Turning CleanTEC’s values into institutions – Peter Rochford

In the world of business, it’s not uncommon to hear companies tout their values – excellence, integrity, customer satisfaction, you name it. 

But what do these values truly mean in practice? We often react with cynicism when businesses talk about their values, perhaps rightly so. 

So how do we make sure that our values are more than just words on a wall? How do we turn them into guiding principles that shape our company culture and operations day-to-day?

I’ve always believed that a business’s values should come directly from its employees. In fact, we went to our employees at CleanTEC to ask them what they thought our values were. 

The values they identified – respect, teamwork, pride, and enjoyment – form the essence of who we are as a company, how we treat each other, and how we deliver exceptional service to our clients. 

These values might sound vague now, but there are clear ways we can act on them every day – and protect them in the future. Let’s go through them one by one.

Respect

Everyone wants to be respected at work. This means recognizing and valuing the differences and strengths that each person brings to the table. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels valued for their contributions.

There are some simple ways to act on this value every day by ensuring that all employees are paid fully and on time, and have the tools and resources they need to deliver a high-quality service to our clients.

Teamwork

We rely on each other to deliver the high-quality service that our clients expect. By combining our individual strengths and experiences, we can achieve exceptional results. Teamwork is about encouraging and supporting each other to be the best we can be.

Our hands-on contract management style is based around teamwork. Our contract managers work closely with our clients and our cleaning operatives to make sure that everyone is getting the help they need, and that their voice can be heard.

Pride

Taking pride in our work is a cornerstone of CleanTEC. We believe that everyone comes to work to do their best, and that shows in the quality of our work. It’s about feeling satisfied with our contributions and knowing that we are part of something great.

We’re always looking for new things for our team to be proud of. Our charity partnership with the Teenage Cancer Trust, for example, is a source of pride for me – and especially for those of our cleaning operatives who work at schools across the country. 

Enjoyment

We spend a significant amount of time at work, so it’s essential to enjoy what we do. At CleanTEC, we want our employees to be happy, fulfilled, and proud of where they work. Enjoyment is about being part of a successful team, feeling valued and appreciated, and having opportunities for growth and advancement.

But how do we ensure that these values are not just ideals but integral parts of CleanTEC itself? This is where employee ownership comes into play. 

Employee ownership

Our transition to an employee-owned business in 2021 institutionalised our values by making our employees the majority owners of the company. This means that every decision we make, every action we take, is guided by the values that our employees hold dear.

Employee ownership also gives our employees a voice through our Employee Council. This council allows employees to directly contribute to the decision-making process, ensuring that their perspectives and ideas are heard and valued. It’s not just about having values; it’s about living them every day, in every aspect of our business.

Our values are the heart and soul of CleanTEC. They are the principles that guide us, inspire us, and drive us forward. By making our employees the owners of the business, we have infused these values into the company’s DNA, ensuring that they are not just a part of our team but a part of CleanTEC’s future.

Peter Rochford

Peter Rochford

Peter is Managing Director & Co-Owner at CleanTEC Services. Peter co-founded CleanTEC with Chris Rogers in 2000, and played a key role in the company becoming one of the UK’s first employee-owned commercial cleaning businesses in 2021.