We live in a time where we are drowning in information while starving for knowledge. It seems the industry information comes from everywhere, including distributors and manufacturers, associations like APPA and ISSA, organizations like Healthy Schools Campaign and Green Seal, and trade publications and newsletters. Then, there’s your LinkedIn connections and feed, and let’s not forget Google! (Did you know, for example, that when you search floorcare, you get 4.67 million responses in seven-tenths of a second!) This industry information is added to the general content we all receive every day.
Being constantly bombarded with information can be overwhelming, leading to anxiety, frustration, and poor (or no) decision making. Research shows it is far easier for people to make a decision when faced with fewer choices.
If you are a facility executive in charge of an in-house operation or a building service contractor, everyone tells you they have the best product, procedure, and training. How do you know what is best? To whom do you listen? What needs to be done and when? What should be ignored? Who can help with the best advice given your specific situation, facility, and contracts
You have two choices: Master the overload or allow it to overwhelm you, stagnating decision-making and creating the ambiguity that contributes to inaction and complacency. The only way to master information overload is to create a plan that will take you from where you are to where you want to be—and follow it.
Below are steps you can take to prevent information overload and the ill effects it can have on you and your custodial team.
Understand the value of cleaning and the level of clean, safe, and healthy your building occupants are expecting. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there is far more emphasis on infection prevention, so you need to know what this means to your facility clients. Are they expecting high-touch surfaces to be cleaned multiple times a day, or will a container of wipes at the front counter suffice? The only way to manage expectations is to know what they are.
Conduct a comprehensive and integrated assessment of your current situation. This requires examining the processes, procedures, products, and policies as well as your people and leadership, keeping an open eye toward what is working and what could use improvement.
Determine your precise objectives in detail. Perhaps you want to be sure every restroom is checked for cleanliness and restocked twice a day, or the front door mats are vacuumed before each shift. Or perhaps you want to conduct ATP swab testing on a random yet focused basis to provide evidence-based data on the level of cleaning. The point is to be specific and put these goals in writing.
Create an action plan, including the specific strategies and tactics to deliver these sustainable objectives. It should include everything from the cleaning protocols to be used, to the staff using them, to the managers and leaders who guide the staff.
Marshal the resources necessary to reach these objectives based on your facility’s priorities, timeline, and budget.
Select a specialist. Someone who can add value by assisting you. Someone who has already accomplished what you want to do and will speed up the process, hold you accountable, and be there when you need assistance. There are plenty of consultants and coaches who can assist you. Choose one who understands the science and engineering of cleaning, disinfecting, and cleaning operations. You want someone who possesses a thorough understanding of all industry segments, including manufacturing, distribution, and contract cleaning, as well as in-house operations. This scope of experience will ensure your program is comprehensive and inclusive of all stakeholders.
Work with this specialist to identify and implement the processes and protocols required for your cleaning operations to be best-in-class and reach your prioritized goals. Your coach, or specialist, can also help you sort through the information that bombards you from other sources, helping you determine what may assist you in meeting your objectives and what can be ignored to prevent information overload.
Reap the rewards and recognition for your efforts. When your cleaning and disinfecting processes are best-in-class, and building occupants feel confident your building is clean, safe, and healthy—and you achieve this within budget—your superior leadership skills do not go unnoticed.
Calling All Facility Management Executives:
How can you be sure your in-house cleaning operations are operating as efficiently and effectively as they need to be to satisfy the demands of all stakeholders? Learn how to assess your operations, make any necessary improvements, and get the data to verify you and your department’s ongoing value.