Photo of cleaning crew

One of the primary criticisms of janitorial outsourcing is that cleaning staff will be disengaged in their work, leading to poor service quality and customer service. Engaged employees make a difference. Low-cost janitorial providers often aren’t concerned about the quality of their staff. The janitorial industry is known for having high turnover, and that’s largely due to the perception that the work is unskilled and that it doesn’t matter who does it.

That perception is incorrect. The heart of any facility services program are the people doing the work. Quality-oriented janitorial providers know how to hire and retain loyal, engaged employees. While cleaning isn’t necessarily skilled work, every facility has unique challenges that staff will need to address. In entertainment venues, service workers interact with customers. In offices, day porters need to be responsive to office worker requests. In manufacturing facilities, they need to be able to follow highly specialized training.

A quality-oriented facility services provider should raise these issues throughout the hiring process, weeding out people who can’t meet the requirements. After the right people are hired, compensation packages, ongoing training, and rewards keep them engaged. When employees feel like a part of the team that they work with, they’re more likely to stay. They’re also more proactive. If they spot safety hazards or maintenance issues, they’re more likely to report them.

Outsourcing janitorial services doesn’t have to mean your facility is staffed with disengaged, high-turnover employees. The key is to work with a janitorial provider that understands that its staff makes the difference in service quality.

Alan France, CS-P, CSR-P, is Vice President of Quality and Sustainability at ABM Industries. He has been with ABM for 19 years. Prior to this year, Alan served as the Director of Sustainability, Environmental Services. In this role Alan was responsible for the oversight and the operational deployment of ABM GreenCare and worked closely with new and existing customers to implement and maintain our sustainable service programs. Alan worked with ABM's suppliers to ensure their newest products and innovations are introduced to the ABM GreenCare program.