10 Tips for Proper Behavior When Cleaning Around Tenants

Steve Hanson

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Just because you're in the cleaning business doesn't mean you never come into contact with the people who work in the buildings you care for. Learning how to work around and communicate with building tenants and their employees goes a long ways towards building trust in your company and the employees who work for you.

  • Learn and remember names: Even if they haven't learned yours in five years.
  • Grow thick skin: Sure, people will complain about a paper clip not vacuumed after you've worked hard cleaning up an unnecessary mess they caused.

    But just smile and nod and say, “Thanks, how can I help?"

  • Don't use private telephones: Call from a public phone if available on your break. There's something about a cleaner using a desk phone that really bugs people. Also, don't use a receptionist switchboard phone.

    If you must use a phone to contact your supervisor, use your cell phone or the designated phone for emergency use in that building.

  • If you must smoke, do so discreetly: Smoking is only allowed on a break. Continually sneaking out for a quick “smoke" does not look good, nor does it promote the professionalism of your company.
  • No eating while working: Eating is only allowed while on a break, and only allowed in lunchrooms - never office areas.
  • If you must use your personal radio: Keep the volume low, and put the headset around your neck. Doing any job while wearing a headset can be dangerous - you can't hear someone coming up behind you, you can't hear motor sound changes on the vacuum, alarms, etc.

  • Never moan and groan publicly about anything, even if someone tracks in mud on your just-vacuumed carpet. We all have our moments&just don't do it in front of anyone, ever. People don't want to hear it - they have their own problems.

  • Don't use crude or profane language: A four letter expletive every other breath, will offend even fellow swearers.
  • Noise! Make little. Cleaning noise really irritates people.

    They hate clanging, banging, squeaking wheels, etc. They may not say anything, but inside they're seething. Whistling and singing, believe it or not, are included here too.

  • Be Polite: Say “Hello" and smile as you walk past someone in the hallway. If someone is working at their desk say, “Excuse me, may I empty your trash?"

Steve Hanson is co-founding member of The Janitorial Store (TM), an online community for owners and managers of cleaning companies who want to build a more profitable and successful cleaning business. Sign up for Trash Talk: Tip of the Week at http://www.TheJanitorialStore.com and receive a Free Gift!


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