In a prior article, I related the disastrous results of inadequate supervision and faulty training when a floor crew damaged a ceramic tile floor. The old adage comes to mind that “we may not have time to do a task right the first time, but we will certainly take time to do it over and over until we get it right.”  

Following are some suggestions to consider to avoid costly mistakes:

• Train staff to the level of competence for the work they are supposed to be doing.  Example:  a floor tech would need different training than a person pulling trash and dusting each day. 

• Partner with your vendors to determine the most effective and safest use of their products especially as it relates to specialty tasks such as stripping floors, carpet care, etc.

• Standardize cleaning procedures, equipment, supplies and tools so that training is “the XYZ Company” way of cleaning.

• Realize that ignorance is like garlic, a little bit goes a long ways – especially when it comes to unsafe practices.

• Drill workers on concepts such as chemical knowledge, the importance of reading labels, safety first, second and last.

• Develop a punch list of safety related topics that should be reviewed on a regular basis.

• Observe workers (preferably when they are unaware) to determine their adherence to safe, effective practices.

• Provide correct training and be willing to give out written reprimands for unsafe practices or failure to follow established policies and practices.

• Train to the level of certification so that only qualified workers are allowed to conduct certain tasks such as operating/servicing machinery, using hazardous chemicals such as strippers/acids and being allowed to operate with minimal supervision.

• Pay qualified SME (Subject Matter Experts) their real value based on their credentials and actual production of desired outcomes.

One major key to avoiding costly mistakes is to train, observe, train, observe and train some more.  Be on the alert for attitudes of workers who refuse to follow safety guidelines. Most of us cannot afford to have overtime built into our contracts if we are going to remain competitive.  When we bid a job, we must do it right the first time which means that effective training to the task is essential. 

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