Cleaning is a profession, not just a cleaning job, by George Ndhlovu, Operations Director, Servest Cleaning
Johannesburg , 30 November 2018 – To step into the shoes of another person can be the most challenging thing for any human being, however they will tell you that the experience is almost always a rewarding education. Such is the case in the cleaning profession, which is often times a thankless job for many, particularly in South Africa, where we are accustomed to “getting ‘help’.
The cleaning industry is estimated to be worth around R6 – 10 billion and not regulated in terms of policy, save for salaries of the workers. There is however an association, which was constituted as recently as 1987 and which is dedicated to developing and setting appropriate standards for the contract cleaning industry [http://www.ncca.co.za/].
The cleaning industry forms part of the services sector, which employs close to 71.8% of the South African population [https://goo.gl/f3L1d4] and it is a profession that allows for entry level jobs for the most low-level skilled persons. “It is for this reason that Servest has set up its Training Academy, to ensure that new recruits are trained in the do’s and don’ts, particularly ensuring that they understand that the cleaning business is not about a task, but about hygiene in spaces, and health and wellness of people, says George Ndhlovu, Operations Director of Cleaning at Servest. The fact that the training facility is in-house, enables Servest to roll out training at any given time, without the process being hampered by budgetary constraints.
“We instil the understanding in our colleagues, that their work is specialised and not just a job – for example in the healthcare sector, the nature of the work is hazardous and in the hospitality environment, it is specialised. In understanding this, it gives integrity to the profession and the person undertaking the task”, he says.
In addition to investing in the skills and development of colleagues, Servest’s philosophy is to continuously upgrade its equipment and technology, to that of international standards, which ensures financial savings on the cleaning budgets of Servest’s clients. By combining technology with the skills of our people, we can implement the use of manual labour more innovatively, which saves time and in so doing, allow for more ‘ground’ to be covered in a space of time. This reduces costs or in other words, gets you more for your money. Furthermore, the monthly audits which we conduct, allow us to present our clients with reports that are knowledge based in its accuracy. This gives the client the ability to trace the progress on a monthly basis, in the form of a ‘scorecard’ that shows quality in delivery of the work.
George is a leader who ‘walks the floor’, as they say. He spends much of his personal time visiting sites, particularly at night, to ensure quality control, but also to show that teamwork is about leading from the front. George, a man who himself worked his way up the ladder, says that Servest acknowledges hard work and good performance, by way of promoting colleagues to higher ranking positions. “Servest continues to strive to be an employer of choice and will always be in the business of people, for they are the implementers of our services”, he concludes.