It is reported that Vince Lombardi would start off a training session after losing a game by getting back to the fundamentals that most of his team learned in high school. He wasn’t being sarcastic when he acknowledged without the fundamentals his team members could not execute the plays that would win the game. He also recognized that there was a confidence in sticking with the fundamentals that really came in handy when they missed a play that resulting in a touchdown for the other side. He also recognized that if it became engrained in the minds and culture of his players, he could take them on to greater things with the foundation laid.

How does this concept apply to custodial operations? First of all, knowing the fundamentals is important in any endeavor. Secondly, correct execution (whether it is passing the football or stripping a floor) requires a sequence of events in the correct order with the right timing to be successful. Whether you are using a mopping system or an autoscrub machine is oftentimes determined by factors that include not only the size of the area being serviced but also the desired outcomes. For example, a 32-inch autoscrub would not be used on a small office break room simply because it would not be a good allocation of resources and time. Knowing when to use a “trash mop” (simple cotton fibers, no stitching) may be the right thing to do if you are cleaning up a spill and do not want to damage a quality microfiber mop head.

Fundamentals also get into relationships in that workers need to feel valued and respected. Their opinions should be requested at the appropriate time. Asking them how a contract or task could be more successful can lead to great information that can make or break a contract.

Know the fundamentals of cleaning so that your “team” can win when and where it counts: the bottom line. 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