Written By: Kelly Shrauger
Director of Sales & Marketing
If there is one thing a global pandemic can bring to the forefront, it is the importance of Partnerships! No one could have predicted the enormous impact; financially, emotionally, and spiritually on our day to day lives. First, rushing to stores to stock up on hand sanitizers and toilet paper, for what we all hoped would be a short term problem. Then, our worlds became a series of cancellations as this was not a virus to gamble with or expose one another to. Through imposed lock downs and determining who was essential, we rely on our partnerships to hold us up through the storm.
Not all partnerships are created equal! We experienced the generosity of many of our partners that paid us to continue to clean their buildings and keep our employees working. Others sent everyone home with pay for several weeks. Companies that were essential, had to keep going and certainly needed their facility as clean as possible. Suddenly, the importance of the cleaning business and those that work on the front line was realized. The challenges of keeping a clean and healthy work environment were brought to light.
As we began the return to work and school, the dance of communication and strategy became key to any successful operation. Great partners understood the challenges of bringing folks back to work. The struggle to overcome fear, letting go of unemployment benefits and childcare arrangements created a severe hiring challenge for our industry. During the lock down a major shift took place. The supply and demand for cleaning services increased at a dramatic rate! As a result, the pay scale and hiring competition elevated as well. Contracted services needed to be adjusted to both hire new employees and retain the staff we had pre-COVID.
I witnessed our company offer higher wages, hiring bonuses and other means to get and keep staff. Even in cases where our customers wouldn’t or financially couldn’t pay. I experienced extraordinary kindness, generosity, compassion, empathy and a readiness to work together. There was a willingness to integrate our efforts to create the best outcome for both parties. Many of us can relate to this on a personal and professional relationship basis. Being cooped up together, we have learned that we need each other. No successful relationship lasts when only one person makes the effort and sacrifices.
The good news is that many businesses are finding out who their solid partners are. Through these challenging times, we have established trust and dedication with our customers. We have been able to instill faith that they have chosen the right partner to move forward with in the post-COVID-19 era and years beyond. In the famous words of Vince Lombardi; “Individual commitment to a group effort- That is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work”.