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Efficient cleaning: boost your cleaning team’s productivity | Tennant

Do you run a professional cleaning company? If so, one of your biggest concerns may be ensuring your team can work productively or efficiently… or maybe both…

So let’s talk about the differences between productivity and efficiency and some ways you can boost both in your business.

Productivity vs efficiency
While they might sound pretty similar, productivity and efficiency are not the same. Productivity focuses on quantity - doing more or getting stuff done more quickly. While efficiency focuses on improving standards and quality while using fewer resources. Improving your team’s productivity could mean they’re able to clean more floors in their standard workday. Improving their efficiency could mean using less raw materials or labour, while still producing a superior result your customers will love.

They’re both obviously great for businesses - improving quality and quantity can help increase the value you produce. So let’s talk about some ways you can target both productivity and efficiency in your organisation. 

4 ways to improve productivity
1. Offer fewer services or services
One of the best ways to get more done or improve your speed of delivery is to do less. If you can minimise the number of services you offer or cut back on the different types of products you produce, you can standardise your processes, minimise custom jobs, and streamline your training. Then your team can improve their productivity and get their job done faster. 

2. Don’t overdo the meetings
Most businesses schedule more meetings than they should and not only are they bad for productivity (by wasting valuable time) but they can negatively impact employee retention. If your meeting doesn’t have a clear outcome, purpose, and agenda, and/or you can achieve it through a quick call or email, cancel it. That way, you and your team can use your time more productively.

3. Set standards and benchmarks
Because productivity is about getting more done, it’s important to define the standards of what you want done. That way, your team know what they need to aim for and when they can stop and move onto the next job. 

4. Upgrade your surroundings
Sometimes a simple upgrade to your work environment is just what you need to boost productivity. For example, see if you can make it easier for your team to access their cleaning machines, or upgrade your parking areas.

5 ways to improve efficiency
1. Invest in better technology
One of the best ways to improve your efficiency is to upgrade your technology. These days, tech changes and evolves constantly - if you’re working with outdated machinery or equipment, it can limit your ability to produce a high-quality product or deliver a better service in less time. For example, Tennant’s ec-H2O NanoClean™ Technology can help your team do more efficient cleans - using less detergent, less water, and less time, all while providing a better clean. 

2. Improve your training processes
A well-trained team is a more effective team. Examine your new employee onboarding processes to see where you can provide better training in your equipment and operations. Then schedule in regular training to help keep your current team’s knowledge fresh and their skills up to date.

3. Match employee’s skills to tasks
One great way to improve efficiency is to make sure you have the best person doing each job. Regular performance reviews can help you identify your employees’ best skills, interests, and career goals. That way, you can assign them to tasks that match their strengths - it means they’ll be happier and produce the best possible result.

4. Watch out for overtime
When your team is working to improve productivity (i.e. produce more) they might be tempted to work extra hours. But the problem with overtime is that it impacts negatively on efficiency (and of course, costs more). Technology like Tennant’s IRIS® Asset Manager can help you monitor machine usage and when your employees are at work so you can make sure team members take breaks and finish work when they’re meant to.

5. Invest in better products or materials
You can improve efficiency by using better raw materials or equipment. Paying a little more for quality materials often means you’ll save money in the long run with better outputs (happier customers) and faster service (lower labour costs). For example, you could invest in a Tennant floor scrubber with ec-H2O NanoClean™ Technology - it might cost a little more initially, but in the long-run, your team could deliver more efficient cleaning results,  without using strong chemicals or detergents.

Make a plan to improve your productivity and efficiency
We’ve listed out some practical ideas and inspiration here - but if you’re keen to make a change, you need to create a plan. 

Get clear on your goals - do you want to increase productivity, efficiency, or both? And how will that benefit your business?

Then choose the productivity and efficiency ideas that are the best fit for your goals. We’ve listed 9 ideas above, but you don’t have to stick to these - ask around, do your research, and talk to your team to come up with your own ideas.

Next, create an action plan that includes each step and when you’ll do it. Start with a change that’s relatively simple and easy to make, but that’s likely to have a real impact. Once you start seeing the results, you and your team will be motivated to keep going!

And if you’d like to talk about more efficient cleaning solutions, talk to us! We’d be happy to help walk you through some of our technology and innovations that have been proven to boost productivity and efficiency for our happy customers.

Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With a vision to become a global leader in sustainable cleaning innovation that empowers our customers to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world, Tennant creates solutions that are changing the way the world cleans. Tennant products include equipment used to maintain indoor and outdoor surfaces, as well as TennantTrue® financing solutions, equipment parts, service, and maintenance to help ensure superior cleaning performance from your Tennant machines.

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