Last summer I was asked to conduct a reassessment for Lincoln Training Center, a nonprofit provider of multiple services, including cleaning, in the Los Angeles, CA, area. The first step in my assessment process was to request documents confirming the business satisfies Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) criteria.
After reviewing the documents provided, I conducted an on-site assessment that constituted further evaluation of the documentation. In addition, I was given a specific number of client accounts to visit.
The purpose of these visits was not so much to examine quality of work as it was to talk with the client’s staff and account representatives in the field. In my opinion, this is the best way to get to the real “meat and potatoes” of an organization’s business acumen.
As committed as I am to the CIMS program as it relates to advancing the professionalism of our industry, I am aware of how challenging meeting those standards can be. Not every company is willing to put in the time and dedication required to make it happen. For Lincoln Training Center,it is doubly challenging. As a nonprofit whose motto is “Turning Disabilities Into Possibilities,” its customer base is both the accounts it services and the people it trains to do the job—a double whammy if you will, but one which it undertakes with pride and enthusiasm.
While I was impressed with Lincoln Training Center’s training facility and management team, it was not until I talked with workers and clients that it became evident what the service provider has achieved through its various training regimens. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of its workers, it has become an indispensable partner in its clients’ businesses. Take these client testimonials as an example:
- A tech company representative expressed her admiration for Lincoln Training Center’s staff she employs as cleaners and product line workers. Not only are they invited to all company recognition events, they are often on the planning committees for these events.
- Another client hired the nonprofit’s staff to correct a bad situation left by another cleaning company. The client considers this staff as an ideal that others in the industry should strive toward.
- A third client said the staff does exactly what he wanted his cleaning service to do—provide and manage cleaning operations so that he doesn’t have to worry about it. He said he would be willing to pay more for such dependable service.
While this is the story of a specific service provider, the lesson is applicable to the entire industry. By fostering a cooperative culture within your organization, you too can become an integral part of your client’s business, one they couldn’t imagine doing without and might even be willing to pay a little extra for.
Kudos and thank you to Lincoln Training Center and other organizations like it for bringing added professionalism to this industry.