Products often are introduced with little or no input from cleaning workers. But there are several reasons why workers should be included in these considerations before any cleaning product–related purchases are made. The main reason, of course, is they are the ones who will be using these products every day. Consulting with them just makes common sense.
And there are other reasons as well:
- The cleaning workers generally will tell you exactly what they like and don’t like about the products they are using now.
- They will discuss the cleaning challenges they are grappling with, allowing everyone to focus on products that might be able to address these challenges.
- They will tell you why a certain product or piece of equipment proved ineffective or, conversely, why it proved effective.
- They may be able to suggest cleaning procedures that make their job easier and less time-consuming and what products they would need to accomplish this.
The key here, however, is having these discussions before any products are selected. Once cleaning tools and equipment are purchased, often cleaning workers will tell their employers what they think their employers want to hear and not necessarily how they really feel about a product selection.
Why Is a New Product Needed?
As important as it is to get cleaning workers involved in the selection of products, another challenge that may need to be addressed is simply explaining why a new product is needed in the first place. As with all workers, cleaning workers might be comfortable with the products they use and feel no reason to make changes.
This means that the old ways of selling things to cleaning workers, contract cleaners, and building managers may need to change. This is when education is necessary.
So we must ask ourselves, why would the cleaning workers want to switch from a product they have used for years to something new?
These are some benefits that might help workers consider the new product:
- It’s safer and easier to use.
- It has a reduced impact on the health of the cleaning worker and building users.
- It is more ergonomic, so it is less physically difficult to use.
- It is designed to require less servicing and includes more components that can be serviced by the cleaning worker (minimizing downtime).
- It reduces work time.
This last item is significant. Today, cleaning workers are pressured to clean more square feet in the same or even a shorter period of time. Any machine that can help reduce their work time, improving worker productivity, will certainly get their attention. Successful introduction of new products to cleaning workers requires two things: Getting them directly involved in the selection process and making sure they understand that the new product will help them perform their cleaning tasks.
Ron Segura helps cleaning contractors grow. He has over 45 years of experience in all segments of the professional cleaning industry including ten years as Manager of Janitorial Operations for Walt Disney Pictures and Television. To contact him, call 650-315-8933..