How To Break Up With Your Office Cleaner

Breaking up is never easy, whether it’s business or personal, breaking up sucks. Most of us don’t relish firing someone or terminating a contract, particularly with an office cleaning team who you may have worked with for a number of years.  But, when all is said and done, your business can only succeed if you have the right people in the right job and that includes your contractors and suppliers.

So, it’s time to end your cleaning contract

Ending a cleaning contract is not usually a snap decision and there are some common reasons why businesses become disappointed with their commercial cleaners and want to go to tender:-

  • The service delivered is not what was promised during the tender process
  • Added costs for services and price hikes occur soon after the contract
  • Staff cleaning standard, consistency and training is low
  • Supervisor and account management is not as promised, hard to contact, not on-site etc
  • Costs for supplies begin to rise when the quality of supplies drops

If one or more of these reasons resonate with you then it’s definitely time to go out to tender and find a new commercial office cleaner. But, how do you prevent the same mistakes from happening again?

Office Cleaning Tender Tips

how to break up with your office cleaner

First of all, take a look at your cleaning tender document as it could be out of date. Office needs change frequently, so a tender template which has been sitting on your shared drive for a few years and edited over time may be out of date. Take the time to go through it thoroughly and look for:-

  • Have you asked to cost clearly? It’s worth breaking out services such as toilets, main areas, waste collection, supervisor fees and supplies. By doing this, you can easily compare like for like with all tender cleaning companies. You can see where cleaning businesses are cutting corners in some places and overcharging in others.
  • What is the green policy? Businesses need to be environmentally conscious and the office cleaning company you use plays a large part in that. What is their waste management policy, are they committed to recycling properly? What chemicals do they use and are their supplies green accredited?
  • Do you check references thoroughly? Make sure the references used are independent and not a contact, family member or a conflict of interest. Ask to visit one of the buildings and see the standard
  • Add a window of time to ask questions, a date for the deadline of submission and a date on which you will announce the winning tender. This avoids the constant calls and emails from those who have submitted a tender while you go through the process.

Time To End Your Office Cleaning Contract

how to end your cleaning contract

The moment you tell your current cleaner you are going out to tender you will most likely see an uptick in service. This is a bad move for your incumbent office cleaner because it demonstrates immediately that their service was not as good as it could have been and the care and attention aren’t there. But, by notifying your cleaner that a tender is happening should give them a heads up that all is not well with their service and it won’t come as a cold hard shock.

It is a matter of courtesy to give your current cleaner a chance to re-tender and, if you have a good relationship, or have worked with them for a long time, this could be enough to pull their socks up.

Once you have all of the tenders in and have made your decision it is time to notify your cleaners. If you have gone through the formal process of a tender, you can notify you current cleaner and others who are unsuccessful by email.  Keep it short and fact-based, remembering to thank them for their submission, or time as the current cleaner.

You will most likely receive a phone call a short time over asking for another chance or offering a cheaper deal. This can get awkward as emotions are high. Simply explain what you were looking for and that another company more closely delivered on those needs. Offer to meet for a coffee to work out the end of the contract and give feedback, but arrange it for a few days times so things can settle.

Most of the time, a few days to let the dust settle brings a period of self-reflection. Give honest feedback without getting personal and offer to check in every quarter to see how things are going and promise to add them to the cleaning tender for next time.

Yes, it will be awkward, but it almost always is the right decision and you will feel better once it is done.  Plan what you are going to say and practice three key statements of feedback, avoid the temptation to get into too much detail.

Once you have your new commercial cleaner bringing cleanliness and freshness to your office building, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

how to cancel your cleaning contract



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