Four Tips for Instilling a Culture of Cleanliness

As more facilities welcome employees and building occupants back at increased or full capacity, facility managers must remember that the public’s heightened awareness around cleanliness is here to stay. Knowing the role cleaning plays in helping to reduce the spread of illness, it is imperative that facility managers enhance their cleaning protocols to promote a culture of cleanliness. Moving forward, cleanliness protocols will likely impact employee retention, satisfaction and productivity as employees want to be reassured that their facility is keeping them as safe as possible.

Cleaning Up Old Habits: Instilling a Culture of Cleanliness

Many facilities will need to rethink their approach to cleaning as cleanliness continues to stay top of mind. A few considerations facility managers must take include:

Scheduling daytime cleaning.

A recent national survey found that nearly 90% of Americans want proof workplaces are being cleaned and sanitized regularly even after they have been vaccinated. Scheduling daytime cleaning reassures employees that
high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces are being cleaned regularly. Making cleaning more visible stresses a facility’s commitment to cleanliness and builds trust with employees.

Additionally, a daytime cleaning schedule also supports the happiness and wellbeing of cleaning staff. This can improve productivity, cleaning performance and reduce turnover rates. Hence, shifting to a daytime schedule supports the bottom line and helps to foster a culture of cleanliness.

Cleaning for health and appearance.

Cleaning for appearance remains critical but facility managers must make cleaning for health a priority. It’s vital to implement cleaning solutions and equipment that can eliminate pathogens of concern, but are also sustainable. Sustainable cleaning products promote good indoor air quality (IAQ) and reduces cleaning’s impact on the environment, which further supports public health. In fact, a recent Harris Poll found that 1 in 2 U.S. adults believe buildings should follow sustainable cleaning practices.

One way to clean for health and appearance is to implement an on-site generation (OSG) system. OSG systems produce two electrochemically-activated solutions (ECAS) with just salt, water and electricity. ECAS are as effective as other cleaning products, but don’t use harsh ingredients or volatile organic compound (VOC) emitting chemicals. Similarly, verify if your service provider’s cleaning protocols are Green Seal® certified. Cleaning programs are required to go through a rigorous process to confirm whether they incorporate effective, sustainable cleaning and disinfecting procedures and equipment

Promoting good hand hygiene.

Proper hand washing is a pillar of cleanliness and infection prevention. In addition to cleaning protocols, it’s pivotal for facilities to promote proper hand washing techniques. Consider installing signs in restrooms that serve as a reminder to building occupants of the facility’s standards and commitment to cleanliness. Be sure that there’s an adequate supply of sanitizer and hand soap regularly.

Prioritizing training.

Training supports cleaning performance, safety and the continued success of cleaning professionals. It not only allows employees to feel more comfortable with the products and equipment they’re using, but also teaches them how to reduce waste and be more sustainable. Training improves cleaning consistency, which takes away from having to reclean or use more resources needed. It should be ongoing, starting with the onboarding process and continuing throughout their tenure.

Long-term Change for Long-term Results

The public’s perceptions of clean have been forever altered as a result of the pandemic, and facilities will need to adapt. As we grow closer towards a post-pandemic world, trust will be hard to earn and even easier to burn. Facility manager that are mindful of employees’ concerns and willing to work towards a culture of cleanliness will be better prepared for the future.

Do you need help bringing a culture of cleanliness to your facility? Contact us here to learn more about our offerings, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for updates.

Commemorating Employee Milestones at GSF USA

In the latest edition of our quarterly spotlight, “Celebrating the People who Care about Clean,” we recognize the hardworking individuals who bring their best to GSF USA every day. One of the key differentiators at GSF is the way we treat our people. We focus on leading and developing our staff through ongoing training, education and support. By empowering employees to continually learn and improve, we enhance the level of clean in our customers’ facilities and build stronger teams.  

Thank you to our team for your dedication to delivering cleanliness for our customers and their customers. We couldn’t have done it without your efforts! 

30th Anniversary 

  • Jerry B., General Manager, GSF Indiana: Jerry is integral to the success of GSF USA. For 30 years, he has held various sales and managerial roles and has served as General Manager of the Indianapolis market for 20 years. He is a go-to resource and mentor for our employees and has extensive experience and certifications around floor care. In his current role, Jerry oversees Human Resources, Customer Service, Sales and daily operations of all GSF Indiana sites, including The Overlook at Riverdale, Indiana Spine Hospital and BMO Plaza.  

 25th Anniversaries  

Our latest silver anniversaries include:  

  • Daniel L., GSF Indiana 
  • Abraham A., GSF Illinois 
  • Jasel A., GSF Illinois
  • Lisa C., GSF USA
  • Mary M., GSF Indiana 

 20th Anniversaries 

For two decades, these team members have served GSF and their customers: 

  • Sandra H., GSF Illinois 
  • Armando M., GSF Illinois  
  • Arlin T., GSF Indiana  

 15th Anniversary  

  • Charles B., GSF Indiana  

 10th Anniversaries 

  • Israel L., GSF Indiana  
  • Libia F., GSF Illinois  

 5th Anniversaries  

  • Alexis T., GSF Indiana 
  • Olga P., GSF Indiana 
  • Santos A., GSF Indiana
  • Mauricio P., GSF Indiana 
  • Gudelia R., GSF Indiana  
  • Rafael G., GSF Indiana  
  • Alberto L., GSF Ohio 
  • Ramon A., GSF Ohio 
  • Margarita E., GSF Indiana 
  • Daniel R., GSF Indiana 
  • Edgar L., GSF Illinois 
  • Wioletta M., GSF Illinois 
  • Francisco M., GSF Illinois 
  • Suzanne D., GSF Illinois 
  • David D., GSF Illinois 
  • Maricela V., GSF Indiana 

 Would you like to join the GSF USA team? Visit our online careers page and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest hiring updates.  

Five Employee Training Do’s and Don’ts for Cleaning Operations

With cleaning procedures, equipment and products continually evolving, ongoing training should be a point of emphasis for facility managers. Training supports cleaning performance, employee and building occupant health and safety, and professional development. While there are different ways to train staff, there are several universal do’s and don’ts that facility managers should consider to ensure their cleaning teams know how best to clean. 

The Need for Ongoing Training 

Training is the backbone of every successful cleaning program because it enhances safety and cleaning performance. Education makes employees more comfortable working with various chemicals, equipment and machines. This is especially important because innovative technology, products and practices are regularly being developed and new viruses can emerge. Cleaning programs looking to stay ahead need to continuously adapt their operations and keep experienced and new staff members aware of how to effectively clean. 

Additionally, ongoing training promotes employee development, making them feel valued and vital to the company. For instance, the 2019 LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report showed that 94% of employees are willing to stay at a company longer if it invests in helping them learn. Periodic training keeps employees engaged with their work and can also reduce the high turnover rate for custodial workers.  

Do’s and Don’ts for Better Employee Training

Behind every successful cleaning program is an effective training program that must consider several universal do’s and don’ts, including: 

  • DO offer training in multiple formats to appeal to numerous types of learners, including hands-on training, classroom training, online training and written handouts with visual icons and graphics. Offer training in multiple languages to adequately educate those whose first language is not English. 
  • DON’T introduce new chemicals, tools or equipment without first explaining their purpose and how to use them properly. This yields poor cleaning performance, risks damage to equipment and creates health risks for employees and building occupants.  
  • DO stress reviewing labels, safety data sheets (SDS) and individualized literature for each chemical before using products and equipment. This enhances cleaning performance by ensuring products get applied correctly and to the right surfaces.
  • DON’T implement products that could be harmful to employees, especially those with conditions such as asthma or allergies. The best way to avoid this altogether is by using green cleaning products that don’t contain volatile organic compounds, fragrances or dyes. 
  • DO provide onsite training when staff begin working at new sites. When employees have to assess areas as they go, they are more likely to make mistakes and may need more time to complete tasks due to a lack of familiarity. The more information employees have about an environment, the more efficiently they can clean. 
  • DON’T let staff operate equipment before demonstrating how to maintain and store it. Depending on equipment type, make, and model, there will be different requirements for keeping it in peak operating condition. Giving employees protocols specific to equipment at each site ensures consistent results and reduces replacement and repair costs.  
  • DO create opportunities for feedback during training. Directly addressing areas needing improvement ensures cleaning is consistent and correct. Regularly give employees words of encouragement and praise. 
  • DON’T expect newer staff to operate without any guidance or supervision. Turnover is often high in cleaning roles. While some employees may have previous cleaning experience, others may be new to the industry and it’s still important to train both equally. Have new employees shadow seasoned workers to reduce the learning curve and create less room for error. 
  • DO indicate growth and leadership opportunities. Studies show that 74% of workers feel they aren’t achieving their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities. Letting employees know that you want to invest in them makes them feel valued and understand that their hard work won’t go unnoticed. 
  • DON’T allow seasoned employees to fall behind. The longer employees follow the same habits, the more difficult it can be to introduce new products and practices. Designate time regularly to review company-wide cleaning standards as well as leadership habits.  

Cleaning Employee Training Yields Success

A cleaning program’s success is dependent on the professionals who complete daily cleaning tasks. Investing in regular and thorough training is key, as it leads to better, more consistent cleaning and employee retention and growth. Following the above best practices can help facility managers nurture a culture of learning and development. 

At GSF USA, we prioritize training because we care about people as much as we do clean. For more information, contact our offices here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information.