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We're running a Soapbox feature today which really hit home when I read it. It recognises that despite the way our industry has come on in leaps and bounds over the past 18 months in terms of public perception, we're still facing what has often been dubbed: 'the race to the bottom' when it comes to bidding for cleaning and FM contracts. I agree with the writer's sentiments entirely that cleaning is an industry of two extremes: that while our top businesses focus on quality of service and staff recognition - also trying to raise hourly pay to something which allows cleaning staff to have a decent quality of life, contracts still seem to be decided on price.
And while I agree that these two 'poles' are unlikely to meet, I was concerned to read that the gap is widening. That really surprised me! How on earth is this happening while Covid is continuing to force lockdowns all over the world?
When will those buying in the services learn the error of their ways and realise that proper, professional cleaning is not only a lifesaver, but with the changed attitudes the pandemic has brought, could make or break a business? If word gets around that, say, people are picking up Covid having visited a shopping mall, entertainment complex or sports centre, others will steer clear. Businesses need customers to survive and with so many lockdowns happening, when those businesses are open, they need to ensure that their clients, customers and workforce not only feel safe, but that they are safe.
While those professionals in the industry are doing their best to get the message across, there are still others who will offer the world, knowing that they can't really deliver what's been agreed for the price. The question is, what can we do to effect a real change? For if we don't do it now, we'll have missed the perfect opportunity...
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9th September 2021