Facility Cleaning Decisions Annual Reader Survey 2017

Cleaning executives comment on staffing challenges, budgets and management concerns in this 2017 Annual Reader Survey

“Doing more with less” has been the slogan of facility services for so long, most cleaning managers haven’t known any other way of running their departments. Even before the “Great Recession” (2007-2009), most departments were operating on minimal budget dollars, and were often the first line item cut when facilities pulled the proverbial purse strings.

As seems to be the case again this year, managers are concerned with stretching their budget dollars. Even though 62 percent of executives don’t expect to see cuts in the next 12 months, budgets do seem to be more fluid than ever before. Forty percent of readers commented that their operations budget can be, or is often, readjusted during the course of a year, regardless of the workload.

And for facilities that have seen cuts in years past, recouping dollars seems unlikely. According to the survey, only 34 percent of managers that experienced cuts in the past have seen dollars reallocated to their departments. Just last year, as many as 71 percent of managers expected a rebound — this is a 37 percentage point reduction in just one year.

Reading these stats, it’s no surprise that managers participating in the survey have prioritized cost cutting measures and ways to streamline spending. And it only makes sense that they start with their largest line item: labor.

According to managers, finding and hiring adequate staff has plagued many custodial departments. Fifty-one percent of these readers blame employee shortcomings on lack of training (up from 29 percent in 2016), while 45 percent attribute struggles to employee unwillingness to implement these training practices (up from 20 percent).

This is why 68 percent of managers have focused their attention on finding all-star employees to join their team (up from only 38 percent last year). Building a strong staff will streamline cleaning efficiencies and stretch tight budgets.

These results from the 2017 Annual Reader Survey should help managers benchmark their departments against industry averages.

The survey is broken out into a couple different categories. Links to each are available here:
Management Priorities
Departmental Budgets
Employee Staffing & Retention
Purchasing Priorities

To compare this 2017 survey with results from previous years, click here.

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Survey: 2017 Management Priorities Of Custodial Executives