Our Three Cares
Staff. Customer Service. The Environment
We care about the environment and embrace the latest developments and innovations in cleaning. This includes equipment and materials we use, and the methodologies we apply. We look to avoid anything that has a negative effect on the environment.
We use Electro-Chemical Activation (ECA) a cleaning and disinfecting technology which can easily be made on the client’s site from tap water and salt. ECA uses water, salt and electricity. The result is a natural and highly effective detergent. ECA destabilizes and elevates the water’s electrical charge, creating an environment which kills off microbes. ECA is totally safe to flora and fauna and eliminates the need for plastic containers that traditional (and potentially harmful) cleaning chemicals are stored in. ECA has been successfully tested against COVID-19. We use it to clean carpets as well. It’s incredibly safe. If we accidentally left a spray bottle in a classroom and a pupil sprayed it on someone it wouldn’t do any harm. It’s easy and harmless to dispose of – it can go grass or plants. You could actually drink it. It wouldn’t taste very nice, but it wouldn’t harm you.
We also use powdered cleaning products. A 4-kilo tub makes the equivalent of six hundred 5-litre containers of traditional liquid chemicals. This also cuts down the carbon footprint associated with transporting cleaning agents while significantly reducing the need for plastic containers (saving space and labour costs).
This all helps us to help our clients by delivering a high-quality cleaning service while also helping with their CSR credentials.
Someone once said to me, “All you cleaning companies are the same. The only thing that’s different is the letterhead.” That really stood out to me and it was the spur that made me want to do things differently. I knew that it could be done better so that’s what I set out to do in starting Ethical. And that’s what we’ve done.
Staff retention is a big benefit to our customers. They get to know the nuances of a building – which areas have more foot traffic, where dust collects, which glass doors attract more handprints. They know where power points are, cable reach and where things are kept. Little things like that make all the difference. Over time it means the work can be done more quickly, more efficiently. A cleaner knowing a building well is a massive benefit to us and the client. And clients don’t worry about who’s coming into the building.
Generally, our cleaners work in teams in larger premises. This works well for us and the client. If one person in a team of 15 is away, then their work can be picked-up with a few extra minutes from each of the other team members. When you have one or two people cleaning an office or premises and one of them is off sick or goes missing it throws everything in the air – the company will need to find a replacement and get them there. And the new cleaner won’t know the premises, its nuances as such.
In essence, we focus on providing a consistent, quality service to our customers.
We find out what issues and concerns companies have with their current cleaners. I generally hear the same things. Lack of training, poor products and materials at the cleaners’ disposal and high staff turnover – all add up to less consistent work. We address all of that.
We pay more and look after our staff, so we have a more engaged, committed team.
We also ensure they have the best equipment, as well as providing sufficient supplies of cleaning products so that everything gets done correctly. We factor in higher costs these things – so that they’re not watering things down or struggling to use old equipment.
Additionally, we cost in a higher amount for area management. Our area managers may only have 15 clients whereas other companies that figure might be 50 or 60. It means both clients and our staff get far more attention. This means any issues can be addressed quicker and our staff are kept on their toes. Our area managers are proactive rather than continuously firefighting and spend quality time with our client and the cleaning teams on site.
It all costs a bit more but the quality of service more than justifies it. We are upfront about the quality materials required. And we won’t water things down. We explain this to clients. The proof is in the job that gets done.
If how your business or premises looks is important to how you interact with your clients or customers, then you really should talk to us. We specialise in showrooms, prestige offices and large organisations.
Our services might cost 10% or even 20% more than other companies, but we do the job very well. Many of our big clients have been with us for a long time. We give them peace of mind. “All your problems with cleaning are going to go.” People get this this, they understood what we were doing and why. And they’re happy to pay that bit extra. We solve that problem for them.
Many of our customers have been with us for 10 years or more, some since we started in 2004.
For us, from the start, Staff was always the most important Care for us, this has been our main focus. We look after our staff, paying them above standard rates and more than other cleaning companies. In some cleaning companies there is a high turnover; staff may stay for three months. Staff at Ethical stay considerably longer. We have cleaners who have been with us more than 10 years and some since we started in 2004. We take a genuine interest in their welfare. We provide other benefits such as better holiday entitlements and a Christmas gift. We are classified as a disabilities-friendly employer and we were recently accredited. We ensure our people have the best equipment and cleaning products. Knowing they have good ‘tools of the trade’ takes the anxiety and pressure off.
We treat our staff the way they should be treated, with the opportunity to pursue an NVQ Level 2 in cleaning (in addition to our own in-house training) free of charge.
By paying higher wages we recruit better staff, we retain them, keep them motivated and engaged. We have a very stable workforce. You won’t hear that said very often in our industry. We don’t want a minimum wage attitude. That’s not a staff attitude – it’s the employers’ attitude. It says that if they could pay less, they would. It’s demotivating. That’s why we pay more and staff feel valued when they know this.