More Dignity Is Needed For The Cleaning Industry

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by Suzanna Watson on April 7, 2011

I just read an interesting article today in Cleaning & Maintenance Management Magazine that I would like to share with you.

It states that the cleaning business as a whole needs to be recognized for what it really is, “an industry”.

It’s no different from the auto industry, building trades industry or any other major industry. The article quoted a study performed concerning peoples “view” of our business. It stated:

Many custodial professionals are viewed as uneducated and dispensable workers who comprise the bottom rung of the industries in which the facilities they clean and maintain are classified

I don’t know about you, but I think what we do is very important and we should not feel as though we are at the bottom of the totem pole. We need to recognize the need for a standard to change the way our industry is perceived.

We keep the facilities we clean healthy and safe, not just nice looking. It’s easy to overlook that fact, but it’s true. We are needed more than anyone wants to admit.

Without us bathrooms would not get sanitized. Without us dust would build up on partitions, filing cabinets and desks. Without us the floors would not shine, the foyers would be full of cob webs and glass would be full of finger prints. Most of which can cause allergic reactions in the people who work there.

Cleaning protects and enhances the health of the people we clean for. This means less sick days for the staff of the company we clean for. This fact alone is a powerful one because staff sick days cost companies tons of money each year.

Some people believe that cleaning is just sweeping and mopping, and that it is a mindless job. We know differently of course! Facility maintanence is an important component of the company you are cleaning for. It’s part of their overall business strategy.

After all, who wants to visit a dirty doctors office? Who desires to eat at an unsanitary food establishment? Who loves using the bathroom that hasn’t been properly cleaned in weeks? Who wants to dodge cobwebs while performing their work? No one I know! 

I think we should try to change the image other industries have of the “cleaning industry”. The one way we can do that is to stress how we clean, along with the benefits of our work. As you can see, we’re more important than most people think.

This approach will also tend to get you higher paying accounts. This is because it gets you away from depending on “price” alone to sell your services. Being the lowest bid generally gets you the worst types of accounts. Ones that don’t value your importance.

Collecting a bunch of those types of accounts bring you nothing but grief because as soon as someone cheaper comes along, your toast! So start promoting the benefits of what you do. It will raise the bar for the cleaning “industry”, and raise your income too.

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