Train and educate to retain staff
07 March 2013
Staff retention is a key issue in any industry or sector and the contract cleaning sector is no exception.The sector has a reputation of high staff turnover with some statistics showing as high as 70% annual turnover of staff within the industry.With the correct tools and methods of staff training and education this can be significantly reduced says John Blasco
Staff turnover is a factor in any business or industry that needs to be monitored and controlled, too high a turnover can lead to an unproductive and un-cohesive work force. Of course some level of turnover is healthy for a business as a new employee may be more productive or efficient; the process just needs to be well managed.
Within contract cleaning, organisations employ huge numbers of staff, so it is essential that procedures are in place to manage recruitment and productivity.To ensure the correct candidate is selected, systems should be effective, efficient and fair.
For any new member of staff, the induction is the first piece of active training they encounter and it is important the programme helps to welcome and settle staff.Within Hotelcare, the programme is an informal but well managed process, consisting of meeting and talking with new colleagues,watching activities and asking questions. From employee feedback,we have found new team members feel the benefits of a good programme, becoming a more settled employee.This seems to be an effective response to training, which internally leads to lower labour turnover and improved industrial relations.
All cleaning staff at Hotelcare are encouraged to further their training and take Housekeeping NVQ courses which proved very successful during 2010 and we are looking to expand this in 2011.
Ensuring that staff are adequately trained for their role is important for not just effective work but also for learning health and safety rules and fire regulations.Training is also encouraged for other members of staff within the company, not just the cleaning staff.To make sure everyone is working to their fullest potential, additional courses are provided such as management training courses for area managers, human resources and accounts departments.
Training should not stop at a professional level, creating a moral support network can also be an important way to ensure staff happiness and contentment; examples are providing support with issues such as visa queries, benefits and English lessons. Knowing that support is available from the organisation the employee works for can help to promote loyalty.
Career development simulates staff, provides scope for improvement and training, which will help to ensure staff work to the best of their ability. By periodically carrying out staff reviews or appraisals, management can recognise and reward achievements, which can be an important incentive to staff enjoyment and satisfaction levels. It also allows staff to plan their future development within the organisation and know how they can progress themselves.Action plans can also be developed for each member of staff.
It is often true that organisations neglect the importance of staff retention within their staffing strategies. It is recognised that staff training is an investment for any organisation; it is however one of the most important costs and can often reap the most rewards and result in long-term savings.
By adopting some or all of these strategies, hotels and other establishments that employ contract cleaners should be comforted by lower staff turnover rates, as it is a direct reflection on the management structure in place at the organisation.
Staff training and motivation is something,we at Hotelcare, believe is worth investing in, as staff loyalty is priceless for an organisation that operates in a high turnover industry. A number of our directors are prime examples of the benefit of investing in staff, starting out as housekeepers and working their way up through internal promotions to company directors. We, for one, will be continuing to invest in our workforce.
John Blasco is managing director of Hotelcare.