A reader comments: “You make too big of a deal about managing quality control with too much paperwork and forms to track. We simply listen to the customer and if they have a concern, we respond. Why make it more complicated than it has to be?”

First of all, I agree that it is best to keep it simple. Custodial best practices require accountability beyond waiting for the customer to complain before we identify the problem. I agree that no one should be generating forms, papers and reports that will never be read. Remember that quality control happens at different levels within a custodial contract.

When I refer to a quality control program, I immediately think of training to a standard to fulfill the expectations of the contract. One key point in training is to have the worker inspect their own work based on their training while reporting any exceptions (doors unlocked, lights burned out, etc.) so that someone can respond in a timely manner. They can correct many issues that never get any further. In most cases, custodial is an arm of the management team whose primary purpose is to protect the health and safety of tenants and visitors.

I usually refer to a Quality Control (QC) Program that incorporates a checks and balances system to verify, in writing, that work is being performed as per the contract specifications. Many contracts today call for a QC system be in place with regular inspections and reports to a key POC (point of contact) at the site. The next level of quality control should be the area lead, onsite supervisor or other person who has a checklist of tasks and verifies that the work was completed to their satisfaction. Periodic joint inspections can greatly enhance communication.

I believe that your system of managing by complaint is not best practices but if it works for you, then please proceed.

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 CTCG50@comcast.net