A reader writes: "I am trying to develop procedures for various custodial tasks in cleaning an office so that everyone does the work the same way. Any suggestions?"

I believe you are certainly thinking proactively in taking this step. Although there is an upfront investment in going through this exercise, there are certainly some great benefits. First of all, it makes you think through the actual steps necessary to perform these tasks. This forces you to identify what is and is not necessary. You also will focus on the most effective, yet safest way of performing each of these tasks rather than relying on each person to figure it out. You are planning on using customized Job Cards to identify the order of each task/action so that there is a methodology that will ultimately become your standard.

I suggest you break out your Job Card to identify the products and tools necessary to perform each task. For instance, in cleaning an office, you will need to determine whether you are going to utilize Zone or Team Cleaning since each may be appropriate for a given task. We have a customer who requires the same person clean her office and therefore we utilize the Zone Cleaning approach to accommodate her wishes. This means that the same person performs all the tasks including pulling trash, dusting, vacuuming, spotting carpet, touching up walls, cleaning the private rest room and sweeping/damp mopping hard floors.

Products include: PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gloves and possibly eye wear. Even though the cleaner is not using any harsh chemicals, they are trained in how to use them safely to best effect. Equipment/tools include a rolling barrel, large and small plastic liners glass cleaner, all purpose cleaner, wood polish, disinfectant/sanitizer, microfiber cloths, lamb's wool duster, broom/dust pan, damp mop set up and vacuum cleaner. Tasks include working from the front of the area going to the right with the goal of ending up at either the entrance or an identified exit. Pulling trash, dusting and spot wiping wall areas is the first run. Then the worker sweeps/damp mops hard floor areas. Finally, they vacuum their way out of the carpeted areas to leave a pattern in the plush carpet.

Do you agree with this process? How would you do it differently?

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.