A reader writes: “I see that you are a SME (Subject Matter Expert). What does that mean?”

Actually, I do not consider myself to be much of an SME. I consider myself to be more of a generalist with a little experience in a lot of areas related to custodial operations. There are giants in the industry that I try to learn from and emulate but they are far ahead of me in so many areas. I do consider myself an eager student who strives to learn from each experience; especially when I am conducting a training session or dealing with a consulting issue.

I love the cleaning industry and value what it brings to the world as to protecting people’s health, making them more productive at work and trying to stay abreast of the newest technologies that keep coming to the forefront. There is nothing much more satisfying than taking a beaten up, abused hard floor and giving it a high gloss with no hair, bugs or debris to mar the results. I also get a lot of satisfaction when I am able to save a carpet that has been stained and neglected for a period of time. Both examples give me satisfaction in knowing that the tenants and end users of those areas can feel safe and welcome due to my humble efforts.

I also enjoy training when I can take a disparate group of experienced and inexperienced custodians and bring them to a better understanding of chemistry, safety, equipment, scheduling, and workloading while answering the five questions that are really Management 101:

1. What do you want me to do? — Think Communication in both directions
2. How do you want me to do it? — Think Knowledge and Skills
3. Why do you want me to do it? — Think Motivation and Respect
4. When do you want me to do it? — Think Time and Money
5. How am I doing? — Think The One Minute Manager

And finally, I really enjoy writing about this great subject since what we do is very important; yet taken for granted by most people — as it should be. The most humbling aspect is when I receive emails and phone calls from some of you who actually consider me to be an SME. Go figure? You on the frontlines are so valuable to the industry. I work for you. Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…..

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.