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Are you well-trained for the challenge?

22 October 2019

A well-trained staff is essential in the cleaning industry and, as Manuela D’Agata – ISSA international education and certification director – explains, key to controlling costs, providing motivated employees for your operations and in promoting the quality of your services

The commercial cleaning industry is highly competitive with a relentless pressure on margins. Winning and retaining contracts requires balancing a complex range of factors and operational detail. As a cleaning contractor, your aim is to provide an excellent service. Fundamental to this is a well-trained and highly motivated staff. This can be crucial in differentiating your services and in delivering savings over the long-term.

Maintaining high quality and consistent cleaning is essential, yet many issues can impact your ability to train, develop and retain staff, including high staff turnover. Training and supporting new employees can be a big challenge. It might be the case you have built and trained a team to deliver the highest standards, then someone leaves, and the process begins over again. However, investing in training your team is not just a case of being worth it, there is actually no alternative.

Training and development programmes also offer opportunity and progression into management, which defines a career path, provides job satisfaction, and in turn aids staff retention. Employees feel more engaged and valued, becoming ambassadors for you and the wider industry. This is important as new methods evolve, such as day time cleaning, and cleaners become more visible as clients wish to actually see the job being done well. Training also improves communication skills which help effective team building. All of which creates a virtuous circle by attracting new employees to the profession. This is crucial in developed countries that face problems with ageing workforces. A shortage of replacements for retirees emphasises the importance of developing staff.

Improving basic skills and the knowledge of specific methods of production improves labour productivity, making staff more efficient in using resources effectively. The rate of innovation - such as data-driven machines - and the need to be up to date with the chemistry, systems and technology involved, makes training crucial to avoid risks. In healthcare, where public safety is key, the threat from pathogens brings a different dimension to the quality of clean.

ISSA offers its members a wide range of solutions to rise to these training challenges, from an extensive variety of training formats, to seminars, videos, articles and webinars, training courses - in-house and external - and online learning courses; along with other resources from ISSA’s extensive online bookstore.