Cleaning Validation and Workforce Satisfaction How to bring value to your cleaning team It’s always been challenging to hire and keep cleaning workers. Staffing shortages across the globe have made that challenge even more pronounced. Facility managers everywhere are wondering how they can recruit and retain workers to meet the increased demand of a post-pandemic facility. One of the most powerful tools a facility manager can use to attract and keep cleaning workers is by improving employee morale. Cleaning validation is a key component of any workplace culture focused on retention, morale and reduced turnover. Below are just some of the reasons that cleaning validation can give your cleaning team the morale boost it so clearly needs in 2023 and beyond. Validation is an opportunity to recognize a job well done Too often in the cleaning industry, workers aren’t given the recognition they deserve. One study published in the Journal of Infection Prevention showed that although all cleaning staff knew what was expected of them in their job, 62% reported that feedback was frequently absent or belated. Cleaning is a humble job that’s often completed in the shadows, during the night shift or when buildings are empty. For decades, the only recognition cleaning workers would receive is when a job was poorly done because that’s the only time the public would notice their work. Recognition is the cornerstone of a healthy workplace. Countless studies of workplace satisfaction show that recognition helps reduce turnover, increase productivity and boost morale. When facility managers are able to prove that their hard work is paying off with validation like clean surfaces, assessments with passing grades, and data that shows the building is healthy and safe, the opportunities for workplace recognition multiply. By sharing validation reports with cleaning staff in regular meetings, managers build a rapport with cleaning staff that is focused on taking pride in their work and recognizing their efforts. Other simple ways to build a culture of recognition include: Calling out the workers who go above and beyond and get top scores in team meetings for a round of applause Printing certificates for workers when measurable outcomes are achieved through validation Working toward team rewards like pizza lunches or coffee gift cards through measurable contests related to validation Using social media accounts to call attention to top-performing team members, through employee of the month programs or other special call-outs. Take a complete picture for training. Optisolve makes training easy with real time visual feedback that helps facility teams clean for health and safety. Validation elevates the vital role of cleaning workers in public health. The public’s perceptions—and expectations—of cleaning workers have completely shifted due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, cleaning workers did their jobs during night shifts or when buildings were empty so as not to be seen or to disturb the public. Today, the public wants to see cleaning workers to help them to feel safe in public buildings. A cleaning worker wiping down a doorknob or cleaning a bathroom indicates to the public that a building has been cleaned and there is less of a risk of becoming sick in that space. In today’s world, everyone is paying attention. Validation provides facility managers the opportunity to communicate with the public that a space has been cleaned, with real-time data to support that claim. By validating cleaning work with data, the public can see quantifiable proof that a cleaning worker’s job is tied with public health and safety. This is an integral piece of the larger picture of the cleaning industry. For so long, so much of how buildings are cleaned has been based on guesswork. Now there are tools that can quantifiably measure clean, provide data and prove to the public the importance of the work. Validation provides accountability. For so long, facility managers have had to judge their staff’s work by a quick look or smelling a room. It’s always been a subjective measure, with no real value. A validation tool takes the guesswork out of management, and provides real accountability measures for training staff. Having the ability to check that a surface has been cleaned with photographic evidence provides a level of accountability never before attainable in commercial cleaning. This shifts the mindset of the cleaning worker, because they know their work will be measured quantifiably. When integrated into a quality management system, validation tools are powerful in proving when a cleaning task has been completed effectively. For example, Optisolve SAVI is a cloud-based software that integrates advanced imaging from Optisolve Pathfinder to show spatially specific advanced photographic evidence of surfaces along with SOPs, checklists and assessments that can be organized by each cleaning worker. This allows managers to track the work of their staff members and share the results with them, with real-time, photographic evidence of the end results of their cleaning tasks. That evidence becomes invaluable as a training tool for cleaning staff. Validation brings professionalism to the job of cleaning. Validation that integrates with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and training can bring an elevated level of professionalism to the job of cleaning. By aligning training programs with SOP and backing the work up with validation measures and data, frontline cleaning workers become empowered. This system gives cleaning professionals the knowledge and credentials to validate their abilities, and it gives supervisors valuable tools to help develop their training and leadership skills. Validation can also help cleaning programs standardize training. When used consistently, validation provides a path for career advancement for cleaning workers that will elevate professionalism within an organization. It can also help with recruiting and hiring. As the cleaning industry faces a hiring shortage,and as older workers leave the cleaning force, every effort to build a stronger recruiting program matters. Paths toward career advancement, data-driven training and a professional workplace culture are invaluable assets that can be promoted at job fairs and in recruiting efforts to attract and retain top talent, especially among millennial workers and younger generations. Now Is the Time to Invest in Your Cleaning Staff. It’s never been more important to focus on workplace satisfaction. A validation tool used consistently to provide recognition, communicate to the public and measure success can add significant value to your cleaning team. Learn more about advanced validation tools from OptiSolve’s collaborative approach to validation, featuring Optisolve Pathfinder, a breakthrough solution in surface imaging and Optisolve SAVI, a cloud-based quality and inspection software.