4 Tips for Supporting Custodial Workers


Each day, more than 2.3 million cleaning professionals maintain facilities where people work, live and visit. During the novel coronavirus pandemic, the public relies on custodial workers for protection, including many vulnerable individuals at greater risk of COVID-19. Cleaning professionals take pride in overcoming the challenges associated with achieving a new standard of cleanliness.

As cleaning staff are the lifeblood of an organization’s cleaning operations, turnover can be extremely costly. According to the ISSA, labor comprises 85-95% of the total cost of cleaning a building. Frequent turnover is one of the main culprits for high labor costs due to the constant investment in recruitment and training programs.

Facility managers that show an appreciation of their cleaning staff, and provide them with the tools and support necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively, will cultivate loyalty and more rewarding experiences for employees. In turn, this will help to minimize turnover, enhance recruitment and improve an organization’s cleaning operations.

Best Practices for Assisting Staff

Employees do their best work when they feel supported by management. Consider the following strategies for improving workers’ wellbeing and the results they achieve through cleaning.

  1. Provide the necessary tools and supplies: having access to the right tools allows employees to clean effectively and can enhance productivity, safety and cost savings. In some cases, employees are being asked to do more with less, which significantly hinders their ability to do their jobs. It can also diminish employee morale. Cleaning standards have never been higher, and that means new and functional equipment is necessary. Providing cleaning personnel with the best tools available will not only result in cleaner facilities, it will also generate goodwill and loyal workers.
  2. Implement non-toxic and non-irritating cleaners and disinfectants: many conventional cleaning chemicals contain a complex assortment of potentially toxic ingredients and fragrances that can exacerbate allergies and conditions like asthma. As custodians clean more frequently and thoroughly during the pandemic, it’s paramount that they have an effective cleaner and disinfectant that won’t put their health at risk. Facility managers can opt for an on-site generation system (OSG) to create non-irritating solutions made from just three ingredients – water, salt and electricity – and avoid risking supply shortages. The electrochemically activated (ECA) solutions that OSG systems create will give cleaners reassurance that their employer cares about their health and wellbeing.
  3. Pivot safely amid personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages: custodial workers are on the front lines of fighting COVID-19 and some organizations are facing shortages of PPE like masks, disposable gloves and eye protection. While custodial employees should use face coverings to give building visitors reassurance that they take pandemic precautions seriously, selecting non-toxic cleaning and disinfecting solutions can help facility managers operate with less PPE on site without creating additional risk for their workers.
  4. Simplify the cleaning and training processes: Education is crucial because it can result in better cleaning results and fewer safety lapses. Investing in workers can also lead to longer tenures and reduce turnover costs. With fewer chemicals onsite and only the best tools in their supply closets, managers make the cleaning process straightforward. A simple yet effective approach to cleaning gives employees greater confidence that they are cleaning correctly and allows managers to step back from closely supervising employees.

Creating a Cleaner World

Cleaning professionals are essential to the health and safety of those who enter facilities like offices, schools, hospitals and hotels. Cleaning tools, PPE, ECA solutions developed with an on-site generation system and training are all considerations for facility managers who want to support their employees. With a greater focus on the people who conduct cleaning and disinfecting, organizations can improve the way that facilities are maintained, strengthen employee engagement, reduce turnover and improve the perception of custodians around the world.

Support your team with effective cleaning and disinfecting solutions that are an alternative to conventional, toxic chemicals. Learn more about PathoClean and PathoCide here.

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