What Does a Cleaning Supervisor Do?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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A cleaning supervisor oversees cleanup operations. This managerial role can involve authority over crews and support staff, as well as networking with other personnel to coordinate cleaning activities. Requirements to work as a supervisor usually include several years of experience on cleaning crews and in managerial roles, like as the foreperson of a cleaning team. A college degree is generally not necessary, although sometimes college qualifications can help with specialty positions.

One part of this job is managerial. The cleaning supervisor needs to develop cleaning schedules, assign staff, make sure vacation time is accommodated, and organize the staffing. This can include hiring and training personnel as necessary, in addition to firing people who cannot complete assigned tasks properly. Development of training manuals and protocols, as well as updates to this documentation, can also be a job responsibility.

This member of the crew may not personally conduct cleaning tasks, but does need to oversee people. While crews are working on activities like cleaning up at a construction site, the cleaning supervisor can work among them to make sure they are doing the job correctly. Suoervisors can also check after the completion of work in sites like hotels. If there is a problem, the supervisor can draw it to the attention of the staff involved to get the situation corrected.


Some environments require regulatory compliance, not just standard cleaning. In biomedical settings like hospitals and research facilities, for example, the cleaning supervisor may handle hazardous waste. This can require a special certification and training. Likewise at chemical and other manufacturing plants, where the site needs to adhere to standards set by the government. The cleaning supervisor is responsible for making sure all staff are adequately trained and prepared to do the work.

Supply ordering can be another responsibility. The cleaning supervisor may need to order cleaning tools and solutions, and must keep up with industry developments to select the best products for various applications. Supply closets and other facilities used by cleaning crews also should to be kept organized and clean. Another issue can be the coordination of intensive cleaning, where an area may need to be closed off for a day or more to clean deeply and thoroughly. This member of the facilities staff charged with keeping buildings in good working order consults with personnel who work in the area to determine when intensive cleaning would be most convenient and least likely to disrupt operations.


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