What do you most enjoy about being a cleaning trainer?
Other than the personal satisfaction that I get from helping others learn and improve, I’d have to say that I enjoy researching and learning new things every day that I can use and pass on to others. A bonus is that I get paid to travel the world conducting classes and assessments, attending trade shows and working with individuals and companies who want to know more about cleaning and in the process I learn as well.
What operational improvements can managers expect due to training?
That’s pretty much open ended. Training has the ability to impact every aspect of a business or an individual’s life. There isn’t much else you can do. Training that has the ability and potential to improve people and the way a business operates. You can only pay so much, and discipline is primarily a last resort that often has negative consequences. It may be true that training can solve all your problems, but I can’t think of anything that can’t be improved by training.
You attend a number of industry and training events each year. What new trends are you seeing in the training realm?
First, the use, importance and value of training is gaining recognition in the cleaning industry. If a company wants to improve its operation, profit and people, it has to focus on training. Managers and owners are beginning to recognize this reality as fact. There is still a long way to go, but over the years this has and is continuing to change.
Second, training methods are evolving, our work force, customers and responsibilities are changing and technology offer new and exciting choices in the ways we communicate with and deliver training to everyone involved in the process.
Third, opportunities for learning and training are everywhere. A simple search on “Google” will turn up almost unlimited sources of information, classes, forums, and blogs on basically any cleaning or maintenance related subject you can think of. All you have to do is search and then use and share what you find.
Fourth, There is a trend towards the use of third party audits, assessments and certifications being recognized by customers as a means of identifying quality service contractors and in house operations. This will continue to increase as insurance companies, financial institutions and government agencies come to recognize these processes as valid ways to reduce risk and costs and help assure quality service.
One area where there is a long way to go relates to those doing the work realizing that they need training and also need to accept responsibility for continuing to improve their skill and knowledge base regarding work and their personal lives.
Our industry has done a terrible job of promoting the upward mobility opportunities available in the cleaning and maintenance fields. The reality is that almost nobody really wants to clean toilets, floor or desks for a living. Most of us came to the cleaning industry because we had nowhere else to go.
We need to help people understand that the cleaning industry is a good starting place as well as a great place to build life time career. When hiring people we need to talk less about the job openings we have available and focus more on the opportunities for upward mobility that our industry offers. We also need to put in place coaching, counseling and training programs that help employees understand how they can achieve their dreams and goals by doing the best possible job they can for their customer and employer each day.
We have at our disposal valid and proven methods to turn the challenges our industry faces into opportunities for future growth and prosperity for everyone involved with and impacted by cleaning. We need to change the way we view and deal with the human assets with in our organizations that we have for so long taken for granted.
We cannot stop progress or technology. Over the next 30 years engineering, science and robotics will replace the human as the primary provider of cleaning services. How we deal with that transition will depend on how we begin preparing for the inevitable today. Training can provide us with a smoother ride on an otherwise bumpy road into the future.