Not all workers are the same in skills, education, trainability or physical attributes.  Some prefer certain tasks due to their background.  Others shy away from new or different challenges due to having failed or been humiliated in past attempts.  A wise supervisor can identify those strengths and weaknesses to the worker and company’s advantage.  One primary goal of the supervisor should be to help each worker succeed in any assigned task with a focus on high quality outcomes for the customer.  

Following are a few suggestions to consider:

• Try to match the tasks to the person whenever possible but do not let it become considered an entitlement.  The exception is a VIP customer to demands a certain favorite worker clean their area only.  Ultimately, the customer can dictate so long as it does not hurt morale or create safety issues.

• Understand what limitations a worker may have.  An example is that it might not be wise to assign heavy lifting tasks to a small person weighing less than 120 pounds.  Their lifting capacity may be limited due to size, bone structure and muscle mass.

• Schedule enough workers to successfully perform the assigned work without making the having to rush.  A steady, well ordered pace reduces mistakes and fatigue.

• Consider cross training so that all staff know other tasks in case of absenteeism.  Some workers may resist such cross training at first but if it is explained to them at the beginning they will be more amenable.

• Beware of having one person work eight or more hours on the same function whether it is wearing a backpack, cleaning rest rooms, hauling heavy trash, etc.  

• Observed trained workers to make sure they are lifting, wearing PPE’s, etc. and give prompt feedback to correct behavior before it becomes habit.

• Be careful not to overload your best workers by asking them to repeatedly cover for someone else that is absent or underperforming. 

Remember that we are in the people business.  Please note the preceding is suggestive only since regulations will vary by government entity.  It is highly recommended that reader consult with local SME (subject matter experts) on any safety related topic and use the preceding as a starting point.  Go to for more information or use a search engine for local and state regulations.

Your comments and questions are always welcome. 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