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National Service Alliance: Harnessing the Power of High Morale Among Custodial Workers



Charlotte, N.C. — Aug. 10, 2015 — When working with hundreds or even thousands of custodial workers, one of the best ways to improve worker productivity has little to do with cleaning equipment but everything to do with morale, according to Terry Sambrowski, executive director of the National Service Alliance (NSA).

The NSA is a leading group purchasing organization for larger building service contractors and related businesses.

"Improving and sustaining a high level of worker morale among cleaning workers improves productivity, reduces employee turnover, advances worker performance, and ensures customer satisfaction."

The first step toward improvement, Sambrowski said, is to find out what cleaning workers feel and think now about their work, their supervisors, and overall working conditions. "And the way to do this is to put together a 'morale audit' and ask all custodial workers to anonymously complete it."

Sambrowski said cleaning contractors "should expect some personal gripes" listed on the morale audit but "what we are looking for is trends and directions. Are more cleaning workers saying overall positive or not-so-positive things about their jobs?"

The questions that Sambrowski says would be found on a custodial worker morale audit include: Do you feel appreciated by your supervisors? Do you feel you have been properly trained to perform your cleaning duties? Has your supervisor ever expressed appreciation in front of others for something you have accomplished? Does performing your work give you a sense of purpose? Do you feel there is a can-do attitude among you and the other custodial workers? When discussing problems with your supervisor, do you think she listens to you? Does your supervisor take a personal interest in you and your family?

"Very often a cleaning contractor and their supervisors believe their staff is happy working with a company and then unexpectedly they leave and work with a competitor," Sambrowski said. "Conducting a morale audit once or twice per year can help prevent this as it improves overall working conditions, productivity, and performance for the entire cleaning staff."

For more information on the NSA, visit


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