Six Ways to Support Your School’s Janitorial Staff

Six Ways to Support Your School’s Janitorial Staff

As an essential part of your team and facility, your janitorial staff needs support. Administrators and custodial staff have a lot of similarities throughout their average workday. Both arrive on-site with a plan of how that day will go, and both are pulled in different directions to manage the most pressing crises at any given moment. Each spends quality time restoring, improving, and offering creative solutions to challenging problems.

Here are six things you can do to improve their quality of life and work for your custodial team:

1. Notice and Acknowledge Quality

Average daily tasks might include cleaning bathrooms, sweeping, mopping floors, dusting, vacuuming, and disinfecting high traffic surfaces. Their work also includes attention to every spill, splash, and foot-trafficked mess that enters your school.

The more you take time and care to understand how they spend their day and notice the value your janitors bring to your facility, the more they will feel like part of your essential team. Morale and confidence go hand-in-hand. When you recognize an employee for a job well done, even casually, it gives them a sense of pride in knowing that what they are doing is not going unnoticed.

2. Understand the Demands of the Job

Last month’s blog detailed the need for cleaning vs. disinfecting, consistency, and forgotten high traffic areas. These are the routine assignments in an average day. Janitors also need to adapt to emergency repairs and clean-ups – all while they are also taking direction and requests from many other members of your staff. Often, this requires them to carry out tasks in and around areas already in use.

2. Encourage Professional Development

Team training doesn’t always include custodial staff. There are many widespread assumptions and misconceptions that every person knows how to clean correctly or that additional training won’t yield better results. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. An investment in the professional development of your employees is an investment in your school. 

Additionally, the skills and knowledge your employees gain will push them to go beyond the scope of their job description. A staff member who is continually learning and growing will develop an excitement for achievement, which helps to boost confidence and motivation.

4. Invest in Safety

Recognize that your staff is inhaling whatever they are using to clean with. Ensure that you provide PPE (personal protective equipment) such as gowns and masks if needed. Also, it’s important to keep in mind employee allergies and sensitivities to help maintain their safety, health, and well-being.

Consider hiring externally for safe and high-quality disinfection like electrostatic cleaning that can be done with proper safety gear when the building is empty.

A school facility also comes with other health and safety regulations that might necessitate potentially hazardous conditions or substances. Commercial cleaning is essential for items like windows that involve working at dangerous heights or complex equipment. 

5. Account for Limitations

Given what you now know about the demands of the job and the needs of employees, take time to assess what is reasonable to expect from them. Chances are, with changing CDC guidelines there may be more work to be done than there is the capacity to do it. 

6. Broaden your Team

Invest in an outside partner to accomplish deep cleaning and sanitization. This will make it easier for your janitorial staff to maintain a clean facility at the level you need it to be. Carpet cleaning, window washing, power cleaning, and hard floor deep cleaning should be completed on a regular basis.

Not only will an external team serve as support for your custodial staff, but commercial companies can be scheduled outside of standard working hours. This way, they don’t complicate your janitorial staff’s already demanding workload or interrupt the flow of your school day.

In the end, it takes a team to keep your school clean and safe for your students. Read additional tips about how to find the right commercial cleaning company for you.