How the ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Mercia team supported the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The spirit of the Commonwealth Games for Birmingham 2022 was all about inclusion and togetherness. As the first Commonwealth Games with a fully integrated para-sports programme, the games celebrated unity in the city, with volunteers, athletes, and supporters coming together to enjoy weeks of sportsmanship from across the Commonwealth.
The number of people that came to Birmingham to work and partake in the games was immense, and a lot of preparation was needed to get everything in order. Especially as the number of people the city had to house was more than hotels could handle alone. This led to spaces from other sectors, such as Birmingham’s student accommodation buildings taking in athletes, staff, volunteers, security, dancers and more for the duration of the games.
One such property was Onyx, a pre-existing client of ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Mercia, and one of the largest student accommodations in Birmingham city. Mark Harden of ServiceMaster Clean Mercia sat down with us during the Commonwealth Games to talk about his team’s work for Onyx throughout the event.
“This is the second year we’ve done the student accommodation cleaning at Onyx,” Mark tells us. The contract for this job came about last year when Onyx reached out for a quote for regular cleaning services. At this point, the building had been recently refurbished, increasing its size substantially.
“[There are] three blocks to it, it’s massive,” Mark says. “Due to our presence in the Birmingham City Centre area, they asked a ServiceMaster Mercia to quote, which myself and Ashley, our business development manager [did].”
Due to careful staff management and the growth of the business, the Mercia team were able to deliver exceptional service and return this year, with the Onyx team putting down the additional challenge of assisting them with cleaning for the Commonwealth Games. In a regular year like last year, cleaning the Onyx premises involves cleaning student bedrooms and kitchens ready for the new students to arrive. But with the building being utilised for the Commonwealth Games, a huge number of rooms had to be cleaned in a tight timeframe.
“From the 21st of July to the 28th/29th, when the Commonwealth started, we had to get all these rooms cleaned. So, I think we did about 350 rooms for the Commonwealth and about 70 kitchens just in that week!”
How we managed the job
This meant that excellent communication was needed and the Mercia team had to work closely with the building managers and their staff.
“[We] have to work very closely with the Onyx team providing continuous updates and adding value through reporting any important information such as maintenance issues which they can rectify,” Mark says.
In this way, partnerships were a key part of the team getting the job done to the best possible standard, including helping manage the large workload. As Mark tells us, this meant having “At the max … between 35 and 40 staff on-site,” including Mark, and a supervisor running them.
“At that volume of people, you needed a high level of management support [to make] sure the team is set up, the stock is set up, dishing out work and [we are] feeding back to the in-house staff as well,” he explains.
These numbers meant that the team could take a methodical and highly efficient approach to cleaning each room.
“The structure is a team of say 5-6 people who go into one dorm, each one will pick up one room. And then generally, three people will work on a kitchen maximum, so they split it between them.”
The team then used some of our very own ServiceMaster chemicals, which work at the highest standard to return these rooms to the best condition possible before reporting any damage to rooms from student tenants, which might include cracked hobs, induction hobs, faulty fridges, damage to floors, or damage to furniture.
Going above and beyond
The Mercia team has also been helping out throughout the games by cleaning for a facility that is owned by West Midlands Police, which was used to feed athletes and staff during the games. This meant Mark and the team had to be even more flexible with their operation and working times, because of the tight security around the games.
“We had to change our cleaning times with the cleaners to early morning and late evenings that we go in so that we weren’t around because security was so tight, we couldn’t be around when athletes were present. So, we had to prep it ready for evening and morning meals. We did late evenings till about 1:00 am after the athletes had eaten and … then we would return in the mornings so that they could clean after the breakfast period.”
At the close of the job, Mark reflects that the teamwork and unity of the games have been mirrored throughout the entirety of this job, which has left him satisfied at overcoming a challenging clean and feeling closer to the games that have put Birmingham on the world stage.
“It’s been enjoyable to get it done,” he says. “And you do feel connected to the games. In Birmingham, it’s been a great atmosphere. You see all the people and volunteers, and speaking to them every one is enjoying it.”
Need a new cleaner?
Do you have large premises? Would you benefit from regular cleaning by your local professionals? With a team equipped with the best tools and knowledge for the job, backed by a franchisor with over 60 years of experience as an internationally recognised leader in the cleaning industry, Mark and the rest of the ServiceMaster Contract Services Mercia team can help. Get in touch by giving them a call on 0300 003 7042 today for a free quote. Or find your nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services business here.