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Management And Training

Judgment Day

September 19, 2010
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I will apologize for the entire human race when I tell you that people judge us by how we look, dress and on our overall appearance.

In other words, they do judge a book by its cover.

I also understand how some people feel that being judged by our looks is not fair, rude, a true case of profiling and, in some places, illegal.

Our customers understand this concept, but they do not care in the least.

Breaking The Law

Here are the reasons that customers do not care if they are engaging in an illegal activity.

As a cleaning service, you are sending workers and staff members to customers'' places of business and in areas where outsiders may not be welcomed, such as lunchrooms, private bathrooms, master bedrooms, private offices, closets and other personal places.

Your customers will make judgments as to whether your employees have a look that conveys trust.

You and your employees must gain enough trust to gain access to these private areas and then do a satisfactory job while respecting the area.

Right or wrong, the bottom line is that your customers will pass judgment on your employees'' appearances and work practices.

Customers may complain about performance through a perceived lack of professionalism and appearance of the cleaning staff.

Or, they will have to "keep an eye on" certain cleaning staff members to calm any fears and avoid trepidation from workers in the building.

And, this happens even if you have the best trained, most competent cleaning workers in the building.

Flying High With Appearance

Your employees also have to look professional.

Professional dress gives comfort to customers.

It makes them feel safer and more in control when they encounter a uniformed, well-groomed and professional staff member.

As a frequent flyer, I encounter airline personnel several times per week.

Every pilot is dressed in military-style clothing, wearing ties over button down shirts and epaulets on their shoulders.

Many of them have caps that are designed like a military-style service cap, complete with the patent leather visor.

Their coats have hash marks on the sleeve to show length of service.

And, not one part of this dress code is designated to help the captain fly the aircraft.

Each item of clothing is designed to make me — the customer — feel more comfortable in the cabin of the aircraft.

When travelers see someone in command of the plane that is adhering to a professional dress code, it helps reinforce quality.

I know that most cleaning professionals are not in command of something perceived as important as the safe command of a commercial airliner, but we are in command of something very close to the hearts and minds of our customers … their personal and public work and living spaces.

Good planning will help cleaning staff appear positive in the eyes and, more importantly, the hearts of our customers.

This strategy may also lead to less trouble with frivolous complaints about performance.

Have your staff dress for success.

Explain the importance of good grooming habits and how this affects the client''s perception.

If you are looking for different ideas to foster these types of relationships with clients or employees, contact: Dane Gregory, a business consultant and trainer specializing in working with companies in the professional cleaning industry. He currently trains technicians in the use of cleaning protocols for stone, tile, masonry and residential and commercial carpet surfaces for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). He also presents a business opportunity for newcomers in the cleaning industry in the care of ceramic tile, stone and grout, with a full equipment and training package. He can be contacted at

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