How to get the most from your cleaning provider

cleaner cleaning the glass

For most workplaces, cleaning is a task which is virtually invisible until something goes wrong. Your workers clock off and when they return the bins have been emptied and the hand towel and soap have been topped up. Everything chugs along just the way it is supposed to and you may not think about your cleaners again until it’s time to renew their contract in another year or so – unless of course, it comes to your attention that something isn’t being cleaned to the expected standard.

You get in contact with the provider, they listen, talk to and possibly do some re-training with their cleaner to make sure the performance issue is addressed and everything is hunky dory, right? Well, the thing is, that as much as we’d like to respond with a resounding ‘yes’, the real answer is ‘sometimes’.

If it was a performance issue, then yes this is exactly how it should go down, however another very common scenario, which happens to be the bane of cleaning providers everywhere, is that the problem hasn’t been identified by anyone directly associated with managing your cleaning needs but has been referred on by another employee – an employee whose expectations of what, how and when cleaning should be performed are in no way informed by the agreement which was established with your cleaning provider.

Perhaps you’re fielding complaints from someone who’s dissatisfied that the cleaner never removes the build-up of gunk under their mouse (it’s there, just have a look). Maybe this is because this individual previously worked somewhere with a clean desk policy which had cleaners regularly wiping down every surface on each desk; perhaps their view is simply that cleaners are engaged to ‘do the cleaning’ and this should be open to whatever interpretation their client may take; hell, maybe a ball of mouse gunk was responsible for killing their parents in a freak accident, who knows.

The point is, there is little to no universal agreement on what a business’ cleaning should or shouldn’t be outside of the specific agreement which has been made with your provider. Almost every individual will have a different expectation of what a workplace cleaning should entail based upon their previous workplaces – all of which will have had differing needs, schedules and budgets.

So the key to resolving this kind of scenario is to talk it out, both with your cleaning provider and the staff who have raised concerns. The reality is that 99% of the time your cleaners will absolutely be prepared to modify the cleaning requirements, however, this may necessitate an increase in cost or reduction in other tasks in lieu – which means you need to be certain that the change you are requesting is a priority for your organisation and not just the machinations of a squeaky wheel. It may sound like a great idea for the office cleaners to give everyone’s car a quick polish as part of their weekly routine, but that doesn’t mean that your boss will be willing to foot the bill.

As with most all relationships, the key to making things work well with a cleaning provider is to communicate, particularly regarding your expectations and challenges – your cleaners want you and your workers to be happy with what they do, but as a profession, they are woefully under-skilled when it comes to mindreading.

If your cleaners aren’t looking after your business and it’s time to find a reliable alternative, talk to Cleanworks.



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