Creating a single Cleaning Services team has created efficiency savings of £1.7 million against the 5 year plan.
What was happening?
There were three separate cleaning teams across the University; in Accommodation, Estates and Training Conference Centres. This was not the most efficient way to organise the teams as they all had their own separate management structures, and different processes for things like procurement and training. Having three separate teams also meant that there was little sharing of staff to meet peak demands and few opportunities for staff to work in different areas. It was decided that a review of Cleaning Services was needed to improve efficiency.
What did we do?
With full support from Senior Management, a review and restructure of the Cleaning Services teams was undertaken. This review meant that the three separate teams were integrated into a single team, which is now the largest team in the University with over 600 staff. Shift patterns were reviewed to maximise staff availability and efficiency. It was a complicated process, and took some time to implement, but as a result the University has made significant efficiency savings, which are being re-invested into improving the student experience.
What was the result?
Creating a single team has allowed greater flexibility. It has meant that the University is better able to manage busy periods, by redirecting staff from other areas. It has allowed staff more opportunities to work across the University, and with such a large team there are now better opportunities for development and progression.
As a result of the changes it has meant that all the cleaning staff are now using the same products and suppliers. With all staff trained to use the same products there is greater flexibility to work in different areas. There is now also a dedicated Contracts & Tenders Manager to monitor all the contracts and ensure they are getting the best value and performance.
Working as a single team has led to a more collaborative environment. The different teams are learning from each other, sharing best practice and expertise, and providing more consistent management of staff. It is also helping to build understanding amongst the staff of the pressures in the different areas, and how these can be better supported.
The Cleaning Services team is now part of the Estates office, which is creating a clearer and more consistent support structure for staff, and they can now easily access support from central service teams. They are also working more collaboratively with teams within Estates, such as Waste & Recycling and Post & Portering.
The activity review has meant that when the University has lost staff through natural attrition that they haven’t needed to be replaced. This, together with the other organisational changes, has meant that the University has saved £1.7 million against the 5 year plan.
The key to success for this project has really been the commitment of the cleaning teams. They have adapted excellently to all the changes which have taken place, and are extremely dedicated to providing the best possible service for their customers.