A reader writes: “I have dropped by our office complex in the evenings to pick up a file or check on a matter. Upon my arrival, I find cleaning workers taking breaks, on their phones and leaving early. This is unacceptable. How would you deal with such behavior?

Based on our conversation, I learned that the vendor has not provided a daily and periodic schedule as per the contract. Different workers may start and stop at different times on different nights. It was due within the first 10 working days of start-up and they have been on the job for over three months. Why did you allow this lapse to occur?

You also indicated that you do not know when and where workers are scheduled for their breaks when they should be able to eat, take a smoke break (in a designated area), use their cell phones and simply relax before going back to work. Without this information, you may be pre-judging innocent workers who simply are following their schedule. I am a little concerned that you have not run into supervision during your visits.

My suggestion is that you require the vendor to provide a schedule of workers’ activities from check in to check out. This means that there should be Job Cards (or other published schedules) available for you to reference so that when you see Tom Smith eating in the break room at 8:15 p.m., it matches his schedule. Of course, if you observe Tom Smith coming in early and leaving beyond the designated break time, you certainly have cause for concern.

I also noted that you still do not know the night supervisor or her staff. Why? I suggest you introduce yourself to them and ask if they could tell you about how operations are going. Do they have a full crew? Could you see a sample of their nightly and project work schedules? Is there anything you can do to help her crew be more productive? You might be amazed at how open and cooperative supervision can be if approached in a respectful manner.

I am sure that management will know very soon that you are taking an interest in your account. 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.