Regardless of your organization’s improvement goals, a competitive custodial organization must incorporate some method of measuring the quality outcomes associated with its custodial processes. We give this method the title “quality assurance” because it assures that quality is consistently brought to every aspect of your cleaning program. In this series, we’ll explain what constitutes a good quality assurance program and how you, an in-house custodial professional, can implement such a program at your college or university.
A good quality assurance program will be easy to implement. Many programs are highly involved, requiring someone to configure spaces, items, area types, and other building metrics. Who will manage this task? If a quality assurance program requires too much configuration, a full-time staff person (or two!) may be needed to implement the changes. This will be cost-intensive. A good quality assurance program will minimize the time-commitment for the cleaning staff.
Second, a good quality assurance program will be easy to understand, and easy to use. No matter how streamlined or efficient a program is intended to be, if it’s not comprehensible to the staff members who actually use it, then it’s useless.
A good program must be objective. Watch out for user subjectivity. In any cleaning organization, there are factions and interested parties who bring their own histories and biases to the table. This doesn’t mean you can’t use in-house people, but it does mean that you probably need to balance their work with an objective third party.
Finally, it should be ongoing. A good program doesn’t stop after one audit. Once you get results, you make a plan for future audits and develop a long-term strategy. Otherwise, you’re right back to square one.
That’s just the overview. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring the basics of quality assurance and giving you best practices for developing a quality assurance program for your college or university. Stay tuned for much more.