Thank Your Cleaner Day, an annual event held on 18 October dedicated to cleaners has been celebrated around the globe.
Lillian Small CEO of the BSCNZ created the event, sponsored by Karcher, in 2015 in an effort to raise the profile of New Zealand’s $1 billion cleaning industry.
“This day is a very important and exciting date in the calendar for the cleaning industry, as it encourages people to stop and think about the true value cleaning services provide,” Small said.
Now in its third year, Small said BSCNZ members “went above and beyond” working with their clients to thank their cleaners.
“Some also took the opportunity to spread the good will even further by partnering with charitable organisations that have significant impact in local communities. Together we are making a real difference for the industry in a positive way,” Small said.
Since launching in New Zealand three years ago, the day has gained global attention, with around 10 counties participating this year – including Canada, US, UK, Spain Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Australia – which celebrated the day for the first time this year.
Karcher has been the sponsor of the event since its inception. Karcher New Zealand managing director Mike Roberts said Thank Your Cleaner Day is a fantastic campaign, which the whole world is now celebrating.
“This day is all about [cleaners] so thanks very much in helping make a difference with cleaning in New Zealand,” Roberts said.
Kris Cannon-Schmitt, VP of marketing and communications of Karcher North America, said Karcher appreciates the millions of cleaners who tirelessly work around the clock to keep working environments clean and safe.
“We’re pleased to see Thank Your Cleaner Day grow each year in our effort to recognise the hard working cleaners around the world who are oftentimes unseen but whose work is tremendously valued.”
In New Zealand BSCNZ member cleaning companies showed their recognition with various events and activities including brunches and mornings teas for their cleaning staff around the country.
Some of City Cleaning Services’ celebrations with its largest clients, including Auckland Transport and Unitec, were catered by Eat My Lunch, an organisation which provides lunches to kids in low decile schools. For every lunch purchased another is donated.
In addition to the Eat My Lunch initiative, numerous additional local celebrations were hosted on sites around the country where City Cleaning Services staff received thank you letters and Thank Your Cleaner Day collectable dated lapel badges.
Mike Mulholland, general manager HR and compliance at City Cleaning Services, said while Thank Your Cleaner Day affords an opportunity to thank deserving employees, it also encourages dialogue between cleaning businesses and their customers.
“Our customers frequently do not understand the complexity of the cleaning industry or the level of investment in risk management systems that is required to deliver a safe, compliant, sustainable and ethical cleaning service,” Mulholland told INCLEAN.
“It is this lack of understanding or acceptance that inevitably leads to price pressures and low margins with a predictable flow-through to the people at the sharp end.”
According to Mulholland, Thank Your Cleaner Daypreparations started about two months ago for City Cleaning Services, with some high level discussions between senior management and key client contacts.
“Those discussions centred on recognising our cleaning staff but also involved a wider discussion of the cleaning industry and of the efforts led by BSCNZ members to improve cleaning jobs through improved training, health and safety initiatives, employment standards compliance and positive efforts to prevent exploitative practices in an industry that has become increasingly reliant on new migrant labour.
“Thank Your Cleaner Day affords an opportunity to thank our valued and deserving employees but it also encourages mature dialogue between cleaning businesses and their customers about sustainability in a wider sense, and in the end that can only be positive for our people.”
National cleaning company OCS New Zealand and Air New Zealand hosted a brunch for the OCS staff that service the airport as well as Air New Zealand’s fleet of aircrafts.
Other functions for OCS staff were also held at Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre, Waikato University, The Warehouse Group head office, Christchurch Airport and Auckland Museum.
OCS NZ managing director Gareth Marriott said the day was a great opportunity for New Zealanders to recognise and value the industry and the vital contribution to businesses and the wider community
“Cleaning is one of the most important industries in the world, yet most of the people undertaking this work are invisible to most. Cleaners work day, night, and weekends to keep our clients working environments clean, safe and hygienic,” Marriott said.
Kevin Obern managing director of Office Max NZ, said: “This is such a great celebration. If you’re a cleaner, you’re one of our unsung heroes. You do stuff when no-one else is there to keep our workplace clean. I think it’s fantastic that we’re celebrating [cleaners] through this wonderful initiative.”
Christopher Mundschenk, executive vice president/CEO of BSCAI, said the event is about celebrating and acknowledging the vital contribution that professional cleaners make to our everyday lives.
“We know that clean environments contribute significantly to the overall health and wellbeing of everyone in our communities and cities nationwide, and help generate a positive image for businesses and organisations.”