Contract Cleaners - A Guide for Businesses - Part 3


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In this third part I will be looking at the next two questions from my original list documented in part 1 of, questions you should be asking of the commercial cleaning companies tendering for your cleaning contract.

  • Will the cleaning be supervised and how often?
If the contract only requires 1 – 2 cleaners then inspections should be carried out weekly. Once the contract has been up and running for some time and the cleaners have settled into a good routine then it may be possible to visit only monthly. Contact between the supervising individual and you the client is entirely dependant upon your wishes If the clean is going well then the majority of clients do not want to be bothered with even courtesy calls to see if they are satisfied. Decisions on this are entirely up to you the client.

If the clean requires 3 or more cleaners then a supervisor should be on site at all times cleaning is taking place. If it is 3 – 5 cleaners then normally one of the cleaners will be acting as the supervisor. Numbers in excess of 6 will normally have a specialist supervisor in place. Having 3 or more cleaners on a site without direct supervision is rarely successful.

  • Can the company provide a full cleaning survey
This would entail the cleaning company doing a thorough survey of your premises, noting all your cleaning needs. This will then be presented as a written report or in the form of a spreadsheet. Either way it will detail all the cleaning that could be done and the frequency and possibly the method especially if it involves the use of specialised equipment. It is then up to you, the client to decide which elements you actually want incorporated into the cleaning contract. This protects both sides from any unfair complaints.

Too often when a cleaning company is called in they are shown around the building quite quickly with only the barest of outlines as to what exactly the client requires. The client knows that they want their premises clean and tidy but some of the specifics of that can easily go unmentioned. It is not until some little time has passed that someone complains that the cleaners are not doing something. Something that was not ever mentioned but assumed would be done. A classic example is the dust and fluff that accumulates behind workstations cluttered with computer cables. These may not even be normally very visible. The person perhaps changes a piece of hardware and pulls out the table to find all this fluff amongst the cables and then complains that the cleaners have not been doing there job!

The idea of the survey is to put the clients unspoken expectations into a practical reality. That is if they want certain jobs carried out they must appreciate that they take additional time and must be paid for accordingly. It helps to crystallise what the client actually wants and is prepared to pay for so there can be no complaints further down the line.

David Andrew Smith has been working for many years in the cleaning industry and is the owner of , general cleaners and specialists in the care and maintenance of natural stone such as marble, granite and limestone


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