An Interview with a Cleaning Area Supervisor
– Esayas Tessema
Esayas Tessema is one of Crystal’s cleaning area supervisors. In this interview he answers some of the trending questions regarding the role of a cleaning area supervisor and how you can become one.
Crystal Facilities Management is a family run company that provides commercial cleaning, maintenance and security for a range of sectors across the United Kingdom. Esayas has been working for Crystal for over 4 years. First as a commercial cleaner and then, after two years of hard work and commitment, he was promoted to become a cleaning area supervisor. Read on to get to know more about his story as well as find out the best qualities in a good cleaning area supervisor.
What is your position at Crystal Facilities Management?
How long have you been working with Crystal FM?
I have been working for more than four years now.
How many areas do you cover?
At the moment I am looking after two University sites in Leeds for regular cleaning. During the weekend, I am managing two other sites to disinfect and sanitise them.
What position did you start, at the time you first join the commercial cleaning company?
When I first start, four years ago, I was a cleaner.
How did you move up to becoming an Area Supervisor?
When I started at the beginning, I join Crystal FM as a cleaner at one of the Universities in Sheffield. I was a cleaner looking after the site properly. I knew the site very well – more than anyone else. I was very passionate about my job and really put in a lot of effort and commitment. Crystal was very kind to promote me and give me the opportunity to become an Area Supervisor.
What do you think are the most important supervisor skills?
I think one of the most important supervisor skills is to look after the cleaning team and colleagues. A supervisor also needs to make sure that everyone in the team is looking after the site. If any problems rise, the supervisor should ensure that it is immediately sorted. Moreover, any problems should be reported to his top manager so that everyone on site is aware of what is happening.
What does a cleaning supervisor do? Describe a day in the life of a cleaning area supervisor?
We are doing everyday our job. At the moment, I am working in a University in Leeds. Crystal is contracted to daily clean communal areas there. Such as the entrance, toilets, disable toilets, common rooms, lounge areas, laundry rooms, as well as gyms, lifts and the staircases. I have to ensure that the cleaners have done their job, haven’t missed any areas in need of attention and all the areas are cleaned properly to a high standard every day.
Every Monday morning, we have our weekly meeting to discuss all the cleaning that needs to be done throughout the week. I emphasis the importance of keeping to a schedule and let the cleaners know that I will be actively going around every day to make sure that cleaning is done to a high standard. If there were any problems last week, for example some areas being missed, I go through all of them to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
I am also responsible about the cleaning supplies and chemicals the cleaners use. I have to regularly audit my supplies and email head office when I am in need of more. This usually is done on a monthly basis.
What makes a good cleaning Area Supervisor, in your opinion?
I think the most important trait in a good cleaning area supervisor is definitely to be a good communicator. Good communication is essential with the site manager, the rest of the team, and everyone around.
Supervisors go around different sites so they need to keep record and track of everything that is happening around them to ensure that the areas that are in need of a clean are cleaned properly and on time.
If an area supervisor lacks communication skills with the site manager, this is when complaints come in. So, the important areas to bear in mind for an area supervisor is that:
- They need to take full responsibility for the sites they are supervising.
- They need to make sure that all the cleaners on the site, have done their job properly.
- They need to go around to all the areas the cleaners have said that they have cleaned and look around to ensure that they have been cleaned properly and in good time.
- If cleaners have missed anything, this should not be ignored. They need to contact the cleaner and show them what they have missed. This way the cleaner will understand what they have missed and so will not miss it again.
On a personal level, how many years did it take you to become an area supervisor? You had said that you joined Crystal as a cleaner almost 4 years ago.
I would say that it took me two years after I joined Crystal to be promoted to area supervisor. I was very happy to have gotten this position.
What are the qualities you need to have to become an area supervisor?
To be honest, continuous learning is very important so that we are kept up to date with the latest trends and advice.
I take regular courses on how to use new cleaning machinery introduced by the company. I have taken a course about carpet cleaning. I have also recently taken a very thorough course about viral cleaning.
What are the main roles of a cleaning area supervisor in general?
If I would list them, they would be:
- Communicating with the cleaners and the site managers.
- Taking care of cleaners on the different sites.
- Ensuring cleaners understand the job required from them.
- Going around to check cleaning before signing off.
- Liaising supplies/
If someone is looking to become an area supervisor like you, what are the tips you can give them?
I know I keep saying this but the first tip I would give is to make sure you have good communication skills with everyone.
My second tip would be that you need to be hard working. Hard work means to really give 100% to the job. Ensuring the cleaners understand all the tasks they need to accomplish on a daily basis, as well as checking over before signing any job as finished.
The third tip is the ability to speak English properly in order to communicate with everyone around you. However, speaking English alone is not enough if you aren’t actively making sure that everyone in your team, as well as the site manager, is aware of what is happening.
My fourth tip is that you need to be a leader and take full responsibility for the cleaners that you will be managing. You must make sure to look after you team as well as the sites you will be managing. You need to ensure that proper training is given to each cleaner so that they know what is expected of them. Start by doing the cleaning yourself in front of your team, so that they know exactly what they need to do and what is the end result you will be expecting at hand over.
Can you recommend any courses someone looking to apply for an area supervisor can take to help them when applying for this role?
As a cleaner at Crystal, I was trained from the beginning. My supervisor at the time ran frequent training sessions to ensure that we all knew how to use the handling manual for instance. Also, COSHH awareness training and how to use cleaning chemicals correctly. Furthermore, how to use the step ladder, new machines training and specific training on how to clean effectively and efficiently.
So, all my training was through that. I would say cleaning experience is your best friend when it comes to becoming a competent area supervisor.
What do you like about working for Crystal Facilities Management?
The first reason is that I love my job. The second reason is that I feel that Crystal looks after me like family. Whenever I need anything they are always there – everyone. This is especially true with Faisal, who I feel is like my older brother. I can talk about anything with him. He is very supportive and always available whenever I need anything.
I love my job and I am really happy to be part of the Crystal family. Everyone has been extremely supportive and friendly. From the office staff to all the area managers, it is a pleasure to work here.
It was a pleasure interview Esayas Tessema. If there are any questions you would like to ask Esayas, please reach out. If you are interested to learn more about the services Crystal provides as well as the sectors we cover, please browse our website.