Treat a Janitor with the Same Respect as the CEO
How successful would your business be if the floors were dirty and the trash cans were overflowing? How motivated and productive would your staff be sitting at a sticky desk with a dirty telephone and looking out a grimy window? Janitorial cleaning services provide an invaluable service to your company. But, how do you and your staff treat them?
Albert Einstein was famously quoted as saying, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” This comes from someone who lived more than a century ago and is still considered to be one of the greatest minds ever. If Einstein can do that, why do so many office staff members, from the CEO to the clerks, seem to think they are superior to janitorial services workers? What makes them so special?
Work is work. A modern professional cleaning company is not employing vagabonds off the street. Its workers are highly trained, experienced, and professional cleaners. Some of them are well-educated, others less so, but they have all been screened and been through a rigorous selection process, just like the staff in your office.
Modern office building cleaning services require a range of skills as new techniques and technology are used. There is a lot more to cleaning than vacuuming the carpets and wiping the counters. Many of the staff members cleaning the office will work their way up the ladder and become supervisors or join the management team. Many of today’s business leaders started at the bottom.
Another relevant quote, this one a bit more recent, is from renowned musician and actress Janelle Monae. Accepting her award at the BET awards ceremony, she said, “I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.”
In her acceptance speech, she thanked her parents. Both her parents were cleaning and janitorial services workers and Monae herself had previously worked as a maid. She credited her parents for her success.
Several companies have taken note of how staff or potential employees treat those lower in the ranks. The same applies to external meetings with suppliers or salespeople. These people might be there for an interview, a sales call or a meeting. How a person treats the receptionist or janitorial services staff says a lot about the type of he or she is.
Take the time to at least greet the janitorial services staff. They provide a service without which your business could not function effectively. They ensure it is clean and hygienic so staff members are healthy and happy, and visitors get a good impression when they visit your office.
Without commercial janitorial cleaning, your office would be an unpleasant environment to work in, service levels and staff morale will suffer, and productivity will be low. Visitors and customers coming to the office will form a negative opinion of you and your business if it is messy and dirty.
Commercial janitorial cleaning staff are no different to any other staff and deserve to be treated with the same respect. Talk to them and get to know them. They have lives and families just like you. You might find you have the same interests or support the same sports teams. Just because their chosen work is janitorial services does not make them any less human and any less deserving of respect.
Janitorial services staff are around much of the time and are often the eyes and ears of a company. They have, without snooping or being nosy, a good understanding of who is doing what, where, and when.
While you do not want to turn your office building cleaning services staff into spies, they are often a valuable source of information. There have been numerous cases where an internal crime has been committed and the janitorial services staff has been able to provide valuable information or evidence against those who committed the crime.
Generally, they go about their work quietly and are discreet, but they see and hear what goes on around them. Often, they might have really good ideas on how aspects of your company could be improved or they could advise you on problems that are developing. If only you took the time to speak to them, you might be surprised at what they know.
There have been cases where company employees, even at the director level, have bounced ideas off the janitorial services staff, often with amazing results. Again, they are normal people, and, often, they are part of your target market. Why not get their ideas and opinions?
Some companies have a rigid and formal hierarchy and there is a clear separation between executives, management, and the rank-and-file staff. More enlightened companies are moving away from this and realizing that everyone, given the opportunity, has something to offer. There is no need for separate eating areas, toilets, and other amenities based on your position in the company.
It should ideally be one big happy family with all people treated as equals.
These companies also ask the receptionists or janitorial staff their opinion on company issues and on people, particularly prospective employees. Being rude to the cleaning staff or receptionist will not score you any points or make you look like a big person. Quite the opposite in fact.
Including janitorial staff in company events will not reduce respect for management; it will enhance it. They will feel valued and included and are likely to perform better as a result.
Employing a bottoms-up approach to management where you value the junior staff and include them in company activities and issues is a powerful and effective management strategy. It makes people feel empowered and valued and, as a result, they are better motivated to give their job the best effort they can.
If all staff members treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO, you will have a happy and high-functioning team, as well as harmony in the office.
To speak to a company with many years of professional commercial cleaning experience, give iNX a call. The company’s staff members are, apart from being well-trained and highly experienced, respectful and polite. They will always keep your office neat and tidy while treating your staff and customers with the respect they deserve.