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Facilities managers 'kept in dark' about poor washroom conditions, reveals research
As entries roll in for the Kimberly-Clark Professional Golden Service Awards, showcasing excellence and raising standards in the facilities management and cleaning industries, research shows where facilities managers might be missing a huge opportunity to improve washroom standards and user satisfaction.
A recent survey of office washroom users by the manufacturer, identified a significant gap between end user experience and facilities managers' awareness of washroom problems. Nearly half of respondents are not telling FMs when they encounter a wide range of poor washroom conditions.
A worrying 90% of respondents say empty dispensers in their office washroom have a negative impact. Meanwhile 85% suggest cheap or low-quality products make a bad washroom experience, which shows that the washroom really does matter in the eyes of the typical office worker.
"The research demonstrates the importance of the washroom on overall satisfaction levels of a facility," says Suzanne Halley, FM segment marketing manager, Kimberly-Clark Professional, UK and Ireland. "It also represents a missed opportunity to continuously improve standards."
The manufacturer aims to help FMs continuously improve their sites and has several initiatives which help benchmark washroom standards, improve the overall washroom experience for users and recognise excellence across the cleaning industry. These include the long-established Kimberly-Clark Professional Golden Service Awards and the newer Washroom 5D programme - which offers an easy way for FMs to identify problem areas of which they may not be aware and implement solutions across five dimensions: Cleanliness, Hygiene, Efficiency, Sustainability and Satisfaction.
"The results clearly show that office washroom users care about standards but don't always say when they are unhappy, leaving facilities managers in the dark and problems unfixed," adds Suzanne. "Findings also indicate poor standards affect how washroom users feel about their company. So, how can FMs do the best for their facility and improve standards if they don't know all the problems or issues?"
Through further research with FMs, the company has gathered a picture of office washroom operations across the five pillars. In terms of Cleanliness the survey asked FMs how their washrooms rated based on odours, blockages, and overall appearance. The results indicate that many FMs face issues of cleanliness between service visits: 83% encounter hand towel pieces on the floor, and 81% find soap dripping on countertops, water on floor and waste bins full.
"With 45% of FMs also frequently finding recurring unpleasant odours in the washroom and 43% finding weekly toilet blockages, we can see why users are unhappy and the importance of the washroom to overall satisfaction levels," adds Suzanne.
Through a free on-site assessment, Washroom 5D helps FMs take a deep dive and identify any problems, address those issues, and measure standards against industry benchmarks. Tools are used to measure washroom traffic and washroom satisfactions levels to help FMs answer the question 'How do you measure up?' and provide them with valuable data they have been missing up until now.
"The research shows why the washroom matters," concludes Suzanne. "Washroom users care about standards, that's why it is important not to forget the washroom as it can significantly impact facilities managers' relationships with their clients and employees who use the washrooms.
"It is also equally important to recognise the work of FM's who are facing these and other challenges on a daily basis and the standards of excellence achieved, and to support continued innovation, development and investment across the FM and cleaning industry.
"The Kimberly-Clark Professional Golden Service Awards provides that platform and we are delighted to be now be receiving entries for the 2018 award programme."
For information about the Awards and how to enter one of the 14 categories that recognise excellence in the cleaning industry (deadline for entries is 2nd October 2017) visit:
3rd August 2017