Schedules are simply guidelines for prescribed tasks that need to be adjusted as needed. Inflexible schedules are ineffective in a dynamic account that has ongoing challenges that require flexibility and creativity to satisfy the customer and adapt to changing needs. 

For instance, a rigid schedule that does not allow the possibility of absenteeism or equipment break down or other unplanned interruptions will fail. Some supervisors think that so long as they go by the schedule they can justify poor performance. The reality is that a supervisor must finish the job each day/night whether he/she has a full crew or not. The onsite supervisor has the responsibility of cleaning the area/building each visit while staying within budget. 

The onsite supervisor should coordinate with their immediate report to develop a clear schedule with understanding that it will have to be adapted as necessary, oftentimes on short notice. The goal should be to get the job done but also document any additional tasks that arise on short notice. This is why it is very important that the HR department not only provide qualified, competent workers but also have one or more fill in staff available on short notice. No customer will long accept the excuse that the account was short handed since that is one primary reason for them contracting with you. 

Absenteeism can wreak havoc on a schedule since the time frames originally developed called for X number of workers performing Y number of tasks within Z amount of time. Although a large account with a large, well trained, crew can deal with one or two absentees each day, the smaller accounts will suffer and quality outcomes will suffer. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. 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