Cleaning contractors must embrace digital to survive post-Covid

Date: 08th Jul 2020

Most cleaning contractors are involved with all stages of the employee lifecycle: recruitment, onboarding, development, retention, and exit. Multiply this by the number of employees processed, and the day-to-day people management process is a complex task. 

An integrated workforce management system goes beyond just time and attendance monitoring. It will take care of the data and analytics, allowing managers to measure employee experiences at every stage of the employee lifecycle and establish benchmarks to measure future performance. It will also enable Cleaning Contractors to adapt their service provision and procedures in these unprecedented times. 

There is no doubt that hygiene in facilities is becoming a critical element in the combat and spread of the coronavirus. The FM sector will have to adapt. Those small and medium sized contractors that haven’t already embraced digital will need to move quickly to maximise the potential.

As well as changing the hours, or staggering shifts for employees, there will also have to be huge changes applied around cleaning of premises. Most notably, increasing the frequency of general cleaning will be paramount, as well as the introduction of PPE for all employees who require it. Deep cleaning will be required to be increased as standard, with regular disinfecting of shared areas. High traffic contact zones, such as handles, bathrooms, desks and chairs will need wiping down with an antibacterial cleaner frequently throughout the day. If you never saw your office cleaners prior to the pandemic, you will definitely see them as lockdown eases, they will be in high demand at all hours of the day and night.

Barry Williams, Ezitracker Australia and New Zealand comments:

"I think we’ll see a shift towards an Uber-style economy within the FM space.  This has particular relevance in larger geographies such as Australia, where there are many communities that are geographically challenged and remote – as in several hundred miles away from larger populations, therefore, larger companies have no physical presence and have to subcontract to smaller companies. Additionally, the ability for cleaning operatives to ‘bid for work’ has a potential greater impact on the larger companies who own contracts to deliver service in these remote areas."

He went on to say: 

"We’ve recently added a flexible talent pool to our workforce management hub. EziTalent is an app-based temporary ‘Labour as a service’ staffing solution which allows workers to find flexible temporary work opportunities with large corporates operating in traditional, regulated industries."

The solution uses data and automation to solve complex tasks that large traditional labour providers handle on a day-to-day basis. Key tasks such as payroll management, background checking and license checking, company-worker matching and performance management are automated for both companies and employees seeking permanent and temporary contracts. FM providers can tap into the App if they have a requirement for additional cleans or special cleans, or a new contract win. Rather than going through a normal recruitment process or a TUPE process, they broadcast these shifts or these contract requirements out to the talent pool and the solution itself matches and presents available shifts to cleaners that are subscribed to the service of shifts, pay rates, location, on a first come, first served basis.

The cleaning operatives can obviously then pick up additional shifts across multiple sites across multiple potential employers. This drive towards flexible working, will involve the need for an agile cleaning workforce, working across multiple sites and multiple employers. It could be a game-changer for the sector.

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