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A veteran in the franchising industry, our very own, Siva Kugathas has been shortlisted in the Transformation category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, taking place at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

Siva, who before taking over the ServiceMaster Guildford franchise in January 2017, had already had a career in franchising for over 20 years with both KFC and Pizza Hut, used all that knowledge to transform the business, with turnover now 10 times that of when he first took on the resale.

He chose ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services, a contract commercial cleaning specialist franchise as he believed the potential for growth was evident.

“I am always looking for different and unusual ways to promote my business. In 2017 I featured on Eagle Radio in a carpet cleaning video for “National Clean Your Floors Day.”

Yes, that’s right, a video for radio. It was posted across the radio stations social media platforms and had great results. From this short video, I was noticed by a local company and secured a contract worth £100,000. It’s so exciting when trying something new has such a positive impact on your business.

I already feel incredibly proud to be recognised as a finalist in the BFA Awards. To me, they are the pinnacle of franchise industry awards and winning would be the ultimate achievement. I always strive to be the best in what I do and a BFA award would be a validation of this.” Siva Kugathas, Franchisee.

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the bfa, said:

“In little more than three years, Siva has taken an existing franchise unit and increased its turnover tenfold. This is a fantastic achievement and it has also benefitted people in the community as he has gone from hiring one supervisor to one office manager, one operations manager, three area managers, one sales executive and seven mobile cleaners.”

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising at HSBC, added:

“From the offset, Siva was determined to double the size of his business in 18 months. He focused heavily on maintaining relationships with the existing client base and receiving monthly feedback from customers, as well as putting staff retention at the centre of his objectives.”

Siva will go head-to-head against three other franchisees in November.

Good luck Siva!

The entire office culture across the UK has completely changed and most businesses will not return back to normal, instead a ‘new normal’ will have to be put in place.

Following lockdown, many businesses are gradually starting the process of getting their staff back to work and there are changes to the offices that have had to be made post-coronavirus.

Returning to work will have to happen in stages and the transition time will be stressful for all involved.

 

What returning to work will look like

Offices around the world are having to change the way they operate, it that means doing flexible working, for example, three days in the office and two days working remotely, or limiting the amount of staff in the offices completely, is something that has to be done.

Having an office presence is important for both processes and cultural practices and it’s going to be tempting to revert back to pre-pandemic. To help stop the spread of COVID-19 this needs to be watched carefully and enforced within the office environment.

There are three employee segments that can be considered:

  • Fully Remote working (All work can be completed at home, like a marketing role for example)
  • Hybrid Remote (As mentioned above, working at the office and at home on split days)
  • On-Site (For those that physically have to be in work, like tradespeople, cleaners etc)

 Get together with your employees and ask them what they’d prefer and if suitable for the type of business bring in the practices they want.

Redesigning the workplace

The pre-pandemic typical office was likely a mixture of private offices and open desks with staff sat side by side, meeting rooms and shared amenities. Well, this is not the case now as new measures have to be in place to keep your staff safe.

Businesses need to create workspaces to keep all employees safe, here are a few examples:

  1. Social Distancing measures must be put in place, meaning the staff are more spread out, although this does mean less staff will be allowed in the offices
  2. Bring in separate cubicles for all employees, protected with screens if needed, block off alternative desks in open-plan offices
  3. Staggered break times to ensure only a limited number of employees are in break out areas at any one time
  4. Introduce a one-way system around the office premises to ensure staff are socially distanced as much as possible
  5. Hand sanitising stations at entry and exit points, also if possible on all employees’ desks

Now is the time to initiate change

Employers around the UK need to start experimenting with bringing their employees back to offices if this isn’t possible then make working remotely more efficient by introducing more organisational digital software.

Experimenting isn’t going to hurt, if something doesn’t work for your company, try something different.

New cleaning measures are a must

Cleaning your office more effectively during and after the pandemic is vital and new cleaning regimes MUST be implemented to keep all employees safe.

Your new cleaning regime should include regular cleaning of high touch point areas on top of your regular cleaning, more frequent cleaning in high traffic areas should also be considered.

If there’s a case within your offices then a deep clean, disinfection and sanitisation should be considered before allowing people back into a possibly contaminated space.

Getting the right cleaning regime in place now, supported by the right professional cleaning company, offers reassurance for you, your employees and any visitors to your building.

If you have been doing the cleaning yourself or not getting the right level of support from your cleaning company it’s time to get in touch with your local ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services company, where you know you can rely on local commitment with national support and over 60 years of experience in the cleaning industry in the UK.

 

COVID-19 hit the world by storm towards the end of March and has quite literally changed the world as we know it.

With the government opening schools back up and trying to enforce normality as much as possible, there are still a few changes that need to happen in schools and nurseries to keep all children and staff safe.

Handwashing – Can you make it fun?

Teaching children how to wash their hands properly with soap and water doesn’t have to be hard and it is the main way that we can do to keep all within schools and nurseries safe.

Especially with younger children making the cleaning hands procedure fun is vital as it’s going to be the way of life for a while to come. Here are a few ways of making cleaning hands fun;

  1. Encourage them to sing a song when cleaning their hands, like a nursery rhyme for the younger ones and for the older ones their current favourite song
  2. Alternatively, you can make up a song in the classroom and get them to sing this instead
  3. Tell them something like if you clean your hands regularly you’ll become a superhero and give you the powers to bit the bad guys

Here’s a song released by the NHS to help with the cleaning of hands – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg

School reopening: pupil hygiene and wellbeing posters

Adults – Lead by example

Making sure as an adult you are cleaning your hands as regularly as the children and joining in with the sing-a-long is vitally important, because children learn from adults around them.

So, making a habit of washing your hands, disposing of paper towels correctly etc, your children will be more likely to copy this behaviour and continue to do so.

Always make sure you’re socially distancing with colleagues and children where possible as this will help stop the spread

Keep your eyes, ears and noses out for symptoms

Making sure you’re keeping your eyes and ears out for symptoms including, a high temperature and a new, continuous cough is important for the health of your entire school or nursery. Other symptoms can include a loss of smell or taste, so it may be a good idea to potentially check the children’s sense of smell every so often.

You can also tell the children to let you know if any other child mentions any of these symptoms so that the correct measures can be followed.

Make sure to follow NHS guidance with every potential COVID-19 case.

Always outdoor play where possible

As schools have started to open new ‘social bubbles’ have been formed in order to allow children to once again play with each other outside. Most schools have adopted a class or year group bubble which includes all of the teachers associated with that class or year group as well.

Social interaction is important for the emotional wellbeing of children, therefore outside playing being prioritised in the key decisions to open up schools.

Always make sure the children are washing their hands by following the correct procedures after every break time.

Listening is important

The children in schools and nurseries are bound to be worried or concerned because of changes to their daily routines and because of certain things they may have heard or read in regards to the coronavirus.

As a teacher, or caregiver it’s important to reassure them that you are there to listen if they’re feeling scared, unsure about something they may have heard and being there for them in these different times.

If you’re unaware of what to tell the children then there are a few different websites you can head to that will help with this;

Talking to children about coronavirus (Young Minds)

Talking to children about the coronavirus pandemic (Mental Health Foundation)

Regular cleaning is vital

Regular cleaning in schools and nurseries is vital to ensure the health and safety of the children and staff on the premises.

That is why all schools must have a new daily cleaning schedule put in place, and that is where we can help, find your nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services for more information today.

The last couple of months have been tough for many local businesses and services as they were forced to temporarily close in March when lockdown was put in place; but some had to remain open. Schools, GP surgeries and some businesses all had to remain open to provide vital services. Staying open to provide these valuable services also created its own challenges, keeping staff, patients and pupils safe had new hurdles to overcome.

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Guildford (Owned by Siva Kugathas) provide daily and weekly cleaning for lots of local businesses, schools, nurseries and healthcare providers all year round; and as their client’s needs changed, they were able to adapt working patterns to ensure that their cleaning staff could meet the increased demand on some of their client’s sites to ensure that they could continue to operate safely.

Not only have ServiceMaster Guildford managed to meet the changing needs of their existing clients but, Siva and his team were more than equipped to help new clients that needed additional cleaning support during the crisis to help them to stay open safely. Suitable PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was provided for all of the cleaning staff that kept working to help keep both them and their clients safe. All ServiceMaster Guildford staff received and continue to receive regular communication to ensure they are up to date with changing requirements.

It has long been ServiceMaster Guildfords aim to establish a long-term relationship with their clients in which they play a key role in enhancing the image, cleanliness and hygiene of their clients premises.

In 2018 ServiceMaster Guildford invested in EShield technology, a disinfection system using electrostatic sprayers. They were the first approved users of the patented EShield technology in the UK, and this technology has enabled them to also provide COVID-19 sanitisation within 24 hours of a call from their client. ServiceMaster Guildford have sanitised offices and factories that had had positive COVID-19 cases, enabling them to reopen their premises to resume their services as soon as possible. The requirements for general deep cleans and sanitisation is also increasing as more businesses and services are allowed to open.

Siva’s priority is to go above and beyond to provide exceptional customer service, he is working with all of his clients to help them to continue to operate by implementing new or reviewing current cleaning processes to help make it safe for all.