GSF BRINGS SAFE, SUSTAINABLE CLEANING TO U.S. CELLULAR PLAZA

CHALLENGE

Located at 8420 West Bryn Mawr Avenue in Chicago, U.S. Cellular Plaza is a Class A building that comprises three buildings totaling 637,000 square feet. Managed by Colliers, a global commercial real estate services firm, the ENERGY STAR rated property features numerous amenities, including a conference facility, fitness center, delicatessen and 24-hour security service. 

While many tenants transitioned their employees to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to lower foot traffic at U.S. Cellular Plaza, Colliers understood that the property needed to maintain the highest levels of health and safety for occupants and visitors. 

The firm placed hand sanitizing stations in common areas, restricted elevator capacity to four people and required mask wearing in shared spaces like hallways and lobbies. It also sought a way to enhance the standard of cleanliness across the buildings. 

“First impressions are important. We want tenants and visitors to see a visibly clean environment,” said Kelly Conkle, Assistant Property Manager, Colliers. “The pandemic expedited our search for better cleaning with better machinery.”

SOLUTION

Colliers turned to GSF USA, a leading provider of commercial cleaning services that implements its sustainability-focused Écologique cleaning program in commercial offices and schools. In addition to focusing on documented training and leadership development, the program prioritizes the use of safer chemicals and high-tech equipment. 

“The pandemic has caused many companies to look at cleaning differently,” said Kurt Kuempel, Vice President, GSF USA. 

GSF educated Colliers about the electrochemically-activated solutions (ECAS) it uses to clean and disinfect its customers’ buildings. The solutions from PathoSans are created with an on-site generator using salt, water and electricity. They are non-irritating and don’t contain added fragrances or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that negatively impact indoor air quality (IAQ).

GSF also implemented new equipment, including e-mist sprayers to quickly and easily disinfect, HEPA-filter vacuums and a T350 Stand-on Floor Scrubber from Tennant equipped with the ec-H2O NanoClean® system, which electrically converts water into an innovative, detergent-free, solution.

RESULTS

With the help of GSF USA, Colliers and U.S. Cellular Plaza realize the following benefits:

Safer cleaning. Conkle says: “Many tenants’ employees are sensitive to harsh chemicals. We do not want anyone to have a reaction or be uncomfortable because of a harsh cleaner being used throughout our complex.” Using ECAS instead of harsh chemicals to clean and disinfect means that GSF’s employees and building occupants are not being exposed to any harmful or irritating chemicals. 

Enhanced floor care. The cleanliness of floors can influence first impressions upon entering a facility. GSF’s day porters and evening crew regularly use vacuums to maintain the appearance of carpet and hard flooring throughout the buildings. Additionally, the team utilizes a Tennant floor scrubber to increase productivity while thoroughly removing soils. According to Conkle: “The floorcare machines have been helpful. We believe the addition of better equipment will help to improve the cleaning quality.” 

“We are proud to oversee a sustainable cleaning program at U.S. Cellular Plaza,” added Kuempel. “We look forward to supporting Colliers as an increasing number of tenants bring their employees back to the office.”

Celebrating Those Who Care About Clean at GSF USA

We’d like to take a moment to celebrate all our hardworking employees who have recently celebrated a decade or more of caring about clean! At GSF USA, we are dedicated to helping individuals build meaningful careers in the cleaning industry.  

We strive to hire and retain the best talent, equipping our people with high-quality equipment, training and leadership development. 

Congratulations to all and thank you for your continued efforts to help GSF USA grow and differentiate itself as a leading building service contractor. We could not have gotten to where we are today without your hard work! 

45th Anniversaries 

Marvel Edwards, GSF Indiana
Keith Irwin, GSF Indiana 

20th Anniversaries 

Joseph Giblin, GSF Ohio 

15th Anniversaries  

Eva Martinez, SGF Indiana
Ruben Ramirez, GSF Indiana
Gerardo Rosas, GSF Indiana
Marianna Ruszczyk, GSF Illinois 

10th Anniversaries 

Eva Moreno, GSF Indiana  

Analyzing the Success of your Cleaning Program

As students prepare to return to campus and faculty finalize fall semester planning, analyzing the success of your current cleaning program and ensuring that it meets the standards of keeping campus healthy and safe is vital.  

Starting off with a good impression is important, and that starts with welcoming people into a clean environment the second they step onto campus. Reviewing your current cleaning program, searching for areas of improvement, and understanding what makes a quality cleaning program will set you up for long-term success. 

Adjusting Back to In-Person Learning 

As many universities return to in-person or hybrid class settings, it is crucial that campus facility employees ensure cleanliness and sanitation levels exceed expectations. Between students, professors, faculty and staff, there will be a significant increase in occupants taking up shared spaces, leading to an easier spread of everyday infections, illnesses, and germs. This JLL study explains how campus cleanliness is now playing a large factor in parents deciding which university they feel comfortable sending their child to.  In fact, 48% of parents feel it is a top-three consideration when looking at potential schools. When it comes to classrooms, dormitories, cafeterias and study spaces, families want transparency into how often these places are being cleaned and assurance that routine maintenance checks are being conducted.  

Be Proactive  

Taking measurable preventions prior to the school year beginning is an effective way to prepare for a clean and safe start to the school year. Summer break is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the lower population around campus to deep clean spaces, check on maintenance issues, restock supplies and reset for the next school year.  

Preventing the spread of illness and infection is an important aspect of any workplace, and while it’s important to keep students safe, it’s just as important for educators as well. This article from Insights For Professionals discusses how a work environment and cleanliness can affect employee performance. While the article is geared toward corporate offices, the same topics covered can equally affect educators. A school that is not clean can create a negative impression for campus visitors, impact the mindset of students and staff, and negatively impact health and wellness.  

An Eco-Friendly Solution  

GSF USA’s Écologique Cleaning Program trains GSF employees on how to clean a facility sustainably, and effectively. Professionals are taught how to reduce waste by using sustainable and safe cleaning chemicals and tools that properly disinfect bacteria and fungi that often linger around facilities and contribute to virus outbreaks. They are also taught how to keep indoor air quality (IAQ) high, as poor air quality can affect people with allergies or asthma.  As a Green Seal®-certified program, schools and universities can rest assured that facilities have been cleaned properly, and sustainably.   

As bacteria and viruses evolve, so should your campus’s cleaning procedures. GSF USA is dedicated to helping facilities look their best with sustainable and long-term cleaning practices. Put your faculty and students at ease by welcoming them back to a clean campus that prevents the spread of everyday illnesses, infections and germs. 

Reducing the Risk of Slips and Falls in the Workplace

Slips and falls are some of the most common causes of injuries in the workplace. To add insult to injury, slip and fall accidents can be deadly. They claim thousands of lives per year. Approximately 30% of all slip and fall accidents result in moderate to serious injuries. These can range from fractures to brain damage or even death. These occurrences have led to 19,000 deaths per year because of falling.

It’s important that janitorial teams and facility managers apply best cleaning practices to help prevent slip and fall accidents.

Slip and Fall Injuries

There is a responsibility in the workplace to encourage a safe working environment for employees and patrons. When organizations fail to do so, it results in costly workplace injuries and sometimes fatalities. Workplace injuries, also known as occupational injuries, are a type of injury that occurs in correlation to their occupational requirements. For janitorial services, it’s imperative to understand workplace injuries so that they know what to look out for. For employees, it’s important to know what to do if a workplace injury occurs.

Injuries sustained during a slip and fall accident vary widely but can include soft tissue injuries, bone or joint injuries and injuries to the head or spine. It’s possible that in some of these instances the injuries are able to heal and fully recover in a matter of days. However, some may require elongated periods of rehabilitation, surgeries or permanent medical accommodation.

In a 2019 report, some of the most common non-fatal workplace injuries in America included sprains and tears, accounting for approximately 35 injuries per 10,000 full-time employees; soreness and muscle pain, accounting for nearly 18 injuries per 10,000 full-time employees; and cuts and lacerations, accounting for roughly nine injuries per 10,000 full-time employees, among others.

While they may be less common, fatal injuries occur. In recent years, the number of fatal workplace incidents has continued to rise. Some of the most common causes of deadly workplace accidents include slips and falls, which accounted for approximately 900 deaths in 2019.

Implementing a Coordinated Cleaning Program

When facility managers establish a cleaning program, they’re ensuring floors are being cleaned regularly and in a safe way. The program should set a standard for cleaning schedules and contain various elements including consideration of peak hours, traffic patterns and weather conditions. It should also consider the drying time for the area being cleaned. Appropriate barricades should be put in place to redirect traffic during cleaning. Furthermore, all cleanings should be documented and regularly maintained in inspection logs. A series of written floor-cleaning procedures should be put in place and updated per any changes, such as when a new floor surface is laid, when new cleaning products are used and if the work environment has changed. Additionally, it’s important to evaluate the written procedures from time to time to make sure they are being followed and are effective.

Training Your Janitorial Team

One of the most critical aspects to your cleaning program’s success is training employees on cleaning policies and procedures. Your employees should be aware of all housekeeping procedures, including specific procedures for high-hazard areas. As part of this standard, all areas should be checked to ensure proper drainage is in place. It’s crucial to clean all areas thoroughly without taking any shortcuts. When cleaning up spills or mopping, proper signage like wet floor signs should be used in order to caution staff, occupants and visitors. In addition, any wet carpet areas should be marked, as these areas are easily overlooked but dangerous when walked over.

Choosing Cleaning Products

Prior to use, it’s good practice to test all products on a small section of the floor. This helps ensure that they are suitable for the floor surface. Several floor cleaning product suppliers or manufacturers will offer technical support when selecting the appropriate products for specific types of floors and requirements. To ensure quality, test your cleaning products prior to purchase. This will save you time and money by avoiding expensive products that don’t work up to par. Don’t ignore the manufacturer’s instructions on safety and application. Additionally, make sure to provide training for using, mixing and applying products such as chemicals, including equipment maintenance.

Paving a Path to Avoid Slips and Falls

Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common in the workplace, and many of these accidents result in serious injury. As part of your workplace ethics, promoting a safe working environment is imperative. Not only are slip and fall accidents detrimental to your employees, but recovery time also affects your bottom line. That’s why safety should be implemented in your cleaning program, and the products used should be tested to ensure quality. Clean floors pave the way to safe floors.

School Cleaning Priorities for Summer

Even though students and teachers will be breaking for the summer, one of the hardest jobs is just beginning for school maintenance departments. With the usual busy halls of schools being empty until late August or early September, it’s the best time for custodial and janitorial services to implement required maintenance. Here are some ways in which the school and janitorial services provider can work together to get campuses ready for the first day of school and prepare for the rest of the school year.  

Make a Plan with Your Janitorial Company 

Summer cleaning shouldn’t be a haphazard process. Janitorial services providers should have clear, thorough and well-laid plans for cleaning during the summer hiatus. This will not only benefit the school but also helps the cleaning company remain accountable for the work to be done. By having a written plan in place, it’s easier to keep track of what needs to be done. This way, when the first day of school arrives, you will have a cleaner and well-maintained environment. 

Key Areas to Focus on in the Summer Months 

Floors

In the absence of people in the school’s halls and classrooms during the summer, floor cleaning, detailing, waxing and refinishing should be a top priority. Summer is the best time to do this because floor cleaning can be disruptive to the school learning environment. Meanwhile, weekends don’t provide enough time to get floors cleaned to the levels they could be while school is out. Consistent traffic can be hard on flooring, and over time dirt, salt and other types of sediment may wear into flooring. Floor maintenance like carpet cleaning, floor stripping and scrubbing are necessary when trying to extend the life of your flooring and combating filth. By noting which areas or classrooms appear to be the most worn down, cleaners have the information necessary to get more life out of your flooring. Additionally, some of the latest technology advancements may be able to leave your floors looking brand new.  

Windows

Windows should be washed inside and out. This ensures that they are effectively bringing in the most daylight possible. Windows are a beautiful feature of schools, but are also subject to pollen, natural debris, bird droppings, spider webs, grease spots and more. These are not only eye sores but also cause sanitation issues. To restore your windows to their natural beauty and keep them as sanitary as possible, a deep cleaning can help. By doing so in the summer, you’re avoiding bothering classes in session. Moreover, you’re able to address safety concerns that can be caused by bad weather.  

HVAC Systems

Having a clean, well-operating HVAC system in your school not only improves indoor air quality (IAQ) but creates a safer environment for students. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average age of a United States public school building in the 2012-2013 school year was 44 years old, with at least 54% of all public schools needing at least one major renovation. Older buildings may have mismatched systems and technologies that only a certified building engineer can determine are working efficiently. The visual inspection and testing of a system is required, particularly if a system has been shut down or turned off for a period of time, such as during COVID-19 lockdown, to detect if mold, legionella or other dangerous microbes might be present. In such cases, the environmental cleaning of the current system may be necessary. However, a certified technician should decide if environmental cleaning is sufficient or if replacement of contaminated components will be required.  

Restrooms

A deep cleaning of student restrooms should be a top priority. Although they should receive daily surface cleaning, some areas are likely to form additional build-up, which should be addressed. The cracks and crevices of stall partitions can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so they should be checked and given a thorough cleaning and disinfecting. Every nook and cranny should be scrubbed down. This includes all plumbing fixtures such as sinks, toilets and urinals. Summer also provides an opportunity to freshen up and detail all of the soap and paper towel dispensers. 

School’s Out, Cleaning is In 

Summer break is a time for students and teachers to relax, but it’s also the most important moment for the school to address serious cleaning concerns. Janitorial services providers work hard to ensure a safe and cohesive environment for the start of the school year. This is done in large part by making a plan between the school and custodians to ensure every aspect of the cleaning process is being addressed. Certain areas may require more attention than others, but one thing remains the same: a clean school is a healthy school.  

Long-term Implications of Green Cleaning

There’s only one planet Earth, so organizations have a responsibility to do their part to improve public health while reducing negative effects on the environment. Commercial facilities are increasingly adopting sustainability practices, including more responsible cleaning. There are several benefits that come with green cleaning that all meet one primary goal: having a healthier environment. Green cleaning goes the extra mile, using effective, safe and sustainable solutions.

Lasting Benefits of Responsible Cleaning

Responsible cleaning can offer benefits for:

People

Traditional products may be high in toxic irritants, dangerous compounds or volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can remain in environments long after use. In fact, at least 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds that come from petroleum. Petroleum-based chemicals have been known to alter hormones and cause serious medical issues like cancer, neurological disorders, weakened immune systems, learning disabilities, allergies, infertility and more.

Using sustainable cleaning chemicals can reduce health risks and enhance indoor air quality (IAQ). This reduces the adverse effects that poor IAQ has on people, especially those with asthma and allergies. Good IAQ also supports better productivity and performance by reducing health issues that can cause absenteeism and presenteeism.

The planet

U.S. commercial buildings are responsible for consuming 17% of water, 33% of energy, 40% of raw materials and 71% of electricity, indirectly or directly producing 40% of landfill waste and 33% of carbon dioxide emissions. Green cleaning programs carefully consider the amount of waste being produced and sent to landfills. This results in less waste polluting waterways and habitats. Facility managers can look for manufacturers that offer eco-friendly products that will help reduce the impact that cleaning has on the planet.

Brand reputation

Green cleaning improves the perception of the brand. Organizations that have a clear commitment to the environment can improve brand reputation and customer retention, thereby driving greater profits. It turns out that consumers are willing to pay more for products and services coming from companies that are dedicated to social responsibility. Adopting sustainability policies and practices, including green cleaning, also supports employee recruitment and retention, thereby reducing operating costs.

How to Implement Sustainability in Commercial Cleaning

There are numerous ways that commercial facilities can make cleaning more environmentally friendly, including:

Focusing on water conservation

Cleaning requires large volumes of water. Thus, facility managers should carefully assess their equipment. Self-contained scrubbers are capable of effectively cleaning hard floors without multiple buckets of water, and clean up to 70% faster than conventional wet mopping and 30% faster than conventional auto scrubbing. Another simple way to save water is to use dilution stations to make precisely dosed amounts of cleaning chemical with the right amount of water.

Additionally, floor care machines using ec-H20 technology, which converts water into an effective cleaning solution, can help facilities reduce water usage and improve safety. Compared to traditional floor cleaning chemicals, the solution produced through ec-H20 technology removes soils without leaving a chemical residue and scrubbers equipped with this technology also use less water.

Adopting electrochemically activated solutions

More facilities are replacing traditional toxic cleaning products with electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS). These are generated on site using three safe ingredients: water, salt and electricity. ECAS do not irritate the eyes or skin and support better IAQ, as they do not contain added fragrances, dyes or VOCs. This makes them a better solution for everyday use. Adopting ECAS demonstrates that cleaning professionals’ wellbeing and the environment matter.

Reducing waste generation

Investing in high-quality cleaning tools and supplies means they won’t have to be replaced as frequently. This helps cleaning programs generate less waste. For example, microfiber cloths remove fine particles, bacteria, microbes and soils on surfaces. Moving away from single-use solutions like disinfectant wipes in favor of reusable options like microfiber is more environmentally friendly.

ECAS also support waste reduction efforts, as facilities can eliminate chemical shipments and frequent disposal of plastic bottles that contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and additional waste to landfills. Lastly, selecting reliable equipment and properly maintaining it can reduce unnecessary and frequent replacements that create waste.

The “Green for Clean” Effect

The purpose of sustainable cleaning is to create a healthier environment for today and future generations. By eliminating harsh chemicals, commercial facilities support the planet and the health and safety of building occupants and visitors. To become more environmentally friendly, facility managers can look into new ways to reduce waste and innovative technologies that positively impact the organization’s footprint as well as brand reputation.

At GSF USA, we care about clean and making commercial cleaning programs more sustainable. Contact our offices here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest updates.

A Decade of Service (and More) at GSF USA

At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people who help us achieve cleanliness in our customers’ buildings. We are dedicated to hiring and retaining the best talent, and helping individuals build meaningful careers in the commercial cleaning industry.  

Because we are focused on equipping our people with high-quality tools, equipment, training and leadership development, we are proud that many have been with our team for years. This quarter, numerous employees are celebrating a decade or longer with the company!  

Congratulations to all and thank you for your continued efforts to help GSF USA grow and differentiate itself as a leading building service contractor. We could not have gotten to where we are today without your hard work! 

20th Anniversaries 

Ines Enciso, GSF Illinois
Keith Wachter, GSF Ohio   

15th Anniversaries  

Nayeli Enriquez, GSF Illinois
Gerardo Rodriquez, GSF Illinois
Guadalupe Sanchez, GSF Indiana  

10th Anniversaries 

Ana Molina, GSF Indiana
Juan Manuel Duran, GSF Illinois
Dana Robinson, GSF Indiana  

Hard Floor Care Strategies for Success

When entering a facility, the cleanliness of the floor is often the first thing people notice. While clean floors may not be something you think about all the time, it’s certainly noticeable when they are dirty or wet.  

Not only are dirty floors dangerous, they can also give visitors a negative impression of your organization’s commitment to cleanliness. At least 52% of adults claim they would not return to a retailer if they encountered slippery floors or floors covered in dirt or dust. Additionally, the accumulation of dirt and debris on the floor can facilitate an unhealthy environment. 

Having a strategic approach to floor care is essential for maintaining cleanliness and safety. Learn how to improve floor care so you can impress everyone entering your facility.  

Hard Floor Types and Risks 

It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your facility’s floors because wet conditions can lead to slip-and-fall accidents. Additionally, heavy foot traffic can make floors appear dirty, requiring continuous upkeep. If floor care is not a priority, it can lead to reputational damage as well as costly and disruptive replacement. 

There are multiple types of hard flooring, including but not limited to:  

Terrazzo 

These floors are made with marble and natural stone chips using a concrete binder, which can be high maintenance. Because of their glossy texture, they can become very slippery when wet.  

Wood 

Wood flooring needs to be sealed to prevent absorption of oil and water. It can be slippery when wet if highly glossed or polished.  

Concrete 

A concrete floor’s slip resistance depends on finish and wear. In particular, rounded aggregate can be slippery when concrete wears. Interior surfaces are often sealed to prevent dust accumulation and absorption of liquids, but this can increase slipperiness. 

Vinyl composition tile (VCT) 

VCT is a common type of flooring and is easy to clean yet slippery when wet, particularly if polished. Thicker, softer vinyl is more slip resistant than hard vinyl.  

Finding the Right Floor Care Balance  

Wear and tear of floors is more common when they are not cleaned on a regular basis. Consistent floor care can save your facility money by extending the lifespan of the flooring and upholding brand reputation.  

Consider the following floor care strategies to keep these surfaces looking their best:  

Vacuum regularly  

Vacuuming is essential for removing dirt and dust from floors, especially before applying cleaning chemicals. Cobotic, or collaborative robotic vacuums are an asset to your floor care program. They navigate through mapped cleaning routes and safely avoid obstacles while picking up soils. Best of all, you can monitor these automated machines remotely. 

Automate the labor-intensive parts of floor care 

One of the main challenges is the lack of visibility into cleaning status and performance. Supplementing manual labor with cobots enables cleaning teams to be more productive and gives you a clear view of the floor care process, because you can access operational data like machine run-time and routes completed. In addition to automated vacuums, you can use cobotic floor scrubbers that apply cleaning solutions to hard surfaces.  

Avoid cross-contamination 

It’s important to not contaminate clean floors with dirty water. Ensure cleaning professionals are utilizing a dual-cavity mop bucket when possible, which separates clean water from dirty water, thereby reducing soil deposits back onto freshly cleaned floor surfaces.  

Provide formal training 

Occasionally, certain areas are going to need to be cleaned a second time, which could be a sign your team needs additional training. Conducting formal training enables you to highlight proper floor care methods and potential safety risks to enable your team to be more efficient without sacrificing performance.  

Standardize cleaning protocols with SOPs 

Establish standard operating procedures (SOPs), or written standards that inform your staff of all the necessary tools, supplies and protocols for floor care. SOPs are beneficial because they ensure consistency and reduce the need to reclean due to mistakes. They also increase confidence, as staff will know exactly what is expected of them. 

Getting First Impressions Right 

In order to give your facility the best first impression, having clean, safe flooring is important. Clean with the appropriate chemicals where needed and address floors regularly to avoid accumulation of soils and moisture. With a dedicated cleaning team and the right equipment in place, your floors will always impress building visitors and occupants.  

Our experts care about clean and have a pulse on how to make cleaning effective, cost-efficient and safe. Contact GSF USA here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest updates.

Keeping Seasoned Employees Engaged

Since 2000, analytics firm Gallup has tracked employee engagement levels in the United States. The percentage of engaged employees, defined as workers who are highly involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace, is typically 35%, with more than half reporting they are not engaged and more than 10% being actively disengaged. While these figures fluctuated during a tumultuous 2020, the levels typically only shift by a few percentage points from quarter to quarter or year to year. With only about a third of employees engaged, organizations face challenges related to retention and performance.  

The cleaning industry has its own unique set of hiring and retention obstacles. Cleaning roles can sometimes feel repetitive and thankless. Thus, facility managers need to understand ways to engage employees who have been in their roles for years or decades. These employees have become experts at cleaning and have the power to inspire the next generation of professional cleaners. Read on for specific employee engagement tips you can implement to improve your cleaning program.  

Tips for Retaining the Right Talent 

Consider the following strategies for retaining experienced employees:  

Provide high-quality and durable tools and equipment. 

Cleaning tools and equipment are intended to help workers clean more effectively and efficiently, but if they’re in poor shape, they can actually create more work and frustration for employees. High-quality equipment can even help reduce repetitive motions that can lead to muscle soreness or injuries. In addition to providing new sets of tools to recent hires, it’s important to also review the tools that your more seasoned employees are using so they feel valued and supported in their roles.  

Promote workplace safety. 

Today’s employees are increasingly concerned about their wellbeing in the workplace. They want to know that their employer has practices in place to protect them from harm. Clearly communicate the ways in which your facility is prioritizing safety, from using cleaning chemicals that are free of fragrances and caustic ingredients to opting for floor care equipment with quality squeegees that reduces slip-and-fall hazards. Promoting a culture of safety can keep workers focused on their tasks and eliminate fears that can impact engagement.  

Invest in ongoing training.  

Providing opportunities for training is crucial, especially given the fact that some of your long-term employees are likely to rise into leadership roles at some point in their careers. They will be given more responsibilities and relied upon to oversee other workers, some of whom may be newer to the industry. Regularly conducting hands-on training will allow your seasoned employees to confidently take on management responsibilities and uphold cleanliness in your facility.    

Solicit feedback from employees.  

What better way to make staff members feel heard and improve your cleaning program than to solicit feedback from your team? You might discover that employees have recommendations for how to perform certain tasks or have insight on cleaning supplies that are causing frustration or strain. By encouraging and listening to feedback, you can implement changes that will enhance cleanliness, safety, sustainability and employee engagement.  

Seasoned Employees Help Drive Success 

The commercial cleaning industry faces high turnover rates that can impact the consistency of results and the satisfaction of those who visit your facility. A revolving door of workers can also negatively affect your company culture. For these reasons, it’s important to invest in strategies that support retention. Well-trained employees who know how to effectively maintain buildings are instrumental in keeping environments clean and people healthy and safe. By following the above best practices, you can ensure that professional cleaners will stay engaged and commit to your organization over the long term.  

At GSF USA, we prioritize training to educate both new and seasoned employees about the latest cleaning and disinfecting tactics and tools. If you’d like to learn more about our commercial cleaning services, contact our team here. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more.  

Securing Approval for New Cleaning Technologies 

As a facility manager, staying up to date on the latest trends and technologies enables you to maintain a clean building. Thankfully, the cleaning industry is continuously innovating in order to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, with new tools being launched and adopted.  

Once you’ve identified a cleaning technology that will make your cleaning program more efficient, effective, sustainable or safer, it’s important to be able to confidently sell it to the decision makers within your organization. Read on to learn more about specific technologies to consider and best practices for successful implementation.  

Taking Cleanliness to the Next Level  

The cleaning industry has come a long way in the last decade, and even more so within the last two years given the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Today, there are technologies that lend additional support to cleaning professionals. Some make the process of cleaning less strenuous and therefore less injury prone, while others make cleaning more consistent or efficient. The following technologies can help your operation reach its cleanliness goals: 

Robotic floor scrubbers 

Address your labor challenges and improve productivity with a robotic floor care solution that works in tandem with your employees. A robotic floor scrubber uses advanced artificial intelligence that improves upon safety, allowing it to avoid people and obstacles like staircases and furniture. Additionally, automated scrubbers deliver reports at the conclusion of operation to drive continuous improvement—all while allowing employees to address other high-priority tasks in the meantime.  

Electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS) 

These cleaning and disinfecting solutions are produced in your supply closet with an on-site generator and only three ingredients: salt, water and electricity. ECAS are just as effective as conventional chemicals but do not contain potentially harmful ingredients that can lead to eye and skin irritation and ECAS are non-irritating to the eyes and skin and contain no added fragrance but are still 99.999% effective at killing germs. Implementing ECAS streamlines worker training and eliminates burns. They are also better for the environment, as eliminating recurring chemical shipments reduces greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste associated with single-use spray bottles and containers.  

Electrostatic sprayers  

This process entails spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto various surfaces or objects. The spray itself is a specialized solution combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. Because the spray contains positively charged particles that aggressively adhere to surfaces, the chemical is able to adequately disinfect the covered surfaces. There are even backpack versions of electrostatic sprayers that make it easy for employees to carry the equipment as they disinfect.  

Automated vacuum cleaners  

Collaborative robot, or “cobot”, vacuums can be used autonomously thanks to their built-in AI platforms, which take the hassle out of manual vacuum sweeping. Many of these systems are powered by advanced commercial operating systems that allow your vacuum to develop its own flight plan for areas that require cleaning. They’re efficient and clean up to 50% better than traditional vacuums.  

Cleaning verification programs   

Applying a cleaning verification program to your routine can help provide clearer visibility into the compliance and consistency of your cleaning procedures. This will allow you to advance clearer and safer standards of cleaning across your locations, ensuring all building occupants are satisfied, your reputation is upheld and more opportunities to grow your business are revealed.  

Tips for Talking about Technology  

When attempting to gain approval to implement a new technology in your facility, it’s important to consider the following best practices: 

Humanize your pitch. 

Framing the technology around the benefits it delivers to those who work in and use your facility is key. For example, many technologies make cleaning more efficient and less strenuous, providing benefits for the organization as a whole as well as individuals.  

Once the technology is approved, you will want to also highlight the benefits to those who will be using it regularly.  The more your cleaning professionals understand that this technology is working alongside them to increase productivity, rather than hinder or replace manual efforts, the quicker adapting to these changes is likely to occur.  

Address safety. 

Reflect on how the technology will make the cleaning process safer, and your building safer. For example, robotic floor scrubbers adequately remove chemical and water from floors, thereby reducing the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Also, having properly measured chemicals prevents unnecessary safety hazards 

Take the environment into consideration. 

Discuss how the technology will reduce water, chemical or energy consumption. When chemicals are accurately dispensed, target areas get clean the first time. This prevents you from having to use more chemicals, water and energy for second or third cleanings. 

Be ready for questions.  

Be prepared to answer detailed questions about how the technology works, why it’s superior to current methods, the cost to implement the technology and anticipated return on investment.  

In the COVID-19 pandemic era, there is no time like the present to begin addressing necessary changes to your cleaning program. Rising innovations in sustainability and safety practices have produced game-changing tools you can confidently say will make an impact on the cleanliness of your facility.  

You can partner with a building service contractor that prioritizes using high-tech equipment to further enhance your cleaning program. At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people behind clean. Contact our team here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more.   

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