By Jim Flieler
2020 is challenging for a number of reasons, and not just because we have an invisible virus to fight. We have an increased emphasis on our entire industry, new technology coming at us faster than we’ve ever seen before, low maintenance substrates, decline in polymer coatings, loss of distributor deep expertise and even a loss in end user expertise. Now more than ever employee wellness and custodial team morale is so important. Education is absolutely vital to that mission, as our workers continue to fight the virus and protect public health. We must commit fully to training our employees and providing them with the tools they need to do their job to the best, most efficient and effective, extent possible.
Something you can do to get ahead of all of these challenges this year and beyond is to fine tune your standard operating procedures (SOP). If you do not have an SOP, then this is absolutely the time to implement one. SOPs are imperative for training new hires and ensuring your staff is aligned with public health protocol and your own infection control protocol in this time of global pandemic.
SOP are established routines and procedures that must be followed to ensure a consistent outcome. In the cleaning business, your SOP will include everything from the products to be used, when and how often to perform a certain task, and when to do it again.
I like to think of SOP as checks and balances. Having an SOP ensures regulatory compliance, the efficiency of your team’s work and their safety and health. Any SOP should include quality assurance checklists and be easy to locate, read and understand by everyone on your team.
There are plenty of SOP templates that can be adapted by any organization available online for free. There is no need to reinvent the wheel or start from scratch. Charlotte Products has a long list of SOP checklists and audits available through the Resources library of the website. There are specific line items in your SOP that will need to be included during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. These include:
- Cleaning Methods to Consider & Prioritize to Lower Costs
- Simple, Cost Effective Ways to Clean and Disinfect
- Employee Wellness
- PPE/Documented Education/Employee & Visitor Signage/ Plexi Guards/ Hand Sanitizer Stations/ Hand Washing/ Personal Cleaning of Spaces
- Increased Cleaning Efficiency/More Precise/ Specific to High Contact Points
- Mechanized or Faster Cleaning Methods need not be fancy, pump-up sprayers are five to ten times faster than a trigger sprayer.
- Lower Risk of Employee Injury
- Achieving Higher Square Footage yield/increased square footage efficiencies
- Lower and Address High Cost of Labor
You are not in this alone. The entire industry is behind you and your time and has your success at the top of our priority list, too. If you are interested in adapting SOP that will help you build up your COVID-19 protection plan, use the resources on our library, ask your colleagues and distributors for advice or templates, and look to the industry for help.