The staffing challenges that in-house professionals and BSCs are confronted with on a regular basis have caused retention rates to decrease and the hiring of quality employees to be more difficult than ever.
Such challenges include: Untrained employees, careless or lazy employees, costly health insurance, turnover, low employee education levels, and wages.
When faced with completing a cleaning task, an owner’s or manager’s highest cost factor is labor.
Moreover, recent minimum wage increases in several states have affected the cost of labor for BSCs.
This has caused some of these businesses to downsize, overwork existing employees, and re-evaluate spending to keep the bottom line in the black.
Although discussions on our cmmonline.com Bulletin Board have “ruffled the feathers” of several contributors regarding the minimum wage, we wanted to use this space to highlight one post that generated a considerable amount of attention on expertise, education and government certification.
Danzar Bolick inquired about whether some form of government certification of cleaners would help BSCs, and below are some responses to the subject.
Although labor is the majority of your costs, hiring experts and sharpening your own skills can help limit wasteful spending.
By Danzar Bolick:
6/26/2007, 12:21:21 p.m.
Can we not start a movement to present to a government agency that demands some sort of education for our level of work? I have come across so many “fly by night” companies that don’t know a pole scraper from a 5 gallon bucket of stripper. I understand a lot of general cleaning is basic, but a lot of today’s chemicals are very hazardous to your health if not used correctly. We also end up with the mess and rebuilding process of companies that work on these levels of shady work. It’s the same as someone saying they can be an accountant because they can count.
6/26/2007, 3:30:46 p.m.
You mean an effective, coordinated, well-run government agency like the DMV? The U.S. government can’t fix the 5,000 problems they currently face, do you really want them messing around in your business? They will not stop at some form of mandatory education or licensing or permits. There will be oversight committees, Congressional hearings and Senate floor debates on whether blue mopheads are more effective than white mopheads.
6/26/2007, 3:59:03 p.m.
Agreed! The government is definitely not the answer to this problem. Educating potential and current customers is.
6/26/2007, 5:08:36 p.m.
Rebuilding the mess that shady contractors make somewhere makes me money. I’m in business to make money. I received a call today from a terrified lady. Her company hired someone to do all of their floors, therefore they moved all of their furniture outside. The shady guy they hired got started, and then told them he would need to go get some more equipment and be right back. He never came back. He realized after starting he was in over his head and left them in a bad position. Now I’m doing the job. If this guy hadn’t bailed, I wouldn’t be making the money I am on this job. I view it as an opportunity.
6/26/2007, 5:58:37 p.m.
I understand your points on the government and how they get really stupid on how they control things, but I still think that there should be some control over training of people. Think of it like this, how right is it for some “goof” to mix up a cleaning solution for carpet cleaning and it puts everyone in the building he’s cleaning in the hospital because the solution was way wrong?
6/26/2007, 7:54:09 p.m.
I don’t prefer the government, but some organization should start sponsoring training and certification for our industry. The fly-by-nights give all of us a bad name. I think it is time for this industry to get serious about training and certifications.
6/27/2007, 11:57:30 a.m.
There are at least two, and maybe more, organizations that offer training programs and certifications. It is up to us to take advantage of them and then use that to our advantage when pitching prospective customers.
6/27/2007 1:08:27 p.m.
I’ve taken a course by one of the organizations Ed is talking about. It was very informative. I learned a lot about the manufacture of the materials and the chemicals used to clean them. After the course, all I could think about is I wanted more. I went to the other organization’s website and found nothing but an executive seminar on the calendar of events for the year. I’d like to see more than the books and videos offered. I want hands-on and classroom training. Maybe regulation isn’t the answer; however, I would still like to get as much training as possible. This training is for my own benefit. What I learn can be passed on and shared with my managers, supervisors, trainers and even employees.
Please visit www.cmmonline.com to read the rest of this thread as well as other informative posts/responses on our Bulletin Board.
The board has served as an informative tool for people in our industry who are dealing with the same challenges you face on a daily basis. If you have any comments on this subject or any industry trend that is affecting your business, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org