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Engage with staff more effectively in the cleaning industry 

23 August 2021

The argument that a well-engaged workforce will deliver better service, experience lower staff turnover and improve a company’s financial performance is rarely disputed. Engagement — the emotional attachment felt towards an employer that makes an employee want to go the extra mile — relies on a mixture of things. But, engagement doesn’t happen naturally; it needs work, and this is particularly true in the cleaning industry. 

ACCORDING TO recent research by the British Cleaning Council (British Cleaning Council, 2020), workers in the cleaning industry make up around five percent of the total UK workforce. Of these, many work outside normal office hours, at client sites, and often alone. To compound the sense of isolation, recruitment and onboarding during the pandemic increasingly took place with little or no face-to-face contact, making for a distanced relationship and potentially leaving the new employee short of motivation or a sense of belonging. In an office it’s easier to monitor an employee’s wellbeing, respond to their queries and address their concerns. But how do you replicate this in the field?

Leveraging technology to generate a sense of belonging
Realistically, face to face contact cannot be relied upon to communicate with large numbers of out-based staff. A more reliable answer lies in the harnessing of workforce management software, which can deliver the sense of engagement needed to get the best out of staff in four important ways.

  1. Empowerment. Allowing staff to manage the three things most important to them: their pay, their holiday and their shift patterns, including overtime opportunities. 
  2. Easy access. Giving staff direct access to all the information they require, thus avoiding the need to make phone calls to HR, Payroll, or their line manager during ‘office’ hours.
  3. Feedback. Providing staff with the opportunity to provide feedback on issues they may have that may be preventing them from giving their best at work.
  4. Appreciation. Using technology to thank staff when they have performed well.

Look for software that encompasses aspects of recruitment and onboarding as well as self-service functionalities as a means to achieve these elements. Recruitment and onboarding can be taken care of with electronic forms, document uploads and sign-offs via an inbuilt workflow system. A self-service portal with 2-way messaging and feedback loop can manage holiday requests and payroll queries, giving remote employees access to payslips, personal data records and relevant company documentation such as employment contract, employee handbook, health and safety guidance and cleaning specification. There are also ways for software to streamline work scheduling to foster easier time management for out-based staff, such as pre-loading skill profiles into the software’s work schedules so cleaners may view additional assignment opportunities they’re qualified to fill. 

The outcome? Technology gives front-line cleaners the tools they need to give them a sense of control over their own work. In turn, this lessens employee churn, leading to lower recruitment costs. HR efforts may be refocused on tasks such as training or development of staff who are likely to reap the benefit of that extra investment. And, your workforce becomes led by individuals who are highly motivated, leading to higher performance results regardless of where they are located. 

For more information visit www.teamsoftware.com