How to Train Cleaning Staff for Optimum Success

by | Jul 26, 2021

Frontline maintenance professionals need training, and not just on how to clean. Sure, training teaches best practices – the how and why something gets clean – but good training also protects employees. They handle hazardous chemicals, encounter dangerous bodily fluids, and complete physically demanding tasks every workday. Proper training helps keep them safe on the job. This blog addresses how to train cleaning staff for optimum success.

Training does so much more than ensure safety and proper cleaning. It can teach the soft skills of customer service or the confidentially requirements of certain industries and spaces. Training also empowers workers. It transforms them into experts, making them feel like valued team members working towards a common goal. 

Unfortunately, custodial training often gets pushed into the background. This happens when company owners deem it too costly or inefficient. Unfortunately, this strategy may end up costing businesses more in the long run. While all-day training seminars might not be the right approach, there are ways to maximize training dollars and make the process more efficient, effective, and accessible. 

Start with Janitorial Onboarding

If you want to know how to train cleaning staff, you have to start off on the right foot with a robust onboarding program. If done correctly, these first few hours on the job sets the tone for the rest of the new hire’s time with the company. Good onboarding lays out expectations and communicates company culture. 

Onboarding should include the basics: where to park, how to find supplies, and who can answer questions. This is the time to present the employee with a company handbook and take care of paperwork. Onboarding can also be combined with some basic skill training. 

But most importantly, onboarding welcomes new employees into the fold. The process tells new hires that they are valued members of the team and encourages workers to take ownership of their jobs. The process boasts impressive results. Research finds that organizations with strong onboarding processes improve new employee retention by 82% and boost employee productivity by over 70%. This saves the company time and money.  

Janitorial Onboarding with the Buddy System

Many cleaning companies train cleaning staff by pairing new hires with experienced workers. This method offers a lot of benefits. Senior employees have “been there and done that.” They possess a lot of institutional knowledge and sharing that knowledge costs the company nothing. 

However, this assumes the senior employee really knows what they are doing. If robust, ongoing training is not a regular part of every employee’s work experience, relying on the buddy system may backfire. Bad habits get passed from worker to worker like a costly game of telephone.

Use the Right Training Resources

Comprehensive custodial training courses are available from many sources including the Cleaning Management Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Topics cover everything from the basics of cleaning to bloodborne pathogen standards to employee safety. 

A comprehensive list of cleaning courses put together by software company Janitorial Manager, can be found here. Company owners can easily curate the right coursework for their employees’ needs. 

The 24/7 Hands-On Resource 

Classroom-based instruction will always hold a place in training. However, when it comes to retaining and mastering a skill, nothing beats doing the actual work out in the field. This approach, based on the learning pyramid, suggests that students retain less through lectures than through hands-on experience. 

Of course, doing that work in the field requires calling up those initial classroom memories. This leaves cleaning staff vulnerable to human error and can lead to costly – or dangerous – mistakes down the line. 

Training resources that come mounted on equipment, like KaiTutor™, can reinforce prior learning and offer just-in-time skill building that improves performance and productivity. Better than a printed manual, this kind of technology works as an external memory device, clearly demonstrating exactly how to use equipment on the spot. This video-based training leaps over hurdles to help workers achieve mastery of cleaning tasks.

Capabilities of KaiTutor

  • Removes language barriers with clear visual instruction
  • Allows users to play, pause, and practice until they master a skill
  • Improves self-reliance allowing technicians to take ownership of a task
  • Boosts cleaning performance and positive outcomes
  • Minimizes employee turnover due to discouragement or poor feedback

How to Train Cleaning Staff? Make Your Efforts Ongoing

This blog has discussed how to train cleaning staff for the best results. However, it’s important to note that effective training is never complete. Ongoing training remains an important part of any worker’s job, but, for front-line cleaners, it is essential. Arm your staff with tools like KaiTutor so they can perform better and feel empowered.

Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines. Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.
Amy Milshtein
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