Top Tips for Training Cleaning Professionals

They say “practice makes perfect,” and in the cleaning industry, it is absolutely true. Quality training is essential to ensure both employee safety and consistent cleaning results. Without training, cleaning can be a dangerous job. With such a wide variety of chemicals, tools and equipment available within the industry, it’s extremely important that cleaning staff understand how to use them correctly to protect both themselves and building occupants who expect the highest levels of cleanliness.

Training to Clean for Health and Appearance

A comprehensive training program ensures that cleaning professionals are taught the proper techniques to prioritize cleaning for health, safety and appearance. Un-trained cleaning staff can do more harm than good by spreading germs around a facility, which puts both occupants and themselves at risk. Improper cleaning can also negatively impact the indoor air quality (IAQ) in a facility which affects all building occupants as well. Ongoing training is the basis to ensure that cleaning professionals are armed with the experience and knowledge to provide reliable, consistent and safe cleaning results.

Consider the following best practices to adequately train and develop both new and tenured cleaning professionals on your team:

Set cleaning expectations.

Be sure to provide a detailed list of cleaning expectations and specifically outline tasks and responsibilities. Reinforce all onboarding training with refresher courses. This will ensure even the most seasoned employees stay engaged and informed regarding any new cleaning procedures and protocols. In addition, consistently review personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements to make sure all employees know what is specifically required to protect themselves while on the job.

Offer in-depth chemical safety and tool training.

Prior to using any chemical, tool or piece of equipment, it is vital to provide staff with a thorough training. The training should include what it is, why it is used and how to use it correctly. Doing so will help reduce the risk of injuries and infections, as well as ensure cleaners are following safety laws. Using a color-coded system to match tools, chemicals and labels helps simplify the process, especially for multi-lingual employees. This will make it easier for cleaners to perform their jobs and prevent cross contamination.

Provide hands-on training.

There are numerous ways to train employees including videos, demonstrations and literature, but always be sure to include an adequate amount of time for hands-on training. This type of training enables cleaners to try out tasks for themselves, learn from mistakes and receive feedback prior to working in the field. This will provide them with experience and confidence needed to meet and exceed cleaning expectations. Following training, shadow both new and tenured employees occasionally to ensure they are correctly following protocol and provide immediate constructive feedback.

Empower employees.

Training sessions are a great time to boost employee morale and ensure that employees feel valued and essential. Promote a positive environment where questions are always welcomed and encouraged. This will help attendees continue to learn, grow and retain information. Including a little fun in your training sessions with an ice breaker game, a contest or a nice meal will also set a positive tone. Empowering employees and making sure every voice is heard can significantly boost morale and reduce employee turnover that can lead to lapses in consistent cleanliness.

Review the training process frequently and ask for employee feedback.

Review your training process at least annually to ensure that you continue to meet the needs of both your employees and building occupants. Cleaning technology, chemicals and tools are constantly evolving and training techniques need to be updated to coincide with any changes. In addition, ask for employee feedback after a training session through a questionnaire or anonymous form. This will provide the best insight on how to improve your approach to training and how to cater to the training styles that employees prefer.

A Commitment to Cleanliness

Cleaning has been propelled into the spotlight for its role in infection control during the pandemic, but training has always been the foundation of consistent, reliable cleanliness. Now is a great time to review and refresh your training program to ensure it is up to date to continue providing employees with a safe, enjoyable work environment and delivering cleanliness for building occupants every day.

At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people who deliver it. Training and development help our employees achieve the highest levels of professionalism so they can uphold cleanliness for our customers. Contact us to learn more, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest updates.

How to Celebrate Custodians on National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day and Every Day

Day in and day out, custodians make building occupants’ lives easier and safer. They do this all while performing risky and labor-intensive jobs. They’re required to complete tasks that expose them to potentially dangerous chemicals and physical injuries such as muscle strain. But they also manage the things we often take for granted, like full soap dispensers, stocked toilet paper and clean floors.

Custodians are the unsung heroes in schools, office buildings and many other commercial facilities. They show up to work each day and keep environments clean and building occupants safe and healthy. The COVID-19 pandemic shined an even brighter spotlight on just how important these essential workers are.

October 2 is National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day, and now more than ever, custodians are incredibly deserving of recognition. As the pandemic continues to present challenges, it’s important to remember that custodians should be shown appreciation not just on National Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day, but every day.

Showcasing your Support

Custodians continue to go above and beyond to protect the health and well-being of building occupants. Consider the following strategies for showing your appreciation for your custodians every day.

Provide opportunities for training.

Training is the backbone of successful cleaning programs. Whether you’re a building service contractor (BSC) or have an in-house team, providing training opportunities is a way to demonstrate your investment in your people. It supports employee health and enhances performance. Provide hands-on training with the products and technologies cleaning professionals will use to reduce safety risks and ensure consistent cleaning performance.

Invest in quality tools and equipment.

Employees will feel valued if they’re equipped with high-quality tools and equipment that helps them perform their jobs better. If equipment is outdated or poorly maintained, workers may feel that their role is not a priority, and this could impact cleaning results. Take a close look at your inventory and determine where improvements and investments can be made so that employees have all the essentials for efficient and effective cleaning.

Use safe and sustainable cleaning chemicals.

With custodians cleaning more frequently than ever, opting for cleaning chemicals without potentially toxic ingredients or fragrances may help reduce the risk of conditions like asthma, allergies, eye irritation and skin rashes. Install an on-site generation (OSG) system that creates safer solutions with water, salt and electricity, otherwise known as electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS). The cleaners and disinfectants are compatible, which avoids the possibility of employees mixing unsafe chemicals, and do not contain any fragrances, caustic preservatives or additives.

Offer leadership development and employee benefits.

Most employees want to know their employer cares about them and that their job has the potential to be a rewarding career. Providing educational courses that promote leadership development shows your employees you want to see them grow professionally within the organization. Many custodians are risking their lives each day without decent pay or benefits. Consider offering benefits such as healthcare and 401(k) options separately from leadership courses to attract and retain talent.

Leverage small gestures for a big impact.

Sometimes, the smallest gesture can go a long way. Consider giving your custodians a handwritten thank you note that highlights your favorite characteristics that they have and include a small gift card. Have managers monitor employees as they clean and continually provide positive feedback on their performance to build their confidence. You can also throw a small celebration featuring free food, team building activities and even awards to honor their hard work. Whether it’s a party or a physical gift, your custodian will feel appreciated that their employer considers their mental and emotional wellbeing.

Thank a Custodian Today

As custodians keep facilities in top shape, take time out of your day to show them you notice their hard work, whether it’s on Custodial Worker’s Recognition Day or any other day. While they’ve always been critical players in keeping facilities clean and safe, they’ve continued to transcend their responsibilities and go beyond their job descriptions during the pandemic. Showing appreciation in small ways, as well as implementing long-term positive changes can help cleaning professionals feel supported and minimize turnover.

At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people behind the clean. Contact us to learn more, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more best practices.