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blue box with text reading "want to work for an os1 organization?

Want to Work for an (OS1) Team?

Why work for any custodial operation when you can work for an (OS1) team? Recently, we’ve heard stories of custodial workers moving across the country just so they can work for an (OS1) facility. Why? Because it gives them the assurance that the program values their work, has the systems in place to ensure a balanced workload and is committed to excellence.

Here are several great positions in (OS1) organizations currently available:

Michigan State University

Service Manager II

Working Hours: Monday – Friday 4:00 PM -1:00 AM

Posting open 03/10/2021 – 3/23/2021

This position will support the departmental mission by providing high performance training and staffing services for a team of over 400 administrative and craft professionals who serve over 13 million square feet of space in 110 buildings. This position will directly supervise the second/third shift office assistant. This position will coordinate, facilitate and maintain accurate records for all safety, skills, on boarding as well as any mandated training. This position will be the primary staffing contact for recruitment and processing of student and On-Call staffing. This position will engage in high performing, leading edge practices, valuing people, partners and stewardship. At IPF, we are committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive culture; engaging and hiring a diverse workforce.

Operations Supervisor I

Working Hours: Sunday-Thursday 9:30pm-6:30am

Posting open 03/10/2021 – 3/23/2021

This position coordinates and oversees the activities of the custodial staff in a group of campus buildings; trains and evaluates employees; plans staffing and time schedules; enforces departmental and University rules; resolves employee complaints and grievances; prepares forms and records to maintain working inventory; responds to emergencies, inquiries, and complaints from faculty, students, tenants, and the public; inspects and assesses problems, damage, and condition of buildings to facilitate repair and maintain safety standards. This position will engage in high performing, leading edge practices, valuing people, partners and stewardship. At IPF, we are committed to fostering an equitable, inclusive culture; engaging and hiring a diverse workforce.

To apply for these positions go to careers.msu.edu.

University of Texas at Austin

Building Attendant Leader second shift 5:00 pm to 2:00 am.

Job Description:

Schedules and coordinates the work of groups of cleaning workers using standardized practices set by the University. Advises them of special assignments or changes in work routine.

—-

Job Details:

General Notes

Hiring decision contingent upon applicant clearing a background check.

Responsibilities

  • Work in all University buildings. Schedule and coordinate the work of groups of cleaning workers using standardized procedures. Advise them of special assignments or changes in work routine.
  • Inspect and document cleanliness of university facilities and individuals’ work performance. Manage performance through observations, inspection, and communication of goals and standards. Evaluate, direct, and discipline employees.
  • Process and review time reports, inspection reports, absence documentation, supply order forms, performance records, performance evaluations, and periodic project reports.
  • Conduct training and ensure compliance with safety and operational procedures. Conduct meetings with staff. Promote and follow safety guidelines and maintain safe working conditions. Report safety problems to the Building Services Supervisor.
  • Receive and handle special requests and complaints. Keep supervisors informed. Effectively communicate with supervisors, clients, and employees using a variety of methods.
  • Direct quarterly rotation of, and training for, specific duties, including: Restroom Specialist, Light Duty Specialist, Vacuum Specialist, and Utility Specialist.
  • Attend and actively participate in training. Perform blood-borne pathogen cleanup. Responsible for equipment inventory and ensuring equipment security.
  • Responsible for security and organization of University keys, access cards, and alarm codes. Ensure all applicable exterior and interior doors are secured and alarms are set according to schedule.

Required Qualifications

Required education: high school diploma or GED. Experience following basic work instructions. Two years of experience in any one of the following fields: custodial, environmental services, hospitality, warehouse, production, or facilities services. Experience in a supervisory capacity. The ability to read and understand work orders, instructions, product labels, product directions, and other written job materials. Ability to understand and follow verbal and written instructions. Good communication skills, interpersonal skills, and customer service skills. Basic computer skills. Ability to write simple correspondence and fill out standard forms. Ability to work according to standardized processes. Stable work history. Strong attendance record. Must have a reliable means of communicating with the department outside of work by phone.

Relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

Preferred education: associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Experience supervising custodians in an (OS1) cleaning environment. More than one year supervisory experience. Excellent communication skills, interpersonal skills, and customer service skills. Advanced writing skills. Working knowledge of safety and sanitation measures appropriate for custodial work. Basic computer skills. Successful completion of the advanced OS-1 Comprehensive Certification Program.

Salary Range

$31,536.00 ($2,628.00 monthly)

Click here to apply: https://utaustin.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/UTstaff/job/UT-MAIN-CAMPUS/Building-Attendant-Leader—Night_R_00011624

Texas Tech University

21087BR – Senior Lead Custodian (9PM-5AM) Library

21218BR – Custodian $11/hr (430PM-1AM)

21982BR – Custodian $11/hr (430PM-1AM)

21977BR – Custodian $11/hr (430PM-1AM)

21980BR – Custodian $11/hr (430PM-1AM)

22807BR – Custodian $11/hr (430PM-1AM)

22946BR – Day Custodian $11/hr (8AM-5PM)

Coming Soon:

Night Supervisor (430PM-1AM)

Please email James at james.peel@ttu.edu if you are interested in learning more about any of the positions listed!

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC is looking for 2 Housekeeping Zone Managers.  Great Pay with shift differential and Carolina Blue skies.  Come give us a try at www.unc.edu!

Zone Manager

Posting Information

Position TypePermanent Staff (SHRA)
Is this an internal only recruitment?No
Position TitleBldg & Env Services Supervisor – Advanced
Working TitleZone Manager
Position Number57398
Vacancy IDP012439
Budgeted Hiring Range$45,000 – $47,268
Pay Band Information
Salary Grade EquivalentGN06
Full-time/Part-time Permanent/Time-LimitedFull-Time Permanent
If time-limited, estimated duration of appointment
Hours per week40
Work ScheduleM-F, 4:00 PM – 12:30 AM
Department Name and NumberFS-Housekeeping Svcs-Zone 08-242008
Date First Posted03/04/2021
Closing Date03/15/2021
Position LocationChapel Hill, NC
Position Posting CategoryHousekeeping and General Services
Department DescriptionHousekeeping Services is comprised of a staff of more than 400 employees who provide cleaning service and floor care to over 40,000 campus customers in the maintenance and operation of the University’s 8 million plus sq. ft. across approximately 250 teaching, research, medical, administrative, residential, athletic and library buildings. Housekeeping Services is committed to fostering a culture of civility and respect for its diverse workforce as part of its commitment to being a leading building and environment services organization within a leading public institution.
Equal Opportunity EmployerThe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.
Position DescriptionThe Zone Manager is one of 20-25 supervisors who organize and manage the daily cleaning operation of 10-30 subordinates for a group of University buildings, which on average encompass a total cleaning area of 500,000 square feet, including but not limited to offices, lounges, restrooms, student housing, classrooms, laboratories, entrances, exits, and stairways. Each Zone Manager’s assigned area may require additional specific knowledge and experience. These may include expertise in housing and residential student facilities in a campus setting, including management of summer turns; research, laboratory, and medical settings, including contamination containment and disposal of hazardous waste and related health and safety regulations; academic and administrative settings, including classrooms, offices, and historically-valuable facilities and holdings; and special event facilities, including athletic, academic and campus-related community events.
Minimum Education and Experience RequirementsHigh school diploma or equivalency and one year of experience in the area of assignment; or equivalent combination of training and experience. Some positions may require certification or eligibility for certification.
Essential Skills, Knowledge and AbilitiesRequires demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively both orally and in writing concerning work assignments, work performance and adherence to workplace policies, as well as perform quality inspections of employee work. Must be proficient in scheduling and planning. The successful candidate will have the ability to supervise a large, diverse work unit in a fast pace environment. Must have working knowledge of proper cleaning techniques and safety requirements in order to train Housekeepers in these areas. Must have ability to read and interpret Safety Data Sheets. The applicant must be able to organize work assignments and work schedules, manage the supply inventory for the group, and operate within available supply limits. The Zone Manager is the primary contact with the group’s University customers (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) and must be committed to outstanding customer service and be able to communicate effectively and positively with these clients orally and in writing. Must be knowledgeable of federal personnel policies and management practices appropriate to a high-functioning workforce. Functional ability in Microsoft Office or similar suite of programs (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, email, calendaring). This position is designated as a mandatory employee and is required to report to work in the the event of a public health emergency. This position is designated as an adverse weather emergency position and the employee is subject to being placed on-call and is required to report to work in the event of an adverse weather emergency. Must be able to serve on-call duty on a rotating basis for weekends and holidays several times a year. Must have ability to work a flexible work schedule based on department needs, which sometimes requires work on the weekend; for example, training, inclement weather, exam week, graduation, student move-in/move-out, and flexing work schedule as requested by customer’s cleaning needs in buildings such as residence halls, science/medical; in addition, flexing work schedule as requested by customer’s cleaning needs for sporting events, labs and exam schedule, which sometimes requires work in the morning, afternoon, evening and weekend.
Preferred QualificationsThe preferred candidate will have five years supervisory experience, to include at least one year of supervisory experience in institutional housekeeping, preferably in an academic or medical/research environment. Experience applying Federal and State OSHA standards and personnel policies preferred, as well as experience in appropriately applying North Carolina employment policies in managing State workers. Experience in collegiate residential housing housekeeping, including experience in scheduling and completing residential rooms and apartment turnover for summer camps and graduation in a fast pace environment is preferred for positions in the housing area. The preferred candidate will also have knowledge and skills in team cleaning processes. Preferred candidate will have experience in cleaning research, laboratory, and medical settings, including contamination containment and disposal of hazardous waste and related health and safety regulations; Experience in academic and administrative settings, including classrooms, offices, and historically-valuable facilities and holdings; Experience in special event settings, including athletic, academic and large-crowd community events.
Required Licenses/CertificationsMust possess a valid NC Driver’s license or the ability to obtain one.
Special Physical and Mental RequirementsWork is routine and repetitive in nature and may require strenuous physical exertion. Applicants must be able to lift/move objects weighing up to 50 lbs., and climb stairs. Employees are required to adhere to safety requirements by wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment.
Position/Schedule RequirementsEvening work, Exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens, Exposure to Hazardous Materials, Night work occasionally, Non-Healthcare TB exposure, On-call occasionally, Overtime occasionally, Rotating shifts occasionally, Valid NC Driver’s License, Weekend work occasionally
Position Attributes
Stimulus/ARRA FundedNo




Applicant Documents

Required Documents

  1. Curriculum Vitae / Resume
  2. List of References

Optional Documents

  1. Cover Letter

Posting Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

  1. * Please select the response below that best describes your experience/education for the Building Environmental Services Supervisor position.
    • High school diploma/GED, Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate and at least one year of experience in related field.
    • Combination of post high school education and/or experience in related field to equal at least 1 year
    • Did not complete high school but have a combination of high school education and related experience to equal 5 years (ex. 3 years of high school and 2 years experience)
    • None of the above
  2. * Mandatory employees are employees whose presence is required to ensure that essential University operations continue without interruption during adverse weather or emergency events, including a public health emergency. Mandatory and Communicable Disease Mandatory Employees are expected to report to work or remain on the job, and if deemed necessary by their supervisor, to work a differing schedule or shift than normally assigned. Do you have the ability to serve as a mandatory or communicable disease mandatory employee and report to work in support of essential (mandatory) University operations, even under conditions that may require the University to close?
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. * Please describe your supervisory experience.

(Open Ended Question)

  1. * Do you currently have a valid North Carolina Driver’s License or the ability to obtain a valid North Carolina Driver’s License by your potential start date?
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. * How many years of Institutional cleaning (university or medical setting) do you have?
  1. 0-5 months
  2. 6-12 months
  3. 1-2 years
  4. 3+ years
  5. Please describe any team cleaning housekeeping experience you have.

(Open Ended Question)

Mt San Antonio College is currently recruiting for Lead Custodian, and Custodian I. Applications are still being accepted for both positions despite the initial screening date posted. Both positions can be located via the link below or via indeed.com.

https://hrjobs.mtsac.edu/postings/7975

title for blog post

Our Top 10 Most Read Blog Posts of 2020

2020: A year that will go down in the history books. That couldn’t be more true for custodial professionals who suddenly were thrust onto the public stage as a pandemic took hold throughout the world. The same goes for most of us in the cleaning industry—while manufacturers battled unprecedented demands on the supply chain, others scrambled to prepare training and new certifications. Us? Well, we were prepared. Our users were prepared.

Our founder, John Walker, had anticipated the potential for something like this to happen, going so far as to prepare a pandemic playbook. A lot of people called us, wanting to know how to better create systems around their cleaning programs. A lot of people combed our website looking for information.

If this list is any indication, we can rest assured that people will appreciate the value of cleaning—and the people who do the work of cleaning—long after 2020 is over.

10. Cleaning Classrooms Safely – Teacher’s Checklist 

How can teachers make sure surfaces in their classrooms stay clean during  the pandemic?  We put together a checklist to help.

See the post and infographic here: https://managemen.com/cleaning-classrooms-safely-a-teachers-checklist-with-infographic/

9. Top 10 Frustrations of Custodial Professionals

The people who make it in this industry are problem solvers. Every day, they put together a new puzzle — figuring out which piece needs to go where to complete the puzzle of a clean building. It’s not an easy job, so to help others know they aren’t alone, we developed a list of the most commonly overheard challenges of custodial professionals.

Read the full list of complaints here: https://managemen.com/the-top-10-frustrations-of-custodial-professionals/

8. Coronavirus Communication: How to Tell Building Occupants We’ve Got This

To assist (OS1) teams with communicating their plans to key stakeholders and building occupants within their facilities, we developed a sample communication to help them understand that all of the necessary systems were in place for pandemic preparedness.

Read that post here: https://managemen.com/coronavirus-communication-how-to-tell-building-occupants-weve-got-this/

7. Why Cleaning Matters

It doesn’t matter where or what you clean, this is not an easy business. We’ve pulled together a list of four extremely important reasons why cleaning matters, along with a printable to remind yourself and your team just how important your work is.

Read that post here: https://managemen.com/why-cleaning-matters/

6. Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to a Cleaning Operation

We can benefit from looking at a cleaning operation from the framework of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. There are certain fundamental needs within a custodial operation that must be met in order for the program to be effective and meet certain higher-level goals. Too often, our conversation about cleaning is just through a specific lens rather than looking at the operation as a whole.

Read more about how you can apply the Hierarchy of Needs to your cleaning operation here: https://managemen.com/applying-maslows-hierarchy-of-needs-to-a-cleaning-operation/

5. How the White Wings Cleaned Up NYC

Lacking any formalized sanitation and refuse system, New York City was drowning in garbage and filth in the late 1800s. Its current mayor, William Strong, called for Colonel George Waring to return and assume the position of sanitation engineer. The job of tackling the city’s overwhelming sanitation issues would be no easy feat, and Waring approached the job as he would approach combat on the battlefield. 

Read more about how George Waring and the White Wings cleaned up New York City here: https://managemen.com/from-the-history-books-how-the-white-wings-cleaned-up-new-york-city/

4. The Case Against Spraying Disinfectant Everywhere: Raise your hand if you’ve seen a picture of a heavily suited worker spraying what’s assumed to be disinfectant on sidewalks and streets in the past four months.

For cleaning professionals, this image might be somewhat alarming. Mostly because it demonstrates what we already know—that the majority of people throughout the world have a limited understanding of the science of cleaning. 

Read more: https://managemen.com/the-case-against-spraying-disinfectant-everywhere/

3. Please Take a Minute to Thank a Cleaner: While we rest, cleaners are lifting heavy trash bags and mop buckets, pushing vacuums and pulling overstocked carts. But this effort doesn’t come without a price. Due to the labor-intensive nature of their work, janitors have one of the highest rates of job-related injuries. Injuries from slips and falls or musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that cause extreme pain in areas such as their backs (46 percent of all custodial-related MSDs), shoulders (15 percent of custodial-related MSDs), necks and legs. 

Read more: https://managemen.com/please-take-a-minute-to-thank-a-cleaner/

2. Think Janitor is a Dirty Word? No, and Here’s Why: If you trace the etymology of the word “janitor,” it doesn’t take much research to find that the term is tied to deity. “Janus” from which “janitor” is derived, was a Roman god of beginnings and ends; metaphorically he represented doors and passages. In images, he’s often depicted with two faces that allow him to look to the future and the past. 

Read why Janitor isn’t a dirty word here: https://managemen.com/think-janitor-is-a-dirty-word-no-and-heres-why/

1. Why Dirty Schools are a Big Problemand What We Can Do to Clean Them Up

The top post of this year looks at some of the most common issues that stem from dirty schools—things like poor performance and reduced morale. But it’s not just the issues—we dig into strategies that could help fix the problem of dirty schools. Spoiler alert: It starts with management.

Read the post here: https://managemen.com/why-dirty-schools-are-a-big-problem-and-what-we-can-do-to-clean-them-up/

5 Characteristics Custodial Leaders Need Right Now

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

Connections. We break them when we clean and disinfect surfaces throughout a building, breaking the chain of infection. Yet as a business leader, it’s also essential we build and maintain connections—particularly with the people on your team.

With so much uncertainty and disruption, many people around the globe are looking for guidance and stability. Childcare, concern of an elderly family member, personal health—these are just a few of the concerns clouding our minds right now, including the people on your team.

This presents an amazing opportunity for custodial managers to inspire and lead. 

According to leadership expert Nancy Koehn, “…real leaders are not born; the ability to help others triumph over adversity is not written into their genetic code. They are, instead, made. They are forged in crisis. Leaders become ‘real’ when they practice a few key behaviors that girls and inspire people through difficult times.” 

As we look to help our teams look beyond the shadows, what characteristics can effective leaders reveal to encourage those around us to see a future opportunity?

1. VISION

Jim Hagemann Snabe, Chairman at Siemens AG suggests that when business leaders consider a post COVID world, they should look at it as a “renewal, not a return.” 

What would a renewal of your cleaning operation look like? If you received additional budget to staff, train and supply your department, what would you want to add and why? Would you do a better job of standardizing your processes? Measuring cleaning performance? Providing additional training?

Facilities managers and custodial professionals can expect to play a bigger role in business operations following the pandemic as leaders will have a much greater appreciation for their expertise. Prepare a vision for the role of your team in a post pandemic environment and how you can improve the service you deliver. Being able to clearly communicate this vision will to only inspire your team, but also the leadership. 

2. FLEXIBILITY

Martial arts master Bruce Lee is coined with saying: “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” 

Due to the nature of the work, flexibility is a characteristic many custodial professionals already demonstrate, but this is increasingly important during a crisis. From inventory to staff, schedules to moods, almost everything is in a state of flux. Demonstrating flexibility and a growth mindset will help you better adapt and “bend with the wind.” 

3. AUTHENTICITY

When COVID first hit, Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson responded less than a week later in a message to Marriott employees. His message was honest, immediately tackling several sensitive topics including his personal health and the impact of COVID on their business. 

“I can tell you that I have never had a more difficult moment than this one. There is simply nothing worse than telling highly valued associates—people who are the very heart of this company—that their roles are being impacted by events completely outside of their control,” he said.

Employees watch their leaders carefully. Don’t hesitate to keep it real with your employees. This will help you earn their respect. 

4. RESILIENCY

Setbacks are inevitable. This applies to life in general, but particularly when you’re leading others during a crisis. Being resilient not only means having a plan in place to protect your team from the impact of a pandemic, but also recovering quickly when setbacks occur. 

Forbes Magazine identifies these key steps to becoming a more resilient leader: communicate powerfully, be coachable, build positive and trusting relationships, embrace risk, develop others, champion change and act decisively.  

Resiliency means creating balance by accepting the things we can’t change and creating meaningful change where we are able. 

5. INCLUSIVITY

Custodial teams are often one of the most diverse groups within a business. Building an environment where everyone on your team feels that they are accepted and belong should be a top priority for every custodial professional right now. 

According to Harvard Business Review, “what leaders say and do makes up to a 70 percent difference as to whether an individual reports feeling included.”

Recognizing biases, demonstrating cultural intelligence, collaboration and humility are just a few of the key traits inclusive leaders possess. Within a custodial operation, these attributes can inspire greater productivity than any new piece of equipment. 

*****

Cleaning is in the spotlight right now. From profiles highlighting the safety risks to janitors to features of cleaning processes, there’s a lot of dialogue happening around how buildings are cleaned.

By setting a vision for your team and leading them through the other side of this thing, you can help ensure that everyone emerges stronger. 

The Future of Cleaning and Hygiene

Cleaning professionals, start your engines. 

We’re at the starting line of one of the most important races of our lives. Never before have people paid so much attention to how cleaning is performed. As a profession, we’re stepping out of the shadows and onto the stage as people start to understand that cleanliness isn’t just about what you see, but also about what you don’t see. 

In “Science, Cleaning and the Built Environment,” cleaning scientist Dr. Michael Berry stated, “Effective cleaning is not widely recognized as a form of insurance or that ineffective cleaning has a high cost in the long term.”

With the coronavirus and this pandemic, that has changed. People now see the critical importance of effective cleaning, because public health safety is at stake.

Whether you’re an (OS1) user or someone who stumbled on this blog post looking for ideas on how to better clean your facility, you can bet that once we get through this pandemic, people will be asking a lot more questions about your cleaning program. As we stated in this post, the business case for better cleaning has never been stronger; and evidence of this paradigm shift is popping up all around us. 

Cleaning Takes the Stage

Last week, Delta Airlines introduced “Delta Clean”—their “new standard of airline cleanliness—now and always.” In a video announcing the initiative, Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch discusses the various steps Delta plans to take to improve the cleanliness of its planes. 

Delta rolls out “Delta Clean” a new standard of cleanliness.

A recent article in National Geographic suggested that to fight germs wherever you go, you  should ask about “cleaning practices” at hotels. 

“Before you book a hotel or a vacation rental, ask about the cleaning process. Often, the answer will give you a clear idea of whether or not this is a place you want to stay.” – Jason Tetro, microbiologist and author of the book The Germ Code.

Singapore has developed a stamp that helps visitors and locals easily identify hotels and other businesses that achieved a standard level of cleanliness. The “SG Clean” stamp is placed prominently at the entrance of an establishment and designed to give people “peace of mind,” says Keith Tan, CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board. They aim to eventually certify more than 37,000 establishments. 

On April 9, the Google Doodle (the fun logo updates you can find on the Google homepage used to commemorate holidays and special occasions) was changed to a person holding a mop and bucket to recognize cleaning workers—this feels like a moment, right?

The Future of Cleaning

Products. Processes. Training. Measurement. These four key critical pieces of EVERY cleaning program will be the subject of scrutiny once buildings start to reopen. People will need peace of mind that they can step into buildings without concern of contamination. 

This is good news for (OS1) users! There’s a good chance you can speak to each of these elements better than you can recall certain family members’ birthdays. From training to annual audits, the (OS1) System ensures that people understand not only HOW to clean, but WHY we clean. 

If you’re not an (OS1) user, you need to be prepared to speak to cleaning processes, products, training and measurement protocols. 

People will want to know what products and processes are used, and how cleaning performance is measured. Are you ready for that challenge? 

School Janitors: So Much More than a Line Item in a Budget

You don’t need to walk far into your neighborhood store to see it’s back to school season. With end caps of glue sticks and aisles of pencils, paper and folders with everything from kittens to Avengers characters greeting you, it’s a time of year that brings excitement and new beginnings.

But in the town of Saugus, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, 21 school custodians will not return to school this year. The School Committee recently ruled to outsource services, igniting what the local paper called a “firestorm” of protests from local residents.

After the firing of 21 janitors, residents of Saugus, Mass., ask what will happen to the health and safety of students in their district.

More than 3,300 local residents signed a petition calling for reinstatement of the janitors. A high school student spoke, saying that the custodians are a “vital part of the school community who make students feel safe and supported.” 

Despite the protests, the Committee proceeded with the vote to outsource custodial services to a private cleaning company. According to the Superintendent, the move was part of a “reallocation of resources” estimated to save the district more than $1 million. 

This may sound familiar, as it happens far too often.  

We’ve gotta give it up for the people in this committee for understanding the importance of the custodial workers in their schools. If you’re reading this blog, you know how important cleaning is to a community. This letter to the editor from Saugus resident Erin McCabe sums it beautifully.

To the editor:

I feel the safety of our children is being overlooked. With limited custodians our children are placed at higher risk of health issues. 

These are just some of my concerns:

1. With limited custodial services, dust will most likely accumulate causing an increase risk of asthma attacks.

2. With limited custodial services, who will be cleaning up vomit and blood? Will there even be a custodian in each school to clean these pathogens, or will staff and students have to wait for someone who is trained in cleaning blood-borne pathogens? Thus exposing our children and their staff.

3. With limited custodial services, what will flu season look like for our children, when stomach bugs flood our school, will we see absences rise? Clearly not what we want for our students……..right?

4. With limited custodial services who will be maintaining our brand new high school/middle school. Will it remain in pristine shape for all future students? Probably not.

5. With limited custodial services, will we be able to host after school events, events on weekends? Such activities as our town basketball leagues etc … these activities are important and necessary for our community!

6. With limited custodial services, what will be put into place to maintain our children’s safety?

To read the full letter, please go to: https://saugus.wickedlocal.com/news/20190624/letter-to-editor-safety-of-our-children-is-being-overlooked

Thank you, Erin and the entire Saugus community, for recognizing the important work of a well staffed, trained and equipped custodial program. School custodians are so much more than a line item in a budget. They are key to ensuring healthy and safe environments for our children, as well as maximizing the investment in the buildings they clean. 

The Importance of Time in a Cleaning Operation

“Time is more precious than gold, more precious than diamonds, more precious than oil or any valuable treasures. It is time that we do not have enough of; it is time that causes war within our hearts, and so we must spend it wisely.” 

— Cecelia Ahern, The Gift

Over the years, we’ve spoken with hundreds of facility managers and experts in our industry. One thing that often separates the people who run relatively smooth operations from those routinely plagued with issues is great time management skills. At the front of any great cleaning operation is an individual who not only does a great job of managing his or her own time, but also the time of the custodial team. They equip custodial workers with a toolkit that includes the equipment and products to do the job, along with the ability to make their own decisions and effectively manage their own time. 

Why is time management so important? For starters, because labor accounts for approximately 90 percent of a cleaning budget. The remaining 10 percent goes to supplies, equipment and consumables such as toilet paper, paper towels, etc. As an industry, we typically focus on that 10 percent (e.g. “what’s the cost of auto scrubber A compared to auto scrubber B?”). However, a lot of our business at ManageMen is built around how we can do a better job of managing the other 90 percent.

Enter workloading. Workloading is the term used to describe how labor is managed in a cleaning operation. It details the goals, describes the jobs and projects outcomes for every position within the department. While many facility managers find work loading to be a near impossible task, it’s core to the (OS1) System. Without even distribution of responsibilities, clearly defined tasks and outlined outcomes, too many variables can enter the equation. An operation that has been workloaded is focused and makes the best use of time. 

Take Maria, for example. Maria has a set of specific tasks outlined on a checklist for her to complete in her 8-hour shift. As she’s vacuuming the hallway, she receives a call that someone needs help setting up a conference room. In this situation, Maria has been trained to say “no.” She understands that her checklist is the priority and that if she has time at the end of her shift, she can help setup later. 

We all have the same 24-hours in a day and 8-10 hours a day at work. So what strategies can you use to make the most of time in your custodial operation?

  1. Conduct an audit of how you currently use your time. Do you spend an hour each day responding to email? Dealing with personnel issues? Track your time for a week and see where you spend your time.
  2. Create a list of priorities. This can be divided up into a list of daily, weekly or monthly tasks. Include steps you need to take to achieve larger goals, along with regular responsibilities. 
  3. Establish a set time to complete each task. This is where our Cleaning Times book can be an extremely effective tool: look at the time referenced in our book and conduct your own analysis of the time it takes a cleaning worker to complete the task and compare the two. Having a set time to complete the job will help keep your team focused and on task.
  4. Plan ahead. It’s one thing to complete your list of things to do, but you should also be thinking about what’s next. This can be done either the night before, or first thing in the morning – establish your MIT or Most Important Thing. 
  5. Give yourself time. While it seems counter-intuitive to effective time management, it’s important to allocate extra time between tasks and meetings. Cramming too many activities back-to-back will reduce your effectiveness. Studies have shown that the human brain can only focus for approximately 90-minutes at a time. Give yourself a few extra minutes to take a walk, drink a glass of water or just take a few deep breaths between tasks. 
  6. Keep the Pareto Principle in mind. Italian philosopher and economist Vilfredo Paredo once observed that 20 percent of the pea plants in his garden generated 80 percent of the healthy pods. This led him to think about uneven distribution in other areas, and he found that, in numerous industries, 80 percent of the production came from about 20 percent of the companies. This led to the generalization that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the action—or the 80/20 rule. As a manager, focus your time on the 20 percent of the tasks that will lead to the biggest return. Delegate what tasks do not align with these goals. 

As motivational speaker Zig Ziglar says, “Time can be an ally or an enemy. What it becomes depends entirely upon you, your goals, and your determination to use every available minute.” 

The Good Fight

Note: Each month, Ben Walker shares his monthly musings for our e-Newsletter, Cleaning Matters. April’s column is located here. If you aren’t subscribed to Cleaning Matters, you can do so by clicking here.

A few weeks ago, I was asked to present during the Clean Buildings Expo, which is sponsored in part by Trade Press Media Group, the publishing company for FCD. No question it was a career highlight, as I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting so many of the people who have read my columns over the years. There were a few times when I had to pinch myself because I felt like a celebrity! People stood in long lines to have me sign copies of their Cleaning Times books and to say hello.

Ben Walker speaks to a packed house of facility and cleaning management professionals during the recent Clean Buildings Expo.

One of the people who stood in the line following my session asked if I would have time over the next few days to speak with her further. She owned a contract cleaning business and was looking to improve some of the processes in place. I told her I’d sit down with her the next morning for coffee and we’d talk. Just talk, no consulting fees, no selling—just talking through some of her issues ,sharing ideas to help her make her business more efficient. 

I don’t tell you this to pat myself on the back. I share it because the high from last week’s event was still fresh on my mind when I started digging through my email this morning and came across this expose just published by Variety magazine, a weekly entertainment guide: “How America’s Biggest Theater Chains are Exploiting Their Janitors.”

Please take the time to read through the article and share it with your peers. It’s important that we support publications that bring the labor issues that run so rampant in our industry to light. It’s a story we all know too well—when cleaning is treated as a commodity, cleaning workers ultimately lose.

The article shares details of children of janitor’s being brought to work, sleeping on the floor or theater seats. Janitors going unpaid or receiving $350-$400 a week after working eight to 10 hours a day, seven days a week.

“I don’t know what Hell is like, but I think it would be like that,” one cleaner told the reporter. “Sometimes I was crying because my feet couldn’t take it anymore. My back couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t know how I could finish the work I had to do.”

******

There are so many cleaning companies that play in this arena who exploit the people performing the work for their profit. However, there are also a lot of companies out there trying to doing the right thing, like the woman I met during the Clean Buildings Expo last week. 

As an industry, we have so much work to do. 

Professionalism. Integrity. Standards. 

By standing on these principles, we will continue driving the industry forward. 

When we don’t, we only hurt ourselves and the people around us. And we enable conditions like those described in this article to continue thriving. 

Thank you for joining us in this fight.

Ben.

Spring Cleaning Your Custodial Closets: A Checklist

The Spring Equinox starts in just a few hours and depending on where you live, the daffodils might be starting to show off their pretty yellow heads. It’s been a pretty nasty winter around the country, so for many, the flowers and other signs of spring are a welcome sight!

In addition to adding a bit of color to our lives, the Vernal Equinox also marks the start of spring cleaning activities around the world. From homes to offices, people eagerly purge their homes of dirt and clutter that’s no longer of use (we’re looking at you, floppy discs!).

Where did the ritual of spring cleaning start? There’s no clear answer on this. Some say it dates back to the Jewish practice of thoroughly cleaning the home in advance of Passover. Others say that it traces back to the Persian New Year, or Nowruz (pronounced “no-rooz”), where Iranians clean everything from drapes to furniture before kicking off a 13-day celebration of dinners, family visits and reflections for the year ahead (sign us up!). 

For cleaning professionals, spring cleaning offers an opportunity to reset. We talked a little while ago about how the (OS1) System can help a professional cleaning operation “tidy up,” and Ben will be presenting next week at the Clean Buildings Expo on “How and Why Remediating Your Cleaning Program Works”, but even just a few simple steps can help you spring clean your department to make it safer and more productive. One of these steps is focusing on custodial closets.

Cleaning out the Closets

Aside from the challenges everyone talks about — labor, pressure to do more with less, etc. — storage for all the “stuff” associated with cleaning is a big issue for many people responsible for managing custodial operations. Cleaning workers should have storage areas on every floor, and possibly more depending on the footprint of the building. 

Safe chemical handling starts with safe chemical storage. Here are a few things you can do to “spring clean” your chemical storage areas.

But as we continue exploring dangers associated with poor chemical handling processes, where we store cleaning chemicals should be an important area of focus. This includes cleaning out these areas. 

Secured storage is critical, in order to limit access to building occupants and others who lack the knowledge and training to properly to handle chemicals. Held in one central bulk storage area, the chemicals should be kept clean, neat and sorted by hazard classification (e.g. don’t store flammable chemicals with oxidizers). 

A few good things to items to add to your spring cleaning checklist include:

  • Remove any cleaning chemicals from upper shelves or high areas where they might be  difficult to reach
  • Make sure all products are tightly sealed
  • Never store dry products atop wet products
  • Make sure any liquid acid and liquid chlorine products are stored away from one another
  • Conduct an audit of keys so you know exactly who has access to storage areas
  • Make sure your list of cleaning chemicals is up-to-date
  • Safely dispose of any expired chemicals
  • Audit what chemicals are in use and dispose of any chemicals that are not in use
  • Make sure all of your Safety Data Sheets are up-to-date and organized—which you can easily do with our SDS “Beyond Compliance” Wall Mounted Station!

Happy Spring, and Spring cleaning!

A Sneak Peek at Janitor University 2019

We kicked off our first Janitor University (JU) of 2019 yesterday with a sold-out group! Held at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City, this event is a professional development course for cleaning executives, including facility directors, managers, CEOs of BSCs. In this class, we are excited to host several new faces from prominent academic institutions!

Ben Walker shares the benefits of a systematic approach to cleaning with attendees to the March 2019 Janitor University.

In the first day of JU, much of our focus is on data—or rather, the lack of data with many conversations that happen in the professional cleaning industry.

Ben Walker, instructor, discusses the importance of using data in any cleaning operation.

After a series of exercises, attendees to JU quickly learn the importance of data, and that it’s tough to argue with numbers!


(OS1): What a Professional Cleaning Operation Uses to “Tidy Up”

There’s a pretty good chance that over the past month, you’ve heard the name “Marie Kondo” or even watched one of her shows. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” Japan’s queen of decluttering has found her way into millions of U.S. home by sharing her way of cleaning or, “tidying up,” those items that do not “spark joy” in their lives. From her two best-selling books to her recent Netflix series, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” she provides organizational guidance to help people create order using her patented “konmarie method.” 

In her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” Kondo discusses how tidying up— much like cleaning — is a self-taught exercise. 

Image from Kondo’s website: https://konmari.com.

“The general assumption, in Japan at least, is that tidying up doesn’t need to be taught but rather is picked up naturally,” she says. “Cooking skills and recipes are passed down as family traditions…yet no one hears of anyone passing on the family secrets of tidying, even within the same household.” 

“Instruction in tidying is neglected not only in the home but also at school,” she continues. “When we think back to our home economics classes, most of us remember making hamburgers or learning how to use a sewing machine to make an apron…surprisingly little time is devoted to the subject of tidying.” 

It doesn’t take much looking to see the parallels between our industry, the professional cleaning and hygiene industry, and how Kondo has built her empire. She’s found a way for people to find order and develop a system for “maintaining” their home, just as a cleaning operation is designed to do within a commercial building, such as a school, hospital or office.

Similar to the “tidying up” movement, a lot of people in the professional cleaning industry are self-taught because we also operate on the notion that cleaning is a skill that is picked up naturally or through experience. 

Like Kondo, our founder, John Walker, recognized the issue with this approach. Because people lacked the proper training, they were not often able to truly clean in a way that led to cleaner, safer and healthier facilities. That’s why he developed (OS1), a scientifically engineered approach to cleaning. This system helps provide a system for cleaning and maintaining a building.

Let’s look at the similarities between Marie Kondo’s approach to tidying up and the (OS1) approach to cleaning:

Marie Kondo’s Approach  (OS1) Approach
Visit a home and consult with the customer about their goals and objectives. Meet with the client to discuss current program and objectives for implementing a new custodial system
Conduct an audit/inventory of the home’s material possessions  Conduct a baseline audit of the custodial program. This includes:  inventory of custodial supplies & equipment; observations of cleaning processes; detailed cost analysis of labor/product usage; training and education program; scheduled cleaning services; and HAZCOM risk assessment.
Teach the KonMarie method Teach the (OS1) process through events like Janitor University, Train the Trainer, (OS1) Boot Camp and (OS1) specialist certifications.
Help clients understand that tidying up is not a chore but a mindset. Help custodial operations understand the importance of janitors and that they be treated as first-class citizens. 
Work with homeowners to implement the KonMarie method and begin purging the home of unnecessary material items Set up a pilot building within the facility to begin rolling out the (OS1) system.
Roll out the Konmarie method over the next month Continue tactically rolling out the (OS1) system based upon a successful pilot. Create repeatable outcomes and over the next several months/years scale to additional buildings within the operation.
Follow-up with client Ongoing benchmarking of best practices with other (OS1) users through an annual symposium. Participate in annual progress audits to document milestones, troubleshoot issues.

Take a look at your custodial closet. Is it filled bottles of cleaning chemicals made by companies that aren’t even in business anymore? Do you have pieces of broken equipment collecting dust in the corner? Do you know what tasks are being performed every single day? Do you spend your day handling complaints and putting out fires? Is your staff’s morale perpetually low?

If so, it could mean your custodial department is ready for a little tidying up too.