Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Employee Issues

What is the national average for amount of days most custodians take off in a year on sick leave?
I was recently hired as Custodial Supervisor, which is a newly created position since the addition of more county buildings and more staff. Three other custodians already within the system applied and were interviewed, but due to my previous experience (32 years) I was chosen. I feel the friction when around these custodians. What is the best approach on this situation?k
I am having a problem with employees opening my TimeMist dispensers and taking the refills. Is there a cage available to go around the dispenser? If not, is there a dispensor that has a heavy duty lock? The current dispensers have locks, but a paper clip can open them.
Our school district had to make some cuts last year. One custodian retired and was not replaced. Now, the cleanliness of the building is deteriorating. When, as facilities manager, I ask why weíre not keeping the building clean, the response is, ďWeíre down a man.Ē However, the retired custodian told me that he could clean his area in six hours. This tells me that the person now cleaning this area must be getting done in four hours, because itís not clean. He has been with us for years.
I have been in business for 3 years now; my business is growing more than I can afford! We have been getting a lot of little accounts, and some big ones. Until a couple of month ago, everything was fine. Whether I had employees or not, it wouldnít matter. I could work a good 18 hoursí shift and I still got things done the way they should be. But now I have a big problem. I canít afford to loose any employee because I canít possibly do the work myself. I donít know if Iím doing something wrong or not, but I constantly find something wrong with the job that my employees do. Nothing major, a toilet that looks yellow inside, or a window ledge that was missed, things like that. I have never lost one account and I have over 15 now and growing. I have 4 employees and I still do good part of the work myself. Sometimes I wonder if bigger is really better! The other thing is, I pay them 3 hours per night each, 6 nights a week. I do not have time to be watching them, so I tell them that I pay them for 3 hours no matter what. I'm afraid that if I pay them by the hour they will take their time to finish the job, and I can't really afford paying them more than 3 hours every night. I also know that it should take them around 3 hours to complete the work that I give to them. The problem is that sometimes I'm not at the building so they rush as much as they can to get out of there, because it don't matter to them, they will get paid for 3 hours. Sundays is another problem. I have about 6 small accounts that are cleaned only once a week, I was doing all that myself before, but know I have to ask employees to do it. How can I possibly trust anyone other than myself to do those accounts? How would I handle that?
A customer called early in the morning to complain that some stuff in the office was moved around and wondered if the cleaning crew was to be blame. I called the cleaning crew and they said they didnít do anything different there besides the usual cleaning routine. How do I handle this issue the right way with my customer?
We have been Team Cleaning in my building for about 1-1/2 years. I have one custodian who has not stopped complaining to the teachers and other staff about "TEAM TORTURE" as she calls it. Also, she complains non-stop about the backpack vacuums we use. She moans and groans and grumbles the entire time she is using it, and tells the teachers and staff how awful it is, how heavy, what a terrible job it does, and how she is living on pain pills because of how badly it hurts her back. How can I get her to climb on board with the rest of us and move forward and upward with our new system of cleaning. We are also Green and there is nonstop complaining to teachers and staff about the products not working and how she has to work so much harder. I need some advice on how to deal with her. All the management classes I have had donít seem to work on her. She is bringing the rest of the team down with her. She already has the new custodian on board with her, which is causing considerable issues.
Is there a national average for Hospital Housekeeper turnover? We are researching our current turnover rate and would like to bench mark it. Is there an expected and/or average turn over rate for Hospital, Housekeeper 1 and Housekeeper 2?
I am a domestic cleaner with no commercial cleaning experience. My employer has instructed me to strip and re-polish a hardwood dance floor. Because I have no knowledge at all about doing this task, I am not happy about attempting it. I do not have any crew members who work with me. The only equipment I have is a back pack vac, a mop, and an old buffer. I am very nervous about attempting this task. I have been told I will be fine to just go by the instructions on the products. Am I right to be wary of attempting this task?
Our school district has begun using a microfiber dry/wet mop system. Workers have expressed concern about the dry mop sticking to the vinyl tile floor and that it does not sweep as well as those made out of cotton. What has been the experience of those who use the microfiber system?
I want to know where seniority comes in to play. I have worked in the same system for twenty five years; how can a person with fewer years take my hours?
How does your company deal with feminine hygiene issues?
What would be some good custodian interview questions? I work in an educational facility.
Does your organization (ICAN) have a code of ethics, and, if so, could I get a copy for a research project?
What is the annual turnover rate in the contract cleaning industry, and are there any statistics that indicate that owner/operators (franchisees) have significantly less turnover? If franchisee owners/operators have less turnover, why are they not in more office buildings? I understand that more than 95% of large office buildings are cleaned by traditional contract cleaning services.
I have employees that take advantage of the time given for lunch and breaks, I cannot keep and eye on them at all times and therefore they sneak to take too many breaks, too long and do the same for lunch. Do you have any ideas?
We are in-house custodial staff, we want to know what is the average square feet of cleaning area a custodian should be able to do on an 8- hour shift. This is daily cleaning of all areas in an office enviroment, except for shampooing or extracting carpets.