Last fall I spent some quality daddy–daughter time with my daughter driving her back to college for her junior year. It was a long trip, and I was constantly looking at the speedometer to know how fast I was going. My speed depended on the traffic, weather, and how anxious we were to arrive at our next stop.
We were on the last leg of our journey and within 120 miles of our destination. We were tired of being in the car and ready to walk on land. Because of this, the needle on the speedometer occasionally read more than the speed limit sign—oops! I would notice this and slow down. Later, down the road, I would check again and realize that I had unconsciously increased the speed again. This yo-yo effect continued for the next 90 miles. As we came over a tall hill (on the high end of the yo-yo speed cycle), we spotted a patrol car in the median. Just then I checked my speed and saw I was going too fast. I slowed down, but alas, it was too late. The officer had clocked my speed at 12 mph over the speed limit. He happily wrote me a ticket, and 45 days later I paid the fine and was $260 poorer. Ugh! (Insert unhappy wife scowl right here—I enjoyed my few days in the doghouse.)
When we drive, the speedometer’s only job in the vehicle is to provide continuous feedback. It doesn’t factor in rain, school zones, or the officer on the other side of the hill. It simply states how fast the vehicle is going. It is up to the driver to look at the road conditions, follow the speed limit, and monitor traffic congestion to decide when to adjust speed.
Housekeepers and cleaning professionals need continuous feedback to know how they are performing. They need a “speedometer” of sorts to provide information. If you think about it, the cleaning staff, for the most part, usually receives only negative feedback. What is the ratio of negative comments to positive—1 to 1, 5 to 1, or 30 to 1? This is tough on housekeepers! Their day is full of cleaning up other people’s messes, which may include pee, poop, or vomit. Fun!
All cleaning professionals need to have scoreboards or scorecards that show how they are performing. The scorecard items might include the following:
- Punch-in and punch-out times compared to the schedule
- Actual clean time compared to the projected clean time
- Number of back-to-backs started on time
- Guest comment card scores for the properties they’ve cleaned
- Inspector evaluations of cleanings the housekeeper’s performed
The scorecard can be old-school pen and paper or compiled in the latest and greatest app. It does not matter how it is done as long as it shows how the individuals and departments are doing.
For many staff members and departments, this is going to be a huge cultural shift. There will be anxiety, fear, and tears as they encounter feedback (positive and negative) on a more frequent basis.
Remember, just as the speedometer provides information about a vehicle’s speed, the scorecard or scoreboard will do the same for your staff. Knowing their work performance scores will help them be able to make adjustments successfully to meet the standards the company has set. When staff anxiety and stress subside over this new system, they will begin to understand and appreciate its great value, and you will hit another level of success in your business.