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Boost your custodial team’s performance with these 13 essential custodian training tips, covering safety, cleaning, hygiene, scheduling, and more.

Maintaining a clean, safe, and well-functioning educational facility is a critical responsibility that falls mainly on the shoulders of the custodial staff. As a facility manager, you must ensure that your new custodial hires are appropriately trained and equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in their roles. Practical training improves job performance and efficiency, promotes a positive work environment, and reduces the risk of accidents and injuries. Your custodial staff’s work is not just about cleaning; it’s about creating a conducive environment for learning and growth, making them an integral part of our educational operations.

To help you develop a comprehensive training program for your new custodial hires, we’ve compiled a list of 13 essential training tips. These tips cover many topics, from safety and cleaning techniques to customer service and ongoing professional development. By incorporating these tips into your onboarding process, you can set your new custodians up for success and ensure that your educational facility maintains the highest cleanliness, hygiene, and safety standards.


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Custodian Training Tips Library

Emphasize Safety

Safety should always be the top priority. Train new custodians on proper cleaning, chemical handling and storage, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), ladder safety, proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries, and identifying and reporting potential hazards. Provide the necessary safety gear and ensure they use it correctly.

Teach Proper Cleaning Techniques

Instruct new hires on the most effective and efficient cleaning methods for various surfaces, materials, and areas of the school. This includes instructions on proper mopping, sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, and disinfecting procedures. Demonstrate the correct use of cleaning equipment and supplies.

Stress the Importance of Hygiene

Schools can be breeding grounds for germs and illnesses. Train custodians on the critical role they play in maintaining a hygienic environment. Teach them about proper handwashing, gloves, and how to prevent cross-contamination when cleaning.

Establish a Cleaning Schedule

Create a detailed schedule outlining daily, weekly, monthly, and annual tasks. Train new custodians on how to follow and complete the schedule efficiently. Emphasize the importance of adhering to the schedule to maintain a clean and well-maintained school.

Focus on High-touch Areas

Train custodians to pay special attention to high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, handrails, water fountains, and restroom fixtures. These areas should be cleaned and disinfected frequently to reduce the spread of germs.

Cover Emergency Procedures

Train new hires on responding to emergencies such as spills, accidents, equipment malfunctions, and even natural disasters. Teach them the proper procedures for reporting incidents and whom to contact in an emergency.

Encourage Teamwork

Foster a sense of teamwork among the custodial staff. Encourage new hires to communicate effectively with their colleagues, work collaboratively, and support one another in maintaining a clean and safe school environment.

Teach Energy Conservation

Train custodians on energy-saving practices such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms, adjusting thermostats, and promptly reporting leaks or malfunctioning equipment. This helps the environment and significantly reduces the school’s utility costs, which can be redirected to other educational needs.

Provide Customer Service Training

Custodians often interact with students, staff, and visitors. They are expected to provide a positive and helpful environment as part of their role. Provide customer service training to ensure they represent the school positively. Teach them how to be helpful, courteous, and professional in their interactions.

Offer Ongoing Training Opportunities

Cleaning methods, products, and equipment evolve. Provide ongoing training to keep custodians updated on new techniques, safety protocols, and industry best practices. Please encourage them to attend workshops, seminars, or online courses to enhance their skills. This commitment to their professional growth and development enhances their job performance and inspires and motivates them to excel in their roles.

Conduct Regular Performance Evaluations

Regularly assess the performance of new custodians to ensure they are meeting expectations. These evaluations serve as a tool for providing constructive feedback, recognizing their strengths, and identifying areas for improvement. Use evaluations as an opportunity for coaching and professional development, which can lead to improved job performance and job satisfaction.

Foster Pride in the Workplace

Encourage new custodians to take pride in their work and their vital role in creating a clean, safe, and welcoming school environment. Recognize their efforts and contributions regularly, such as through employee of the month programs or public acknowledgments, to boost morale and job satisfaction.

Promote Open Communication

Encourage open communication between custodians and management. This fosters a supportive work environment where new hires feel comfortable asking questions, reporting concerns, or suggesting improvements. Regularly solicit their feedback and ideas to enhance the school’s custodial operations, which can lead to more efficient and effective cleaning practices.

By implementing these 13 training tips, facility managers can set new custodians up for success, ensuring they have the knowledge, skills, and support needed to maintain a clean, safe, and well-functioning school environment. A well-trained custodial staff is essential for creating a positive learning atmosphere and protecting the health and well-being of students, staff, and visitors.

Investing time and resources into comprehensive training for new custodians pays off in the long run. It leads to improved job performance, higher efficiency, reduced accidents and injuries, and increased job satisfaction and retention. A knowledgeable and motivated custodial team is a valuable asset to any educational facility.

As the facility manager, it’s essential to lead by example and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing training and professional development. Stay informed about industry trends, products, and best practices, and share this knowledge with your team. Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the custodial department.

Remember to celebrate your team’s successes and milestones. Recognize outstanding performance, longevity, and contributions to the school community. A little appreciation goes a long way in keeping your custodial staff motivated and engaged. Your custodial staff’s contributions, no matter how small, are invaluable to our school community and deserve recognition and appreciation.

In addition to theese custodian training tips, consider creating a comprehensive training manual or handbook that covers all aspects of the custodian’s job. This serves as a valuable reference tool for new hires and ensures consistency in training across the team.

Finally, solicit feedback from your custodial staff regularly. Ask them about their training experience, what they found helpful, and what could be improved. Use their insights to refine and enhance your training program continuously.

By prioritizing the training and development of your custodial staff, you demonstrate your commitment to their success and the success of your educational facility. A well-trained team of custodians is essential for maintaining a clean, safe, and inviting learning environment that supports student achievement and well-being.


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