Adam Hodge, CEO of the Master Cleaners Training Institute and CrestClean’s national training manager, takes a difference perspective on the importance of training.
Why do we train? Who do we train? What do we train?
These questions have been addressed in numerous articles in the past, but I would like to approach the importance of training from a different perspective.
I believe we should be asking a different question: What standard do we train too?
Companies that care about their people, their customers and their bottom line will train their people but to what standard?
- On completion of training are they competency assessed?
- Is their underpinning knowledge of the processes and procedures employed demonstrated?
- Do they realise the dangers to themselves and their customers of cross-contamination?
- Can they prepare chemicals correctly, understanding the information contained in the material safety data sheets?
- Do they understand their responsibilities under health and safety regulations?
- Do they realise how important it is that they carry out their tasks safely and competently?
- Are they rewarded for successfully completing their training and assessment?
Training should not just be concerned with upskilling and giving people the right tools for the job, it’s also about raising the standards and status of the commercial cleaning industry in New Zealand.
One of the most common comments I hear about the industry from customers is “you are all the same you start with a hiss and a roar then standards drop and the problems begin”.
To combat this perception, we as an industry need to set minimum standards for our training programmes and service delivery. We need standards that will raise the status of the industry in the eyes of our customers.
We also need standards so the New Zealand commercial cleaning industry is recognised by other OPEC countries as innovators in the industry rather than imitators.
We need to be able to demonstrate the difference between the responsible companies in the industry and the cowboys, of which there are far too many.
Setting minimum standards that the responsible companies within our industry sign up to and deliver is imperative. Only then will customers will be able to differentiate between the shoddy cowboy operators and the industry professionals.
I believe government should help to implement minimum standards of training and quality. But it’s also up to us in the industry to provide the leadership and drive to raise the standards so we can all reap the rewards that comes with that recognition.
This first appeared in the May issue of INCLEAN NZ magazine.