The Dirt (on Cleaning)

How Janitors Can Help Improve an Entire Building's Bottom Line

How Janitors Can Help Improve an Entire Building's Bottom Line

Tuesday, May 5, 2015/Categories: Marketing a Cleaning Business, Starting a Cleaning Business

As we mentioned in the post "Marketing a Cleaning Business: Productivity & Health Benefits of a Clean Space," one way to sell your cleaning services to commercial clients is to appeal to what really matters: the bottom line. As it turns out, cleaning and good hygiene can go a long way toward cutting costs.

In fact, the Integrated Benefits Institute found that businesses lose $227 billion in lost productivity costs over sick days. So commercial clients stand to gain quite a bit if their employees adopt hand-washing habits that…

  • Curb the spread of germs and illnesses.
  • Reduce absenteeism.
  • Boost productivity.

What role does your cleaning business play in all this? Make hand-washing awareness programs part of your janitorial services.

Why Washed Hands Matter in the Workplace

Germy hands plus work surfaces are a recipe for office-wide contamination. Where those unwashed employee hands go (i.e., everywhere: keyboards, phones, door handles – you name it), illness is sure to follow. It stands to reason that cleaner hands mean fewer germs get passed around. In turn, employees stay healthy and productive.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cleaning Institute saw the value of hand-washing programs to reduce absenteeism in schools. The CDC reports that…

  • 22 million school days are missed each year because of colds.
  • 38 million school days are missed each year because of the flu.

So the CDC and ACI teamed up to launch the "Healthy Schools, Healthy People: The School Network for Absenteeism Prevention" program to improve student hand-washing habits and cut down on lost school days. Custodial personnel work with administrators to create educational materials and provide the supplies that encourage good hand-washing practices.

Though you may not service schools, the practices this program promotes can be adopted for any public building where germs can spread quickly and affect a number of people.

Cleaning Businesses: Your Role in Promoting Good Hygiene

So how can you incorporate a similar hand-washing program into your services? Talk with building managers about how promoting hand-washing habits can boost productivity and revenue for all businesses in the building. Explain that the custodial program will…

  • Educate people on when to wash their hands. This can be accomplished by posting signs around the building that inform workers to wash hands before and after handling food, after caring for the sick, after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after touching garbage.
  • Inform people on how to properly wash their hands. Signs in the bathroom should instruct users to wet hands with clean water; apply soap; lather the backs of hands, between fingers, and under nails for 20 seconds; rinse; and dry hands.
  • Promote access to germ-free hands. For clean hands, workers will need access to warm water, soap dispensers, and dryers or paper towels. Hand sanitizer dispensers in hallways and common areas (e.g., outside of conference rooms and break areas) can also offer employees a quick way to banish most germs on the go.

If you do decide to offer this kind of program, be sure to publicize it in marketing materials. See if you can track absenteeism before and after the campaign to highlight how much money your clients saved because of your efforts.

For more marketing tips, read the post "3 Ways to Start a Cleaning Business with a Built-in Clientele."

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