This article continues my discussion with a front-line janitor who wants to become a janitorial supervisor.

Since many onsite supervisors were promoted through the ranks they tend to identify with the front-line workers who usually perceive them as just another part of management. Some individuals may have been great cleaners or even Lead Workers but have not been provided the skillsets to actually manage a contract of any size or complexity.

The role of supervisor may or may not come easy to you, the reader. The average onsite supervisor wears many different hats in order to successfully manage a custodial contract. They must refine and develop their own basic knowledge and skillsets over the life of their career.

This ongoing self-improvement requires dedication and commitment to continued growth through learning, experimenting, succeeding and yes, even failing in their chosen field. Of course, we try to learn from our failings and not repeat them. If they are to grow, they must become SME (Subject Matter Experts) in areas ranging from people skills to floor care to basic math.

You may have to decide which area you want to become an expert in first and then follow a game plan as how to acquire that knowledge over six months or a year. I believe it was Teddy Roosevelt who went through a phase when he read one book per day on topics to not only improve his knowledge of a given subject but also to stretch his mind. I wonder which skillsets helped him during his presidency. 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