As I consult with building service contractors across the country I find certain recurring themes that need to be repeated. One key point is that it is all about supervision. What I mean is that a well trained, well supported, well motivated onsite supervisor is the most important person on the custodial staff. The rest of us work for him or her in that we should be making it as easy as possible for them to do their job each day. 


This also applies to the Human Resources Department in a larger company that may simply hire and assign workers without real thought as to whether they will make good team members. This also applies to upper management who can be quick to criticize poor performance without taking into account circumstances that may have led to those outcomes.


If a supervisor has to spend most of their time undoing poor decisions by HR or Accounting, they will not have much time or energy left over to do their real job. By real job, I mean getting the job done each day as per the Statement of Work (SOW) so that the checks keep coming in from a satisfied customer. 


For example, if accounting purchases cheap equipment that requires high maintenance and is off line for repairs, the onsite supervisor has to find workarounds that will result is lost momentum and could possibly hurt morale. Any good time study report will demonstrate that the cost of low performing equipment is increased labor and benefits.


Find creative ways of helping your supervisor to be more productive by asking them directly how you can help them do a better job. Give them the opportunity to experiment in a limited fashion to find better ways of doing their job.


Your comments and questions are important. 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