Saying thanks - it is a small gesture with a huge upside

Good manners breed good character. I’m sure my grandmother said that more than once. It goes without saying that we all appreciate a little recognition now and again and the simple gesture of saying thanks or someone saying thanks to us can set in motion a day of positivity and enthusiasm.

At Facilities First our motto of care is not just a word, it is a creed that we work by. In the case of our amazing teams of cleaners all around Australia, it is a creed that they bring to every detail of their work. They work diligently behind the scenes ensuring the facilities we manage are presented at the highest level and they do so with pride, care and a genuine feeling of satisfaction.

Ben Bayot, Managing Director of Facilities First explains his gratitude for his team, sharing this sentiment in a recent interview. “It seems like a moment in time since last year’s celebration of thank your cleaner day. I am so proud of the teams around the country, their resilience and commitment to service are unyielding. On behalf of everyone at Facilities First and Serco, THANK YOU for a job well done and your tireless efforts.”

Facilities First cleaners

Our cleaners

They are the mood setters, creating the ambiance and enabling visitors and clients to move without obstacles, clean, safely and gently throughout environments where the cleanliness creates a subconscious state of friendliness.

Our team of cleaners number in the thousands around the country. Many have come from countries far and wide, bringing with them a richness of diversity, culture and story that adds such flavour to our organisation.

They have ideas and dreams that they openly share and their dedication to their work is reflected in their passion for happiness and that wonderful feeling of contributing to the welfare of others.

They are so much more than a cleaning team and we cannot understate the importance of the work they do. They are a critical service, a service that keeps facilities safe, hygienic and operating. Without them schools, child care and aged care facilities, shopping centres, offices, stadiums and any place where people gather would lose their soul. They work in the shadows, only noticed when things aren’t as they should be. They walk behind, not in front, making the next step for somebody else a pleasant and rewarding one.

We don’t always think of them, but imagine life without them.

Thanking them

Serco values:
Care – Trust – Innovation – Pride

“Our cleaning teams are our shop front. We are judged by how our team performs and a big reason for our success is due to the amazing work of our cleaners. I love to sit down and have a coffee or a hot chocolate with members of the crews from time to time.

Our conversations are open and transparent and I’m always refreshed by the dedication and commitment that the teams and individuals bring to the role. They really do care.”  ~ Rick Bugeia – Regional Manager Commercial Cleaning – Sydney

Rick goes further, identifying a couple of his team members for special thanks.

“Karen McGregor is always going above and beyond. Working with a site that required particular needs, we deployed Karen, and she soon became instrumental in gaining the respect of the staff and management. The site was experiencing a number of issues that required somebody with her dedication and attention to detail and since her deployment we have received excellent feedback and elevated levels of client satisfaction. A huge thanks to Karen for adopting the role and bringing the care factor to her work,” says Rick.

Vanilda Cini is another highly regarded member of Rick’s team. Client feedback is critical to the business and clients regularly note the high standards Vanilda sets. Her results always bring a smile to Rick’s face; her work really helps to further enhance client relationships and expand the reputation of Facilities First. Another big shout out to Vanilda.

Rosa McMahon is a highly experienced contract manager for Facilities First in Victoria with the difficult task of managing contracts and relationships with 70 schools and an additional 10 higher educational institutions.

“Managing the schools relies heavily on stable relationships. I need to have the full support of the Client Service Managers and their cleaning teams to ensure I can continue to develop the relationships and keep exceeding our clients’ expectations. With the wonderful cleaning work always being of such an elite standard, it makes my role so much more rewarding,” Rosa commented in a recent interview.

Rosa highlights a couple of messages she received during the year which cement just how appreciative the clients – and indirectly the public – are with the efforts and attitude of our cleaners.

“We received an email from a Polytechnic facility that it is in our portfolio. During the year the facility experienced an emergency lockdown that was difficult to contain. One of our great staff members, Kesavan Namboodiri, was on-site at the time and without hesitation he stepped in to assist the security team. His efforts went way beyond his responsibilities and helped enormously in securing the facility and keeping the staff and students safe. Our client took the time to write to us and officially thank and recognise Kesavan for his commitment and care.” ~ Rosa McMahon Contract Manager – Victoria

Feedback like this is commonplace. Another email this year came out of left field. It was not from a client but from a member of the public whose children attend one of the schools where our cleaners are located. With the anxiety surrounding COVID, this mother was so impressed by the school’s cleaning and witnessing the team from Facilities First sterilizing the school gates regularly, that she made the effort to chat with one of our team members who stepped her through the cleaning process. She felt so reassured that she wrote to the school and then sent an email to our office, thanking the cleaners for their work.

“When you receive messages like this you realise just how important the role we play is to the wider community. It is such a great feeling – and emails from the general public thanking our cleaners is another reason why our teams set the benchmarks in our industry,” says Rosa.

Melinda Bool – Operations Manager, North Queensland, was set the task to recruit and facilitate the North Queensland team after Facilities First won the contract for the new Queensland Country Bank Stadium in 2020. At first, others told her she had no hope of finding good staff.

“When we first started recruiting for staff, it seemed everybody I spoke to in Townsville said we wouldn’t find any worthwhile staff. Well 18 months later, we have a brilliant team of cleaners, we have grown the business, and most of the initial staff are still working with us,” says Melinda.

Melinda loves the team. The way they have connected and the way they support each other is a major source of motivation for her.

“The cleaners are a special group. They have enormous respect for each other’s backgrounds and culture. They even take turns in bringing home cooked meals to share at work. They work long shifts and you can imagine the messes they deal with after a big game or event at the stadium, however they never miss a beat and their smiles and attitude give me an enormous sense of pride and confidence.”  ~ Melinda Bool – Operations Manager, North Queensland

Melinda couldn’t single out any one individual. To her that would not give justice to everyone else. The whole team is like a family and you can’t say you have a favourite child.

Serco values

Thank you

Facilities First and Serco pride themselves on a number of values: Care – Trust – Innovation – Pride. These values communicate to our teams and the broader community what it means to work together and be part of an organisation that puts its customers and people at the centre of everything we do.

Our cleaning teams live these values every day. They work diligently to ensure the work they do is of the highest standards and that their relationships with their colleagues represent our core values.

They all play a critical role in maintaining our reputation in the marketplace as a world leading facilities management company. We thank each of them for their incredible work.

We are a proven and experienced team, dedicated to the work we do. Our teams are committed to bringing the same level of care they have for each other to every job they undertake. When your facilities expect only the very best care and expertise, contact us today and experience the difference we make.

Contact Facilities First