According to a recent survey undertaken by Mrs Buckét, canvassing the opinion of over 2,000 people, despite 3 in 4 wanting cleaners to be viewed as key workers, over 50 per cent still don’t know their cleaner’s name.
In a usual year, the cleaning industry employs 5 per cent of the overall UK workforce, or 1.6 million people. And each year, the incredible work cleaners carry out contributes £54.5 billion to economy. To put that in context, it’s nearly double the contribution made by food and drink and agriculture combined.
In more recent months however, the value of our nation’s cleaners has gone above and beyond finances – they have been instrumental in keeping us safe from harm. Every day for the past 14 months, cleaners have stepped up, putting their lives on the line, to ensure that the loss of life from COVID-19 is greatly reduced, and that our businesses and our livelihoods can continue despite the crisis. And as is evident from our survey, cleaners have been making an impact and the perceptions of the industry are, finally, changing for the better.
Or so it seemed.
Within the 51 per cent of people who don’t know their cleaner’s name, 16 per cent have never even met their business’ cleaner.
It’s incredibly worrying that cleaners, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, are still being hidden away as an invisible resource with very little to no interaction with the rest of the business’s team. Even more shockingly, there are still so many real-life examples of terrible disrespect.
Take the story of Julie Cousin, cleaner for banking giant HSBC, for example who – after 35 years of loyal service – stepped down from her role after being treated cruelly and aggressively by her employer.
Cleaning and cleaners do more than just mop a floor or keep shelves dust-free, they:
- Improve or maintain the reputation of a business; 92 per cent of customers consider cleanliness an important factor in becoming a repeat customer;
- Ensure the happiness of staff; 92 per cent say a hygienic office gives peace of mind, and;
- Positively affect overall profitability, cleanliness reduces absenteeism, saving companies billions per year.
The most important message to spread however is that cleaners are human. They are incredibly skilled, hard-working and determined individuals and they deserve respect.
This year at Mrs Buckét, we celebrated our cleaners through our inaugural Top of the Mops awards. We wanted to find a fun and unique way to recognise and reward our team’s incredible grit and determination over the past year, celebrating their success as well as their unmovable loyalty to their clients.
As the pandemic subsides, businesses must remember the strength and perseverance their cleaning teams have shown over the past 14 months and the unwavering support they have provided. Without them, your company would not be where it is today.