Doing things the right way, even when you think nobody is watching.

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by Tom Watson on May 14, 2017

My company used to clean a defence contractor that was right around the corner from my office.

It was a real large facility that we cleaned five times per week. It was an awesome account that brought in a lot of money per month.

We not only did the regular cleanings, but also quarterly “top to bottom” cleanings too. On top of that we cleaned the carpets regularly. We normally cleaned a part of the carpets each month, this way the whole place would be done twice per year. It was a lot of work, and a lot of money!

Needless to say I was at that account quite a bit because I was always either training a new crew member or simply overseeing their work. I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize the account, so I watched over it like a mother keeping an eye on a newborn.

I had a good working relationship with the manager who hired me, and I didn’t want to disappoint him so I worked hard get everyone do things the right way “all the time”. This paid off one time in particular because something went missing from the facility and they started watching the surveillance tapes to see what happened.

This compound had cameras everywhere except the bathrooms, so all the management had to do was watch the tapes to see what happened. While watching several days worth of tapes they found the culprit (one of their own employees), and they got to see how well the cleaning staff did for close to an an entire week.

This is because they kind of focused on the cleaning crew (the “cleaners” are always the first place people look at sadly when something goes missing). But instead of finding fault with us, they saw how well we followed the cleaning routine. The backstory to this account is they had a “very specific set of cleaning guidelines”.

They wanted things done a certain way, and they even had a set of written procedures for how it was to be done.  When training my staff, I stressed the importance of following the procedures even if nobody was watching. This paid off big-time when this incident happened because they got to see how we never cut any corners!

I was actually called into a meeting with the manager (I thought I was in trouble) where he went did nothing but praise my staff for how well they followed his written procedures for cleaning. For instance, he wanted the buckets of water used to mop the cafeteria floors changed THREE TIMES per cleaning. We did that!

He wanted the wet floor signs placed in certain areas of the hallways in a specific pattern to avoid a slip and fall accident. We did that! He wanted certain solutions used to clean sinks and faucets and we did that too. We did all that when we “thought” nobody was watching.

After that incident the manager LOVED US and stayed extremely loyal to our company till he left the firm several years later. The moral here is simple. Always focus on training your staff on doing the right things the right way ALL THE TIME. You never know when you are being watched!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Monica May 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

Great message to us all to always do what’s best for the client!

2 Tom Watson May 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for commenting Monica!

3 Rose May 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm

Hello I have two questions I would appreciate your help with. 

I wrote a list of companies I want to send my post cards to. Is it ok to send them hand written with a regular stamp?

EDDM is only beneficial if I just want to send to a specific neighborhood. 

Also I’ve been emailing companies with my flyer and sales letter. Is this a good  method ?

4 Tom Watson May 15, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Hi Rose!

1 – Yes you can hand write the address with a regular stamp (that’s how I did it).

2 – I never did email. My advice… See what happens. If you get something, keep going, if not… stop.

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