clients love it not all of the cleaners do. Some positively hate it.

Cleaners generally fall into two camps:

  1. This first group are mostly open and receptive to change and are willing to accept that they can learn and get better and will accept guidance and support in order to improve and excel in their pursuits.
  2. This group think they’ve already mastered their art and are working at a level above everyone else. They’re working hard enough and nobody has ever passed criticism of their work before. They often see the client and are quite chatty with them and as a result believe the client is totally happy with everything.

Working with this first group is a joy and to watch them embrace the tips to improve, enabling them to hone their craft, is something that increases not just their confidence levels but also job satisfaction too.

However, if the cleaner being audited falls into the second category then it often doesn’t go quite so well. They become defensive and in some cases dismissive of the audit findings. It’s like they take offence at having their work checked. It may only be a small thing that’s been pointed out or being asked to be cleaned more often but the response is almost always the same – “well, if you’re not happy then I’ll just leave”. And try as we might to present our findings in a more positive light – some just won’t accept it.

As a result all this auditing has had a positive knock on with our recruitment process. Sure, we’ve had to find an extra couple of staff to replace ones that we hadn’t expected to leave but more than anything it’s allowed us to focus on recruiting staff that share even more of our values.

We’ve always found that if staff are happy and are being regularly praised for the work they do then they’ll stay a lot longer. It’s this approach that leads to happier clients with cleaner offices.

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Most weeks we’ll receive calls from companies making enquiries to see if we are able to provide cleaning cover whilst their own cleaners are off