Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
October 2012 Contractor Success

The Three Ss: Safety, Security And Satisfaction

October 1, 2012

The three Ss of the contract cleaning industry are safety, security and satisfaction.

The first, safety, is to ensure your workers and building occupants are provided with safe environments at all times.

The second, security, deals with the need to protect a firm’s assets and integrity.

Satisfaction, the third S, relates to the need for a firm to strive for customer service excellence.

All-in-all, the three Ss are an integral part of the operation of contract cleaners.

Not only do safety, security and satisfaction enhance client relations and retention, they also lead to decreases in employee turnover, increases in operational efficiencies, increases in profits and an ability to differentiate firms from each other in this ever competitive marketplace.

SafetyMan With Clipboard

Safety is a key component to employee morale, turnover and operations.

The safety I am referring to goes well beyond the need for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Of course, this is important for cleaners dealing with dirty environments, but contract cleaners must go beyond this in their operations.

In fact, according to the 2002 Fact Sheet from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), six million workers suffer non-fatal workplace injuries at an annual cost to U.S. businesses of more than $125 billion.

This is not to indicate a firm is always the responsible party, as it is a balance between employer safety protocols and employee responsibilities.

However, the need to decrease non-fatal incidents will lead to increased employee morale and profits.

A firm showing and proving they are concerned for employee safety is critical in accomplishing these goals.

However, when dealing with a workforce of mostly mobile employees, it is more difficult to ensure safety, especially when supervision is lacking and environments are constantly changing.

The need to enforce and monitor safety for mobile employees is not an easy task to accomplish, but it is crucial for contract cleaners to get a grasp of this need.

Of course, monitoring the whereabouts of mobile employees is easier said than done in most cases.

If you are a firm using paper time cards or traditional phone-in systems, then reaching this objective may prove to be more difficult.

The good news is there are many new technologies available to accomplish the task of monitoring and ensuring the safety of mobile employees.

Certain mobile time and attendance systems offer the ability to alert and monitor the workflow of mobile employees in real time, 24 hours per day.

This is a benefit for both the employee and the employer.

For example, when an employee goes to a remote site, he or she will acknowledge this through the time and attendance system.

Depending on the system, the employee may use a proprietary handset to read a tag installed at the site.

This is an easy process and yields results in minutes.

Even if an employee goes to multiple sites per shift, their check-in or clock-in will be available in real time.

This data can be accessed via a website, text message or automatic reporting.

The process also ensures greater safety because the supervisor gets immediate notification of the whereabouts of each employee.

In addition, if an employee is scheduled to start work at Bank A at 8 p.m., the system can alert the supervisor at 8:01 p.m. if the employee has not clocked in.

This alert can result in proactive responses by the supervisor by making sure the employee is safe or getting a replacement worker to complete the tasks if necessary.

This will also yield positive results in client relations because the supervisor can correct the situation before the client reports a no-show.

All of this equates to a positive return on investment (ROI) for your operations and client retention.

Security

Some of these mobile time and attendance systems can also be used to create and track the workflow of each employee.

The benefits of implementing a 24/7 workflow monitoring system helps to record the productivity and time stamping of the employees.

This occurs when they arrive at the site and wherever they are within the site at any given time.

For security reasons, this helps firms to pinpoint any potential breach in security as it relates to property and/or reputation.

For example, if a client accuses your cleaner of theft or damage to their property, your time and attendance system will offer the ability to discuss this situation with the client with real time data.

This data takes out the subjectivity in the situation and allows an objective view of the accusations.

No one looks forward to dealing with this type of situation; however, a firm needs to be prepared to defend itself or its employees.

This will aid a firm during litigation and, in essence, reduce liability by having data to support its position.

Even if the employee is at fault, this will aid the firm in having the ability to transfer the liability onto the employee.

These are not ideal situations, but the reality of the industry and being prepared to protect your profits and reputation is absolutely critical.

Satisfaction

Your firm’s reputation is important to the owners, employees and current and prospective clients.

Why not utilize your time and attendance system to improve this reputation and further differentiate your firm from others?

Again, the more robust mobile time and attendance systems will offer benefits to accomplish these goals.

For instance, a system that yields automatic reporting for you and your clients is beneficial, as it aids in constant communications with them.

Time ClockThis also helps to engage in proactive approaches versus mostly dealing in a reactive manner.

Not only will the system aid in operational efficiencies, but it will also differentiate your firm from others by offering this value-added service.

Some mobile time and attendance systems offer quality assurance, which is built into the same system.

This is important because you and your clients can set forth protocols for these quality assurance audits to ensure compliance.

The trust between you and your clients in regards to quality assurance audits will help you stand out from competitors and aid in client retention.

This client retention will help increase profitability and enhance operational efficiencies.

Meranti Cleaning Services is one such company that utilizes a mobile time and attendance system to attract new clients, retain existing clients and increase profitability.

As stated by the owner, “My firm not only has the ability to utilize a time and attendance system to track my payroll, but also look into and track profitability for each account.”

He also mentions that his clients really appreciate the transparency of the system, along with the communications, leading to effective client relations.

Once you integrate this type of system into your operations, you will begin to enjoy the benefits of applying the three Ss for your operations.

This will lead to increased profits, increased productivity and decreased employee turnover, enhancing your marketability and differentiating your firm.

You owe it to your employees and your operation to implement a quality mobile time and attendance system.

You cannot afford to ignore the importance of the three Ss.

Without them, you will continue to struggle with profitability, operations, client relations and more.