The psychology of habit and its impact on cleaning results

…it is best to have a washroom specialist who only cleans restrooms.  This ensures a uniform and high standard.

Source: Services Magazine of the Building Service Contractors Association, March 2005, article by Bill Garland, Daniels Associates, Inc.

When I started this business I had defined my market as independently owned businesses that relied upon their employees for all of the cleaning functions.  Having worked for these types of small businesses, it had been my experience that employees did not mind cleaning their work areas but they did mind the prospect of cleaning a restroom that other workers had used.

My concept of market began to change one day when I was out making sales calls.  I unknowingly called on a store that had a cleaning service which came in on a regular schedule.  This business hired my service as well.  Not long after that I was hired by a business that had a full time cleaning maintenance staff.  This kind of result perplexed me.  It seemed to me that if they were already paying someone to do the cleaning, then they would have no need for my services.  I couldn’t understand why they would elect to also pay me?

It took me a while to unravel the dynamics that affected this type of situation.  As it turns out it is the human element and our amazing propensity for developing habits.

When it comes to cleaning restrooms, some tasks need to done more frequently than others.  For instance, cleaning the inside of a toilet bowl or sanitizing the sink needs to done every time anyone cleans.  Other tasks such as wiping down walls, detailing dispensers, or removing dust can be done on a less frequent basis.

When you have the same worker completing the frequent tasks on a regular schedule it becomes their habit.  Then the tasks that need to be completed on a less frequent basis never get done (it is not part of their routine).  Habit takes over.

Unfortunately, this dynamic leaves a less than stellar result when it comes to restroom cleanliness.  The conclusion being, if you want to have and maintain truly clean restrooms for your employees and customers, you need two types of cleaning conducted by different people.  That’s where Wizard! services come in; we do the details that other cleaning services habitually forget.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *