A common misconception in the cleaning industry is that it’s easy and anyone can do it.
“Can’t my staff just clean? We have some Glen20 in the cupboard.”
Well…are they trained to clean? And I mean clean properly and effectively? Are they using the right tools, products, and processes?
It’s unfortunate that many people don’t even look at cleaning as a career. They believe it’s just a flick of a rag and a quick mop and vacuum – easy said and done. When in fact, this is far from the truth.
In a nutshell, cleaners are out there to keep us healthy and safe.
And to be able to do this, cleaners need initial and continuous training to do their job as best they can.
Whether you have a current cleaning company or you’re looking at hiring one, you want to make sure the cleaners have had the proper training.
Now you’re probably wondering why this is or how a cleaner is even trained, like is this even possible?
Well, at In-Tec, we are often asked about our training and monitoring programs and how they work. So, in this article we’re going to help you out by answering these exact questions! We’ll take a look at:
The best cleaner training process,
Why it’s important to have trained cleaners, and
The best way to supervise cleaners
How should a cleaner be trained?
“Is my cleaner trained?”
For the most part, commercial cleaning companies don’t expect you to ask questions like this. But, if you were to ask them, you’ll certainly catch them by surprise. At this point, you’ll know whether they’re telling the truth or not.
Next time you have a chat with your cleaning service, ask them the simple question – it won’t hurt you, but it may hurt them.
But enough about that, let’s get back to how a cleaner is trained.
Now, we’re not sure how other cleaning companies do it, but we sure know that the rigorous training process we follow here at In-Tec provides our cleaners with the proper knowledge and education to do their job properly and efficiently.
Once we’ve finished the interviewing process, the first step we do is what we call a trial period. This involves introducing the cleaner to the site which is generally for:
Part-time cleaner – full shift
Full-time cleaner – 3 to 4 hours
Conducting this trial shift is vital because it gives us a gauge on whether the cleaner can adapt to the site and more importantly, whether the cleaner is the right fit for the site. During this process, they are either being shadowed by a fully experienced cleaner or a member of the operations support team.
Once the trial period is over and the cleaner is right to go, a full-time cleaner will have a trainer with them for at least a week, especially if they’re new to In-Tec. Whereas if an existing In-Tec cleaner were to transfer to a different site, they would only need a trainer with them for 1 to 2 days.
A part-time cleaner will have a trainer alongside them for 2 weeks. This is because of 2 reasons:
They can have multiple sites to clean
The shifts are limited to a few hours so there is only so much you can train them in one shift
You may be wondering, “why does a cleaner need to be trained for that long?”
Well, something I learnt at McDonald’s many years ago is that on average, a person needs to be told something 21 times for them to get it.
It comes down to repetition, repetition, repetition.
After all this, there is then constant follow up training. For instance, when we hire a full-time cleaner that hasn’t worked for us before, they will have a trainer with them for their first week. Then, the trainer will drop out and see them every day for the next week just to check up on them. The following week they would be checked up on 2/3 times, and so on and so forth. Essentially, the end goal is to check up on them once a week to make sure all is going smoothly.
Where most cleaning companies fall down is they will literally tell the cleaner, “There’s the keys, alarm code, and office…see you later.”
What does this lead to?
Clients forever having problems as the cleaner was never trained.
Whereas the motto we stand by here at In-Tec is, “train, train, and train and when you think you’ve trained enough, train again.”
Why it’s important for cleaners to be trained professionally
Does it really matter to you?
Does a trained cleaner benefit you in any way? Is it that imperative?
Yes, yes, and yes!
Just take a look at the 4 reasons why cleaners need to be trained professionally.
It results in better client satisfaction – your site will constantly be cleaned to a high standard. You will always be happy with the result and meanwhile, your cleaners will be happy with their service. Like we always say – happy cleaners = happy clients.
Safety – by gaining knowledge of standardised protocols and potential hazards, a trained cleaner will protect themselves and you from unsafe situations. You don’t want your employees slipping on wet floors, do you?
Health – Beyond preventing avoidable hazards, a trained cleaner contributes to a healthier environment. When workers apply cleaning products and solutions properly, they efficiently remove germs, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants without just spreading them around. They also use the correct cleaning solutions that don’t have harmful SAOs and VOCs.
It exhibits to the cleaners that they’re valued and appreciated – happy staff that are equipped with the right time, training, and tools will go above and beyond to deliver the best service they can to you.
We consider it common sense to train prospective employees in a wide range of professions, as a minimum, to make sure that they are capable of performing the job at hand.
So, why do we think differently when it comes to the cleaning industry?
Why do we not look to training cleaners with the same vigour?
By taking a look at the 4 points above (and there are more!), you can see exactly why it’s so important for cleaners to be trained properly.
It should most certainly not be overlooked.
How to supervise and monitor cleaning staff
Training and supervision go hand in hand.
It doesn’t just stop at training – there’s more to it than that.
Yes, you can train someone to do their job. But you need to constantly monitor and supervise them to make sure shortcuts aren’t being taken. Because let’s face it, we’re all guilty of taking a shortcut when it’s been handed to us on a silver platter (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone 😉).
A good commercial cleaning company, typically those that are employee-centric, will have a solution in place for monitoring their cleaners out in the field.
At In-Tec, our preferred application is freshOps.
A system like freshOps allows the cleaner to check in and check out of the site which is visible to the operations team. Most sites will also have small electronic checkpoints at each specific area e.g. lunchroom, downstairs amenities, that enables the cleaner to scan and check-in, and then scan to check-out once they’ve completed that area.
Another important feature of freshOps is that the cleaner’s entire scope of works for every site is included in the app. Once they complete a specific cleaning task, they can tick the box and move on to the next.
Not only this, but clients also have their own client portal of freshOps that shows them a run-down of all the completed activities done on their site, the next scheduled clean, and also a list of past services.
By having this form of access, the client can keep up to date with their regular cleaning. They also have the opportunity to leave any comments for the cleaner next time they turn up.
The cleaners certainly aren’t left to their own devices.
They’re constantly monitored to ensure they’re on top of their cleaning schedules, and in general, just doing their job correctly.
Trained cleaners will benefit YOU every time
Do you now see the point of having a trained cleaner on your site?
A cleaner who is equipped with the right tools, training, and time will always go above and beyond for their clients. They will always strive to deliver the best service they can every time they turn up at your site.
But it doesn’t end there.
Professional cleaning companies will always have some sort of system in place to monitor and track their cleaners. What this means for you is that you’ll always have confidence that your cleaners are doing their job.
If you’re ready to have a chat with the team at In-Tec, feel free to schedule a call with us! Paul, our Managing Director will be in touch with you within 48 hours.