Managers often struggle with figuring out how to improve productivity of their cleaning staff, but there is a formula that can help.

As we continue to consider why this account is not very productive we now look at carpet maintenance and cleaning. Since the facility is approximately 80 percent carpet and rugs, the focus should be on how to maintain it from the entrance to the executive suites. I have already recommended that the zone cleaners be allowed to use backpacks or simply assign one or two vacuum specialists to vacuum carpet on a schedule as well as perform some high dusting, edging, etc. in a Quadrant Cleaning format.

The first area of concern is to install adequate walk-off mats at all entrances. The current worn out mats at the front entrance is doing little to capture soils/grit before being tracked in. Most experts recommend 15 to 20 linear feet with a mix of crumb catchers outside and wipe dry mats inside. Of course the mats must be kept vacuumed and cleaned to maximize their ability to capture soils before it ever gets into the building.

Remember to focus on the first 50 to 75 feet of the main entrance since this is the area that will catch most of the soiling that the mats do not get. If not alert to the danger, you will encounter "carpet creep" that will slowly allow the soiled area to go further and further into the building.

Installing and maintaining walk-off mats can help to reduce total labor hours thereby increasing productivity. As these savings in labor accumulate, labor can either be diverted to other tasks or simply reduced from the contract. We will continue this analysis in a future article.

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