As you should know by now I strongly support the concept of ongoing training that is product specific to the tools and chemicals you use while reinforcing key concepts regarding safe practices. You might want to consider a simple exercise where you compare the productivity and outcomes of a worker or account that has ongoing training versus another worker or account that has little or none. Key metrics could be 1) productivity or speed of work being performed, 2) Quality Control inspection scores, 3) number of valid complaints, 4) bottom line profitability.

Remember that this exercise is a simple snapshot over a limited period of time so that you do not feel that it has to be an ongoing endeavor. Productivity or speed of work being performed is simply dividing the square footage covered by the total DLH (direct labor hours) expended per visit or event. Example: Divide 100,000 SF by 65 DLH = 1,538 SF/Hour compared to a similar size account of 100,000 SF by 25 DLH = 4,000 SF/Hour. Although this may be an extreme example, the untrained crew tends to fill the time, have a lot of complaints, have to redo work and usually complain they do not have enough time to do a good job. The faster crew has been trained in the basics of team cleaning and use back pack units, microfiber mops and other processes effectively.

Quality Control inspection scores should be 0-100 scoring with a minimum acceptable score based on the type account, specifications and expectations of the customer.

The number of valid complaints is important in that a crew can be so fast they are missing key points in the cleaning process. You may need to screen out invalid complaints that really should not be counted if they are due to unreasonable expectations not cleared expressed in the contract.

Of course, the bottom line is the bottom line. Are you making an acceptable profit margin for this account while including labor, benefits and other related costs? If not, can you increase productivity? Can you renegotiate the contract specifications? Do you need to “fire” the customer and focus on accounts that are profitable?

Effective training is essential to your 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