Some of you may have seen a recent episode of CBC’s Fifth Estate where this investigative news program examined the topic of the very poor hospital hygiene in Ontario, and the poor cleaning practices that the janitorial service companies that clean the hospitals engage in such as not changing the dirty water and mops frequently and not using the required cleaning products and procedures to ensure a sanitary environment.
Although the Fifth Estate show primary focused on the Hospital administration’s role in this huge problem, they did conduct an interview with a janitor employee of the cleaning company that was servicing the hospital in question.
What I got from the interview with the janitor, shed light on what I have known to be a major problem for the last 20 years. Cleaning companies will cut corners in order to win the Hospital’s cleaning contract. Unfortunately this problem is as much the Hospital’s fault as much as the cleaning company. Too often Hospital administrators and many commercial or industrial company management are more interested to cut costs then in the quality of the service they are contracting. Hospitals like any other business must be accountable for their spending and cleaning services can be a costly expense. Balancing the need for a quality cleaning service and costs can be a tricky thing. As a decision maker, you will need to decide how much value to do you place on having a healthy work environment to work in may depend company offices in sanitary Janitorial companies compete fiercely amongst each other and some janitorial companies to get the edge on competition, will engage in shady business practices by hiring illegal workers or unqualified, untrained staff so as to save money on labour and to win client’s cleaning contract.
Being in the commercial janitorial business 20 years, we have seen this since first day of business and for 20 years now. This happens frequently due to lack of government regulations, fierce completion, many commercial janitorial companies engage in very poor and unsanitary cleaning practices in order to save money and be able to offer lower cost services to commercial and industrial businesses and even medical buildings too. In today’s tough economy conditions every company is looking to save money in every aspect of their business. Since janitorial services largest expense is labour, no matter how much technology advances vacuums, auto-scrubbers, mops, etc., you cannot take out the labour factor out of cleaning a hospital or an office building not now and not 20 years from now until the robot technology evolves great strides and provided it will be affordable to buy the labour aspect of cleaning will not change.
Needless to say when you hire people for low wages, it is very likely the quality of cleaning work will be of poor quality and rapid regular turnover of staff. We have known this for 20 years and will only hire professional cleaners who take pride in the work and we pay one of the highest cleaner compensation in the business to capture and retain quality staff.
As the president of Serv-U-Clean Ltd., our mission is to focus on customer service and hygiene and balance this with best possible price with quality and reliability as foremost importance above all. We have learned over the years that many janitorial companies operate their business based on quality of service but rather taking advantage of a company’s desire to cost by offering sub standard services without disclosing to the customer that “you get what you pay for” until after the contract had been signed and the client is not happy with the service.
I could go on and on the this subject matter but I wont. I will say this…. if you want a janitorial service that will care about the quality and reliability of the cleaning service you get, it usually not the bid that comes in more than 20% cheaper than rest. If you had not extensive experience with hiring commercial cleaning business, make sure you don’t fall for the trap of cheaper is better. NEVER. Quality cleaning crews don’t come cheap as nothing else in this world.