Why do we forget to appreciate cleaners?
Anyone who employs a cleaner in their own home knows how much time and effort a cleaner allows them to save, in order to spend it elsewhere. Why is it then that we sometimes forget to appreciate the time and effort a cleaner puts in, often at a minimal wage, in order for us to do that? It is no different with a cleaner in a commercial environment, except that they are usually paid less and thanked less.
Do you employ a cleaner directly or through a cleaning company for your office cleaning, showroom cleaning, warehouse cleaning, school cleaning, surgery cleaning or any other commercial environment? Have you ever considered it your duty regardless of whether you actually pay their wages to say thank you?
Some cleaners are treated as part of the team
Being a commercial cleaner can present a strange situation. It is not uncommon for a cleaner working across multiple sites to be treated entirely differently by each company. This is the case for Lorraine, below. For some, they are employed directly by the company they work for and they may be fully included in all team situations for example, company parties, afternoon teas, farewell parties, welcome drinks and company ‘town hall’ meetings. They may receive a gift every Birthday, Easter and Christmas or at the very least a card or a bonus along with other office or workplace staff. Cleaners don’t have to be employed directly by their office or workplace to be included in workplace appreciation, and they don’t have to work during core ‘office hours’ either. Here we share a video of one of our clients, Springboard in Milton Keynes, who gives their office cleaner, Lorraine, gifts and thanks regularly. They leave notes for each other and are mutually respectful. They invite Lorraine in for celebrations, because although technically employed by aZtec, she is one of Springboard’s team, part of the family if you like.
Cleaners fall between the gaps
The reality is often very different. Often, cleaners work out of hours, missing out on the workplace social environment, celebrations and thanks. Often cleaners are employed by third parties in order for them to be hired, trained and managed externally. There is no problem with hiring externally. After all, aZtec provide a daily commercial cleaning service exactly like this. The problem is when cleaners fall between the gaps. No matter how much aZtec appreciate, pay, gift or incentivise our commercial cleaners, they still look to the workplace employees they work with for appreciation of the work they do. They, as humans, still want to belong and feel part of a team. Cleaners are out on a limb when placed solely on a site, often out of working hours.
How would you feel?
Ask yourself, how would you feel if you cleaned the hair off someone’s chair, scrubbed the toilet after their use, wiped the viruses off their door handles, emptied their lunch and fingernail clippings out of their bin – and never got a word of thanks. Much less – never got a hello, a wave, a nod, a hint of recognition or a polite and friendly note. This is the reality for cleaners or janitors all over the world. Do you even know your cleaner’s name?
What can I do to show appreciation to my cleaner?
We’re so glad you asked. First of all, you can take note of #ThankYourCleanerDay on 21st October 2020. You can plan a little something, no matter how small or inexpensive to show that you appreciate all that your cleaner does for you.
Is one day of thanks for my cleaner enough?
No, but it is a start. Thank Your Cleaner Day is important for the education of your entire team to appreciating your cleaners. It is a chance to start a new culture of showing our cleaning keyworkers that they are valued. Our world is strange, where some of us consider ourselves more important or superior to others. This is more common that we would think. Let’s not forget that even the likes of Ashton Kutcher, Pope Francis, Mariah Carey, Matthew McConaughey and Puff Daddy have been cleaners and janitors. Seriously, check this cleaners turned famous pdf out.
Stuck for ‘Thank Your Cleaner’ ideas?
Why not use these for a little inspiration…thank your cleaner cards, thank your cleaner experiences, thank your cleaner personalised chocolate bar, thank your cleaner keyring or thank your cleaner mug. If these are out of your price range, why not print out a poster or make a card or put on a ‘bring your own’ tea party?
Note: To save our readers time finding appropriate cleaner thank you gifts, we have included some within our blog post. Please note, as an Amazon Affiliate we may earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay.