From mandatory regulations to internal best practices, there’s a lot to know and learn about commercial cleaning training.
Commercial cleaners have a lot to learn and remember. On the most basic level, they have to understand and know the difference between the various chemicals they use each day. There’s government-mandated OSHA training that most professional cleaners have to go through. There are standard operating procedures, techniques, and equipment they must know about, to say nothing of practices that are specific to your company.
Commercial cleaning training lays the framework for this knowledge, but if we’re honest, most people won’t remember everything. They’ll need to look things up. That’s why it’s important to keep a complete library of training documentation at your business headquarters or online where your staff can access them.
But what should a complete commercial cleaning training library include? And how often should you review and update them? Here are some tips on which documents you need, which are a good idea, when to review and update, and how to be sure your employees receive the training they need.
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The six commercial cleaning training documents you can’t do without
1. The basics: Employee handbook and SOP
Before we think about commercial cleaning training documents, let’s start with setting the groundwork. This is done through an employee handbook and a guide on your company’s standard operating procedures. These documents cover things like your business’ cleaning processes, company policies, and employee conduct.
While there are employee handbooks available online, it’s a good idea to clear any documentation like this with legal counsel to make sure it complies with the laws in your state, and to make sure that it doesn’t open your company up to any unnecessary risk. Ask employees to sign an acknowledgment of the handbook after they read it.
2. Government regulations
While this won’t necessarily apply to all professional cleaning businesses, OSHA and other government regulations should always be available for your staff to review. Conduct mandatory training as soon as possible once an employee starts work, and include the associated documentation in your documentation library.
Since government regulations are updated and changed often, you might want to think about signing up for alerts or newsletters from the appropriate agency to ensure that you stay up to date on all commercial cleaning training regulations and avoid any penalties for failing to do so.
3. Equipment manuals
Most of your staff members will likely be familiar with basic cleaning equipment, but new equipment and tools may present a challenge if employees don’t have the paperwork necessary to learn how to use them. Keeping this documentation on hand can also help expedite troubleshooting should something malfunction.
4. Safety documents
Commercial cleaning training should always include information on safety. While you can include this in the employee manual, it can be helpful to have a separate document for training to stress the importance of on-the-job safety. Doing so conserves resources since safety information is updated more often than policy manuals, and separating safety from other policies emphasizes how critical safety is and how seriously your company takes it.
5. Career development tutorials
Whether on video or online, employees often appreciate when career development is part of their ongoing commercial cleaning training. Tutorials on bidding and estimating, the sales process, what it takes to run a cleaning business, and similar how-tos not only make an employee feel that you care about them, but they also give your staff a more holistic view of the cleaning industry.
6. Information on green cleaning
We only recommend providing this if your company practices eco-friendly cleaning, but if you do, it’s helpful to parse out such documentation and call it to your staff’s attention. Some green practices may be very different from traditional practices, so it’s good for both your employees and your business for them to be informed.
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When to update training practices and test employees
For internal policies and training, you only need to update those documents as often as you make changes to your practices.
Government regulations should be updated as soon as they are released. We recommend you check at least every month to see if there are new OSHA or local compliance policies.
As for auxiliary documents, there’s less urgency to update those, but we recommend the every-month formula for these as well. This ensures that document updates don’t get put off for too long and also assures you that if your staff should check a company-provided resource, it won’t provide them outdated information.
While not required (except by some regulatory agencies), you can enhance the effectiveness of commercial cleaning training documents by testing employees annually on their knowledge and understanding. This way you’ll know that you have an educated staff that knows what’s expected of them on the job apart from their basic duties. Annual testing also helps with workplace safety since employees will be reacquainted with the information they may have forgotten, and since the repetition of the policies and practices is reinforced on a regular basis.