Make sure there is communication between your cleaning company and you. You can do that by agreeing to communicate with a designated person through E-mails, or by phone. E-mails are the best methods, as there is a written communication and allows you and the contractor to go back and look at what was said. Communication is one of the most common complaints, keep in mind that cleaners cannot read your mind or those of other building occupants. The designated contact person isn't always there and any information you have, complaints or concerns need to be heard immediately.
Building managers have numerous complaints from building occupants everyday, from the smallest to the biggest problems and have to make judgment calls on whether the complaint is warranted. When it comes to cleaning companies, many building occupants assume that the building is going to be perfectly cleaned to their specifications and everyone has different specification and level of cleaning they think needs to be done. Give out notices on what the duties are, post them where everyone can see, so there are a lot less complaints on cleaning. Remember most building occupants do not know what you have asked for or agreed to and don't realize cleaners are only suppose to do what was agreed upon.
Asking building occupant to clean up after themselves: While cleaners don't mind the occasional picking up, they are suppose to be cleaning the facility, not picking up other peoples messes. Cleaners get concerned about touching other peoples items and many get to the point of leaving messes for the cleaners, even though some places require the building occupants to clean up after themselves depending on their type of job. It creates less time getting the building cleaned if they have to spend time picking up messes, as cleaners have a limited amount of time to clean and must perform tasks set for them each day.
When cleaning desks: It is important to have desks cleared before proceeding to wipe down the desks. Many office workers for example have a lot of personal items on their desks making it harder to clean, and most of the time papers scattered out, then wonder why it wasn’t cleaned. post a notice once a week for them to clear their desks of papers and excessive items. It is voluntary, they do not have to, but to get it cleaned the desk must be cleared.
Too many inspectors: Most building managers take that task upon themselves to inspect the facility every morning on their walk through. We have come across some managers that asks other building occupants to report any cleaning that isn’t getting done. It really isn't a good idea to allow that. Everyone has a different level of clean and their own requirements. What happens is we will start getting notices on something that isn't on our list to clean, requesting that it be cleaned, and expect it to be part of the regular cleaning. The only way to add something new to the list is to amend the contract with your service provider, which in most cases increases the price of cleaning, as it takes more time to do another task. We do expect building occupants to complain if something that is on our list isn't getting done, that's the information we want. We will also inspect those complaints. Just make sure that any complaints is on the contract list of task to do. Having only yourself or a designated inspector will reduce the complaints and you will know for sure what is being done.
Hiding items: (Hiding pennies, paper clips etc.) This is the most annoying to cleaners, because the vacuums get broken if we do not catch it fast enough to stop the vacuum from sucking it up, Placing paperclips pencils, small office items around places, on shelves etc. To make a point, there was one occupant a few years ago that kept a paper clip on top of a shelf, every day would call and say they didn’t clean, everyday we ask well is there dust? Answer is always no, finally after a few calls like this, we asked why they kept saying that, " I left a paper clip on there and hasn't been moved" Our cleaners pick it up and put it back, it could be a lucky clip for all we know.
One more story: One facility had called us complaining that their facility wasn’t getting cleaned. There was trash and food on the tables in the conference room, our records showed it was cleaned. The third time we sent a supervisor to make sure it was getting cleaned. The next day sure enough we received a call, same complaint, finally after a few phone calls ... came to find out that some employees was coming in for late meetings and left messes there after the cleaning crew had already come in.
Myth: Most cleaners steal. Now this isn't true. They get a bad rap when it does happen. Most cleaners do not steal and are very well aware of the reputation, which makes them nervous and skeptical about touching someone's items. Keep in mind that most items that end up missing. usually turns up within the next few days. Take me for example, In 20 years of cleaning, I have been accused 5 times. Item one in question, was borrowed by a family member, item two was misplaced, item three was broken by a husband, item 4 and 5 was misplaced. Not by me but it goes to show that people jump to conclusions. And many of the accusers won't admit that they found the item in question. I feel blessed that my accusers actualy said they were sorry.
Sad Fact: As a cleaner, you can clean for 15 years without making a mistake and not be remembered, make one mistake no one forgets it.