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Elvis and the Shoemaker

Elvis and the Shoemaker

When you find a great cleaner, you should work hard to keep them. The more he or she enjoys working for you, the better they will get.

Take a moment to remember the children’s story ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’. That shoemaker, he worked endlessly to produce the best shoes he could, but he ran out of money and could only afford enough leather to make one last pair of shoes.

On arriving at his work-bench, the shoemaker found a beautiful pair of shoes – the best-made pair of shoes he had ever seen. He sold them for enough money to buy leather for two more pairs. Again, when he awoke those perfectly made shoes awaited him.

When he stayed up to see who was doing him such an enormous favour, and found it was two poorly dressed elves working through the night, he made them some tiny elfin clothes to thank them for all that they had done for his business.

Office employees can learn a lot from this. Of course, making clothes for your cleaner would be a little excessive, and spying on them is a definite no-no!

Office and domestic cleaning teams employed by a contract cleaning company are expected to take pride in their work. A job worth doing is one worth doing well, surely.

Like you, in your business, you like to be praised for a job well done; if you suffer a setback you like to know you have the support of your colleagues to help you through. It’s the same for your cleaner.

Your office cleaner might work around you during the day, and he or she might work through the night to make sure your desk and work environment are ideal for your work; you really don’t have to do very much to help make your cleaner’s work space as pleasant as she makes yours.

We are lucky to have a fabulous cleaner, who has worked successfully on several of our office contracts. One particular story is rather heart-warming and shows how motivating a supportive environment can be. She worked around the business’s employees during the day. She understood how complicated it was for them to stop what they were doing and remove stuff to make her cleaning possible. Both the owner and the manager were perfectly happy to do what they could to help; sometimes hanging around for a chat while she dusted and cleaned. For the most part Catarina enjoyed working for the business, but there was one bloke, a temp…

Always one, eh?

He wouldn’t move when she needed to clean; he refused even to shift his feet so she could vacuum under his desk. He was a pain. She asked nicely, she’d even tried scooting in there while he was having a coffee, but he’d come back and tut and complain.

After a few weeks of this Catarina decided to talk to the manager; the temp’s behaviour was making her job incredibly difficult, let alone miserable. One bad apple.

The manager begged her to come back to work the next day. She did. And she was delighted by the writing on the wall; this was an act that gave her a greater sense of value and self-confidence. The poster put a smile on her face when she read the order to “Please move during cleaning time. If you can’t be nice to the cleaner, you can pack your bags”.

Catarina stayed working happily in the same office for several years after. Their business expanded, they had bigger and better offices and Catarina headed up the cleaning staff. Working together is in everyone’s interest.