The right janitorial training program is a fundamental component to engaging your employees and satisfying your customers.
Some people think that custodial services only requires cleaning supplies and a little elbow grease, but as someone in the business, you know there’s a lot more to it than that. Best practices, technological advancements, and the evolution of procedures are all among critical skills and education you’ll want your teams to possess. And keeping up with all of these changes requires ongoing janitorial training for everyone from your newest employees to your most senior staff.
But what makes janitorial training programs successful? How do you ensure that the time and energy you invest in putting together resources for on-the-job training contribute to reduced turnover and greater customer satisfaction?
4 Ideas to make your janitorial training program successful
1. Start off on the right foot
From the moment a new hire—no matter how experienced—steps through your doors, you’ll want to do all you can to encourage a cohesion between them and your company. Onboarding that includes janitorial training is a great place to begin.
A typical onboarding mistake that too many people make (in all industries) is to reduce new hire training to boring lectures and repetitive information. Granted, there will be some overlap for more experienced employees, but that doesn’t mean onboarding needs to be dry or mundane.
Instead, create an interactive onboarding program where employees learn as much from each other as they do from you. Encourage more experienced new hires to share their experiences and knowledge. This can be a springboard for discussions on how things have changed and how things have stayed the same in the cleaning industry.
2. Ongoing training
New hire training doesn’t end after the first day or week on the job, either. Onboarding that includes janitorial training should continue for up to a year from an employee’s start date. It’s important to recognize that even experienced workers will have a learning curve, not to mention that state and federal regulations may update over time.
To that end, it’s important there is available ongoing training for your veteran workers as well. This is particularly necessary when it comes to things like OSHA standards and safety practices. Cleaning professions do expose people to risks of disease and injury, so it’s important to make sure that your staff knows the most up-to-date information on how to protect themselves.
Something to keep in mind about ongoing janitorial training: Your staff will recognize it. And when they see that their employer has a vested in interest in their ongoing safety and career development, they’re more likely to want to keep working for you—a huge benefit in an industry riddled with turnover.
3. Advanced training
What’s more is that if your employees feel as though they can advance their careers with you, they’re also more likely to stay with you. Offer quarterly or semi-annual supervisor training or even training on the business side of the cleaning industry. Give your employees a chance to explore something new that they might be interested in. Not only will it improve their confidence and loyalty, but you just might be training someone to take over in an area where you’ll need them later on.
When it comes to training, it boils down to engagement. Employees left to their own devices, with no demonstrated interest in their careers beyond their day-to-day tasks are going to be less engaged than those who feel that the work they do makes a difference. Advanced training implies that their work matters and that they matter, which is a huge step in maintaining an engaged and prideful staff.
4. You already have the experts
At this juncture, you might be asking who is going to run these janitorial training programs? Don’t look further than you need to. Instead of spending lots of money hiring third-party vendors, consider that you’ve already got experts in the industry in-house.
Your current supervisors and veteran employees already have a solid handle on the industry. Ensure that they’re up to speed on current trends and compliance rules and then offer them incentives to teach that to newer or less experienced employees. Not only is it significantly cheaper, but it also builds that cohesion that’s so important to your staff.
In the end, you’re looking at a trained and connected team of professionals, which is bound to show through in the work they do for your customers. If your employees are educated and if they support each other, they are going to do a better job than a team of segmented individuals. This will improve your customer satisfaction rate, which should hopefully also lead towards winning you new business.