Since introducing this annual reader survey in 2007, the industry has embraced green and learned to become more sustainable. And most notably, managers have entered, endured and overcome one of the most severe economic downturns in history. In fact, for the first time in a long time, “optimistic” was a word used to describe custodial managers.

The 2013 survey had revealed that departmental budgets had stabilized, staffing cuts had ceased and purchasing was on the rise. Managers were “optimistic” for the year ahead — and looking back, they were right to feel that way.

That optimism continued as managers are again confident with the direction their departments are going in 2014. According to survey results, departmental budgets are leveling out — 35 percent fewer departments expect budget cuts since initially rebounding from the recession in 2011. The threat of outsourcing has slowly declined over the last four years, dropping 26 percent. And managers are also increasingly confident with the quality of their workforce. Concerns with finding adequate employees have dropped 37 percent in the last 12 months.

Respondents also indicated that green products and processes have almost become a no-brainer. In fact 68 percent of managers say that using green products has helped improve the health of people working within the facility — a 19 percent jump over 2013.

Acceptance of green is driving more interest in sustainable initiatives and a better understanding of cleaning’s impact on the environment. According to the survey, managers want to know more about what they are buying — 89 percent would like products to list ingredients on the packaging/labeling — and they expect their distributor and manufacturing vendors to mirror departmental sustainable goals.

How does your facility stack up against others in the industry? The results of this annual survey will help managers answer that question as they benchmark their department against industry averages.

To access the complete results from this 2014 Reader Survey, click on the links* below. Each section breaks down the responses as they pertain to management issues, budget concerns, staffing efficiencies, purchasing preferences and green/sustainable initiatives.

To compare this 2014 survey with results from previous years, click the links below:

*This information is exclusive to CleanLink members. If you aren’t already a member, you are encouraged to sign up. It’s quick, easy and free, and you’ll gain access to all our surveys, exclusive webcast/training, online-only articles and digital publications.

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Survey: Management Priorities in 2014 - Member Content