Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

The five management protocols

September 19, 2010
When managing your business, many new managers often ask, “What am I actually managing?”

This column contains several ideas to help answer that question and start an action plan.

There are actually five management protocols used in business.

The five protocols are: Planning, directing, staffing, organizing and controlling.

Each protocol needs to be addressed in every company to create a seamless management function between employees and the employer.

Managers’ actions are driven by each of the protocols.

Proper planning
Let’s start with the planning protocol.

Every phase of the production, administration, and marketing divisions of your company need to be planned precisely.

Every function of every department needs to have a planning stage.

If your company has a staff of employees, every employee needs to have a plan of action for every function they will complete every shift.

Their cleaning program has to have been planned down to the last detail to ensure that every step, stoop, wipe, spray and sweep is programmed to be profitable.

Most employees will not understand enough of the larger picture of the company’s financial status to complete the planning protocol on their own.

Not to say employees cannot be a part of the planning phase, only that it is not their responsibility to plan, it is the manager’s.

Take the lead
Many employees will have great input to the overall plan, but the manager or owner has completed all the planning in regards to labor, expenses and revenues.

We must plan the maintenance functions so they are exactly as we bid to produce profit from the revenue generated.

For example, management must plan the route that trash and recycling must follow throughout the building to the appropriate bins.

Management must plan the restroom cleaning protocol to ensure how fixtures are cleaned and disinfectant is applied, how to avoid cross-contamination between fixtures, which products are appropriate to use, and how the flooring is cleaned.

In our administrative planning protocol, managers must provide employees with our vision on how and when invoicing is completed.

Managers must also provide staff with information on how to answer incoming telephone calls, apply planning to how customer inquiries are completed, and move appropriate paperwork through your administrative systems.

Each choice will correctly point your staff toward the completion of their assigned duties.

Our marketing and sales functions also need to be planned.

Our sales staff needs to be aware of which type of buildings are right for our company to service or perhaps the most profitable size or type of customer.

Without a plan or vision from the company owner, sales staff may try to find any customer type without regard to profit potential, equipment compatibility or staffing protocols.

Managers must produce this sales plan not only for the sales calls, but to give the sales staff a target number of sales to produce each month, quarter and year.

Sales staff wandering around aimlessly will not get your company moving in the right direction.

Using the planning management protocol will get your company streamlined to move forward in the direction you outline.

Without that planning vision, others have a difficult time understanding what is required of them, often leading to confusion or unrealistic expectations.

This could lead frustrated owner to blame the staff for not planning well enough to make the company successful.

Remember, it is not their job to plan, it is yours.

Have fun and start using the planning protocol today.

Over the next couple of months, we will explore the other management protocols.

Dane Gregory is 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 and masonry surfaces for IICRC Certification. 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, or contacted at