Manage Relationships Between Cleaning Workers And Tenants
A reader writes: "We have a worker who has gotten too close to the customer. She comes and goes as she pleases. What can we do?"
Unfortunately, you inherited this person when you assumed the contract at the request of the customer. She babysits their children, brings in brownies every Friday and coddles these key tenants. Upon inspection of her work, the area is very clean and there was not one complaint from her area. The only thing I could fault is that she does not have the same workload as your other cleaners, thereby resulting in them having to work harder over a larger area.
My question to you is: "What is your real concern?" You have a very picky tenant who is very satisfied with the worker and is willing to pay for the differential. I oftentimes counsel clients (and periodically remind myself) that we cannot change anyone but ourselves. We can change our ATTITUDE towards others, which can ultimately work to our benefit. That is my advice to you. Instead of resenting the close, cozy relationship that this person has with the tenant, why not celebrate a great working relationship with a fussy customer? Your worker has figured out how to keep this tenant satisfied.
You may need to make sure that there is no possible discrimination, which is a Human Resources issue that I cannot address in this article. You can enforce start/stop times if they are delineated in the contract specs. Make sure that this "pet worker" attends all the required training sessions on safety, building security, etc. Periodically check with the customer and kindly remind them that due to state/federal laws, she has to participate in all mandatory training to protect all stakeholders and that her start/stop times have to match other workers to avoid claims of discrimination. Be sure to compliment the worker when appropriate and always ask the tenant how your company could do a better job.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is re-think your attitude. This could certainly be a lot worse if the worker was not performing.
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.