It's sometimes easy to see time and money "go down the drain" with the task of housekeeping. However, it doesn't have to be this way. There are several methods, tools and products that you can use to help save on both labor and expenses.
1. Provide Proper Training
The importance of proper training is invaluable. If your team needs to go back and do something that they missed the first time, it decreases efficiencies and wastes time. It is also important to clearly define expectations. Understanding proper methods and the order in which to perform the job functions reduces the time spent in rooms and improves cleanliness.
Make sure you and your team are ready each day. The housekeeping cart should be filled at the start of the shift. Being prepared will help cut down multiple trips to the supply closet. It will also ensure less interruptions during task completion, also saving time.
2. Cross Train
Equip your team with necessary skills to perform tasks outside their day-to-day functions. This allows them to help in other departments if called upon. Have a checklist, so any staff helping knows where to start and what the tasks are that need to be
Work to find the time to speak with your team. Find out what their concerns and needs are. It may be as simple as they do not understand why they need to follow certain procedures or why the tasks need to be completed. They may also be able to provide insights as to what can save time or what tools they need to complete the jobs better, faster or more efficiently.
4. Use The Right Tools
The proper equipment can enhance productivity by up to 54% according to ISSA (International Sanitary Supply Association). Proper tools can also reduce worker stain and over exertion. A wide area vacuum sweeper can vacuum a long hallway faster than a normal vacuum, for example.
Another example to demonstrate the value of the right tools involves mopping. If your team continues to use a dirty mop with dirty mop water, would it make sense for them to use an auto scrubber with fresh, clean water to clean the floors instead? Yes! The floors will dry faster, the cleaning time will be decreased and costs will decline. Cleaning 4,000-5,000 square feet with a mop and bucket will take around an hour. You can clean almost 3x that square footage with a small scrubber in the same amount of time.
5. Use The Right Products
It is important to make sure your team is using the correct size and type (high density vs. low density) of can liner. If they are using too thin of a liner, the liner can break or tear. It is also possible that staff are using two can liners because the liners are too thin, which will waste time and cost more money.
85% of dust, dirt and moisture brought into a building can be contained within the first 15-18 feet with proper matting. Keeping the dirt out allows more time for staff to concentrate on other tasks. ISSA reported that the estimated cost of removing a single pound of dirt from a building can be more than $600. In addition, $1 spent keeping soil out of the building can save up to $10 in removing it once it’s inside.
Paper Products & Dispensers
Paper products and dispensers are a couple more products to analyze. If multifold towels are stacked on a counter, they can become wet or people use more than needed. This can cause your team to refill the product more often, spending more time than needed on this task. Using the correct towel and soap dispensers will once again eliminate waste, reduce the need to use more and more can liners and decrease the time needed to refill the products. This allows your team to have more time to focus on other tasks and get more accomplished during their shift.
Chemical Dilution Systems
Consider using chemical dilution systems if you aren’t currently using them. These systems can help reduce clutter and limit opportunities for worker injury or error. They are also a cost savings idea over using ready-to-use products by taking away the opportunity for your team to use more product than needed. Using the correct chemicals in the right situation can save time. More importantly, it can help increase safety for your team and those you serve.