As a company striving for both customer satisfaction and a successful company training program, quality assurance is key. Quality ensures that customers maintain trust in our company–trust that pays immeasurable dividends for both service provider and recipient. Uniform quality expectations from each employee promote pride in individual work, and an understanding that this individual work comes together to help form a company image. As a company, Pinnacle is a reflection of each individual effort towards quality.
In order to expect quality from our workers, “quality” must first be clearly defined as “making sure the standards of all aspects of the services provided to customers are set high enough to keep the customers satisfied”. The concept of “quality” must be explained to each employee through an integrated training program, and must be demonstrated by all supervisors. When being trained, each new employee will be shown every step necessary to achieve quality work and will be guided through the process until they are able to reach this on their own. An important part of training is the emphasis on taking a proactive approach to work. Potential problems must be identified and dealt with before the customer is able to notice them.
After training there are multiple steps we take to check the quality of each employee’s work.
To ensure each building receives quality service, on-site supervisors (team leaders) perform inspections in addition to their cleaning tasks. These inspections serve as a first line in quality assurance. Team leader inspections are important because issues can quickly be identified and fixed. Team leaders also hold a unique contribution to quality assurance. They understand that we sell our customers peace of mind. In doing so, they take on building security and well being responsibilities. All doors of every building serviced are locked as required and checked by each team leader as a part of their routine inspections. Also team leaders actively look for threats to building maintenance. If a team leader should notice something wrong in any building that can result in damage (I.e. Ceiling leaks, unattended space heaters), they are encouraged to eliminate the threats they can (I.e turn off space heaters) or notify management for the threats they cannot eliminate. Management has an emergency contact for each building that they can call to notify the proper personnel.
Our management staff has many important quality assurance roles. Our managers perform routine building inspections. These inspections are to catch what team leaders may miss, but the main role of these inspections is to ensure uniform quality across every team. Whereas team leaders inspect buildings, managers inspect teams. Weaknesses can be identified and fixed before it can affect company-customer relationships. When a manager inspects a building, they generate notes on the deficiencies noticed. The office manager takes these notes and generates work orders that each team leader is required to fix during the next service. They must sign the work order and turn it back in. Should a team leader fail to correct a work order, then the managers must implement the second of their responsibilities: discipline.
High quality cannot exist without a means to avoid low quality. The managers are given the tools of verbal warnings, letters of concern, and written warnings. It is stressed to managers and all employees that these are not to be used punitively–rather, they are tools meant to elicit a change. Above all, the job description of the managerial staff is to ensure that there is a job waiting here tomorrow for those who deserve it. In order for that to take place, work must be kept at high standards, operations must run smoothly, and personnel should conduct themselves in a professional manner. Each rule we have in our handbook is there for a reason. On the whole, these reasons contribute towards company maintenance and growth and these tools ensure these rules are complied with.
The final tool of discipline is termination. If a person’s actions threaten the jobs of those around that person–and that person has refused opportunities to change–we must let that person go. It is never taken lightly.
We have specific managers to address specific aspects of our company. Our assistant operations managers take on whatever roles are required by the operations managers. This assistance can be in performing building inspections, as a fill-in team leader, or as a means of communicating between any personnel. Our office manager has the important responsibilities of communicating with our customers, ordering supplies, hiring new employees, performing all office tasks, and working with the general manager and operations managers to run daily operations. Our operations managers must make sure that everything that needs to get done, gets done at a maintainable pace. This is through coordinating personnel, training new personnel, scheduling jobs, maintaining equipment, inspecting work, and communicating with customers. Our general manager is concerned with the company as a whole. He is charged with company image, general business, and, most challengingly, growth.
One important tool our managers implement is the cleantelligent system. This interface directly connects our customers with our management staff. It involves our customers in our inspections (as they are sent the inspections we perform as we perform them), and it gives them a direct line to every manager. Customer complaints, requests, and questions are seen by every manager. This ensures that the best response is given, and also that every manager is aware of every issue. Overall, this tool has improved all lines of communication between us and our customers, and is incredibly important to quality assurance.
Like all workers, an important role of our managers is to take a proactive approach. This proactivity is evidenced through our inspections, work orders, discipline, and integration between ourselves and our customers.
As a company, the push towards quality is in everything we do. It is on every level of our organization, and is behind every decision we make. We are thoroughly aware of its importance in providing services to our customers, and jobs to our workers.