As the year winds down it’s time for facility managers to reflect, take stock, and plan for a better New Year. Here is a list of six New Year’s Resolutions for Facility Managers to get you started.
New Year’s Resolutions for Facility Managers
1. Raise Your Safe Floor Standards
Customers don’t only appreciate a well-maintained floor; they judge your entire facility by it. But issues with poorly maintained floors are more than just cosmetic. Without regular care, flooring materials will age prematurely, require more repairs, and most significantly, need replacement sooner. Even worse, poorly maintained floors set the stage for dangerous and costly slip, trip, and fall hazards according to the National Floor Safety Institute.
Resolve to put floor safety first. Start by tracking and analyzing past accidents. Then prevent new mishaps by approaching floor care with an emphasis towards safety. That means:
- Removing spills immediately
- Keeping floors dry even in bad weather
- Using a robust mat system
Need more tips? Here’s a great place to get started.
2. Commit to a Better Restroom Experience
A dirty, smelly, poorly stocked restroom generates plenty of complaints and furthermore sets the tone for your entire facility. No matter the business, restroom cleanliness is important to guests, customers, and employees alike.
Reduce complaints by committing to a better restroom experience. Ditch air fresheners that only cover up bad smells. Conversely, work towards an odor-free restroom. Increase restroom check ins to make sure trash cans are empty and soap, toilet paper, and towel dispensers are full. Likewise, train staff on restroom cleaning best practices. Finally, invest in better tools to make restroom cleaning fast, easy, and complete.
3. Empower Your Employees
The cleaning industry always faces high employee turnover, but this has been a year like no other. Labor shortages now plague most industries. In fact, the Great Resignation has everyone talking about employees voluntarily leaving their jobs in droves. However, there are ways for facility managers to retain valuable workers.
It starts with empowering your personnel to do their best work. Cleaning, after all, is a difficult, physically demanding, and low status job. It’s important to recognize that reality and take steps to mitigate the effect.
Here are three simple ways to empower your cleaning personnel:
- Invest in ergonomic tools to make work easier, faster, and safer
- Increase access to training to turn workers into experts in their field
- Demonstrate empathy and understanding to show workers they are part of the team
Find more tips on empowering janitors and custodians here.
4. Resolve to Communicate Cleaning Efforts
Cleaning is foremost on the public’s mind with surveys showing that 88% of Americans plan to remain “extra cautious” of potential germs well into the future. With everyone from the general public to the C-suite laser-focused on cleanliness, a list of great New Year’s resolution for facility managers includes developing a communication plan to broadcast those cleaning efforts loudly and widely.
“It makes sense to showcase cleaning and disinfecting,” says Russ Flug, manager of sales and special markets for Iowa-Des Moines Supply, Inc in an article in Sanitary Maintenance Magazine “… it helps make the public more comfortable when they’re in the facility.”
Take advantage of the moment and start communicating. Consider blasting out emails, printing out fliers, or publishing cleaning tasks and schedules on the company website. Showcase high-performing workers to put a face on your hard-working staff. Added bonus: this also encourages employee empowerment and engagement (see Resolution #3).
5. Focus on First Impressions
Resolve to put your best foot forward and focus on first impressions. For facilities managers, that means paying special attention to the entire entryway experience from the parking lot to the sidewalk to the actual entrance vestibule.
A spotless entryway reflects on the rest of your business. In fact, RetailWire reports that consumers start forming opinions about grocery store cleanliness before they get to the front door. And it’s not just grocery stores. No one appreciates a business with littered parking lots, gritty sidewalks, or wet, messy floors.
Step up entryway care by cleaning parking areas, power washing sidewalks and using a robust mat system to keep soils out of your building. But remember, those mats need care too, especially in bad winter weather. Want more ideas? Check out these seven mat care tips in Facility Cleaning & Maintenance Magazine.
6. Prioritize Health and Infection Prevention
The general public now understands what facility managers knew all along: cleaning for health is vital for public safety. While the chances of contracting some diseases, like COVID-19, via surfaces are rare, there are still plenty of plenty of pathogens transferred by surface contact. The list includes:
- Common colds
- Cold sores
- Hand-foot-mouth disease
These unpleasant illnesses can lead to costly absenteeism and may affect your company’s reputation. Instead, resolve to prioritize cleaning for health. Start by examining and improving best practices for high-touch areas like restrooms, elevators, and breakrooms. Track employee sick days to show the positive effects of increased cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. And don’t forget to communicate these efforts to management.
Try one or all of these New Year’s resolutions for facility managers to improve operations, boost morale, and create positive engagement. Your employees and customers will notice.