Learn how to choose the right inspector and then how to set them up for success.

Clear cleaning inspection data, gives you the ability to make decisions that impact your budget. Here are the five things your inspectors need to be successful.

If you are establishing a culture of quality control, you must have the right janitorial team member(s) performing inspections. Why? Because when you think about quality control in your cleaning service—it’s about more than filling in an inspection checklist.

Have you ever asked a facility manager or cleaning business owner why inspections are necessary? No? Well, the janitorial metrics, that are collected during an inspection are used to protect project margins. After all, as team’s improve service delivery, the impact is seen through:

  • Increased client and building patron retention.
  • Improved employee training which decrease labor costs.
  • Reduced costs associated with a dirty facility.

As you think about the profound effect inspection metrics can have on a janitorial team, it makes you wonder who should perform cleaning inspections? If you want success, you need to find someone that meets these five criteria:

Determine Cleaning Inspection Frequency

Remember setting the right cleaning frequency is just as important as setting and following the right inspection frequency.

As you create your quality assurance program, remember that inspection and cleaning frequencies are equally important. After all, the janitorial metrics you collect throughout a cleaning inspection can help you protect project margins.

Even when janitorial teams understand the importance of inspections—too often the task is assigned to individuals that don’t have time. As a result, the team collects these metrics at random intervals, which makes it impossible to track trends and make decisions.

Just as inspection frequency impacts the quality of the data, it also impacts the time it takes to complete them. For example, moving inspections from twice a month, to once a week—doubles the time required to complete inspections.

Assign Dedicated Team Members

As you select the individual to perform cleaning inspections—it’s okay to be picky. After all, you are inviting someone to manage quality control for your cleaning service. As you consider employees, think about who has time, a consistent eye for detail, and has your trust.

When your janitorial team delegates inspections to specific employees, it is much easier to hold these employees accountable. Remind employees, that the inspection cleaning lists are not simple checklists to make sure the cleaning times and tasks were completed.

Instead, the custodial inspection form may be used to help teams fulfill the promise to clean for building patron health. Remember, that it is important for inspectors to be fair throughout each evaluation—even between facilities.

Although you have assigned inspectors, that doesn’t mean that they have to inspect the same list of facilities every time. As the long-term goal, you may consider rotating your inspectors between the facilities you serve to ensure consistent evaluation.

Train Your Commercial Cleaning Inspectors

As you know, there are not two facilities or cleaning contracts that are exactly the same. These differences may be as simple as changes in the floor plan or contract performance measures. However, despite these variances—your inspectors must remain consistent.

In addition to providing inspectors with the tools to do the job, you need to provide them with the proper training and knowledge they need to be successful.

To set your inspectors up for success, start by creating a quality management system for your cleaning company. This kind of system will help your janitorial staff and customers understand your expectations for cleanliness.

A vital piece of your quality control for your cleaning service is a customized inspection list for each facility. As inspectors perform walk-throughs, this janitorial quality control checklist will act as a guide. It will highlight specific touchpoints that need to be evaluated.

In the inspection report, each touchpoint will have a specific rating scale. If your inspectors are going to be able to fill this out consistently—you must train them. This becomes infinitely more important if you have contracts that use different rating scales.

Follow Up with Your Janitorial Team

Whether you choose to fill your inspector roles internally or hire, these individuals must be able to investigate and follow-up. Why? Because even the best front-line teams don’t turn in perfect scores. When there is an issue your inspectors need to understand what happened and why.

Now, CleanTelligent Software’s inspection tools can help facilitate this kind of communication. Any time an inspector assigns a deficient score, the software will automatically send a work order to the frontline team. The notes and images from the report will also be included.

However, the inspector’s ability to investigate and follow-up with frontline teams is exponentially more important with recurring cleaning errors. Instead of treating these problems like one-time-cleaning errors—inspectors must investigate the root cause of these issues.

For example, is the cleaning team using the incorrect cleaning solution on the wrong surface type? Or is the equipment in need of service or replacement? Is the same issue being replicated at other service sites during other office cleanings?

As your inspection team finds the answers to these questions, your janitorial services company will be able to update procedures. This pattern is the mark of a high-quality service team, which carries a strong value proposition throughout your marketing.

Improve Janitorial Training

As your team establishes quality standards and delivers quality service cleaning—your team establishes cleaning productivity benchmarks. You can then use those benchmarks to improve and even create a set of custodial best practices.

As your janitorial team establishes cleaning productivity benchmarks, it is important to create and share these best practices with new cleaners.

These best practices will help new employees learn your cleaning standards—early on. As a result, your training costs will decrease. Why? Because you are creating a new employee onboarding process that will limit first-time cleaner mistakes.

This provides your customer with a seamless transition regardless of your team’s turnover. As a result, you will see a positive impact on your customer and building patron retention rate. Your operations budget will thank you next time you balance it!

In closing, the person that should perform cleaning inspections should be detail-oriented, consistent, inquisitive, friendly, and have time. As the right person completes inspections—you will be able to collect janitorial metrics that will help your team improve.

Are you tired of losing 25-35 percent of your cleaning contracts every year? Download this FREE e-book to learn how to turn this challenge into a success.

Blog post by Heather Siefert

Heather Siefert

Heather graduated from Utah Valley University and has been CleanTelligent's PR Specialist since 2018.