TGCHM: Being Cleaned Around

Faith Fitzgerald is Regional Director for Tidy Green Clean Highlands & Moray.

I was sat in a café a week or so ago and one of the café’s team started cleaning up around me. I don’t mean cleaning my table so that the previous diner’s plates and glasses were cleared away, I mean they were cleaning around me. With a hoover. It was 4.45 and I guess they were closing at 5pm. Meanwhile I was having a quiet coffee and a slice of carrot cake and my feet were seconds away from being bumped by the edge of a vacuum cleaner, pushed by a team member eager to be out of that door as soon after 5pm as they could muster.

Now I don’t blame that team member, but I do wonder about the way the business is putting closing before the customer experience. Their coffee hit the spot. It was hot and bitter and dark and fabulous. And their carrot cake was to die for – I mean the icing was creamy without being sickly, the cake crumb was light and moreish… but my experience eating it was completely ruined by the hum of Henry and the eye on the clock of a member of staff desperate to get home. They may have had good reason but asking me if I minded would have gone a long way to keeping me on side.

The other thing I noticed – and I would, owning a Tidy Green Clean commercial cleaning franchise, wouldn’t I – it was a team member doing the cleaning, not a trained professional cleaner. I have seen this more and more since the changes after lockdown and the challenges many of us are facing recruiting staff. Team members are being asked to do more. Hospitality staff, often brilliant at what they do, are being asked to do something out of their skill set. And I train cleaners for a living. I know it takes special people, a great mindset and a focus on the job. Diluting someone’s job into function rather than skillset and passion just means in the end you lose staff.

This raised even more questions and so I thought I would ask a wider range of people about these issues, rather than sit comfortable with my assumptions. I am ready to learn! I have four questions and it takes less than a minute to answer – thank you!

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