KaiTutor: The Cleaning Industry’s Most Effective Way to Train

by | Feb 14, 2020

Training and turnover: the two greatest challenges facing the cleaning industry today. Together, they form a vicious cycle that keeps business owners from making the productivity and quality gains that will help them grow. A well-trained worker takes pride in their work. They’re confident experts in the field and great ambassadors for their company. But, until now, standard training methods were expensive, time consuming, and ineffectual. That’s why Kaivac introduced KaiTutor.

Workers can only take in a limited amount of information during a single, person-to-person training session. Without retraining, workers lose that information and best practices break down. It discourages workers, diminishes output, makes customers unhappy, and frustrates business owners.

“You can purchase all the fancy new machines: robots, rider scrubbers, No-Touch Cleaning systems, or whatever machines. However, if the worker is not properly trained, those machines will sit in the janitor’s closet collecting dust,” said Bob Robinson, Sr., CEO, Kaivac. “That’s the reason that the mop and bucket still exist in almost every building in the world.”

Robinson realized there had to be a better way to train.

The Trouble with Training

Research shows traditional training methods: classroom lectures, reading manuals, and watching videos often fail. Students only retain about 20% of the presented information. Even adding a demonstration by an expert only bumps the retention rate to 30%.

The best results, according to the same research, happen on the job. Practicing skills by doing them in the field results in higher retention rates, around 70%, and increased worker confidence.

“We are engaging four of five senses,” explains Robinson, Sr. “Muscle memory kicks in. Do it enough, it becomes automatic or subconscious.”

Yet even this person-to-person method has its problems.

Robinson, Sr. compares it to a game of telephone where information is passed from manufacturer to trainers to sales reps to another level of trainers before finally reaching the worker. Things get a little mixed up along the way.

It’s also expensive, time consuming, and difficult to schedule at multiple locations or for the third shift. Once a worker misses the training session, they’ve missed their opportunity to learn. Even if they could attend, a one-and-done training session leaves no opportunity to refresh their learning. Workers forget best practices and go back to ineffective processes.

YouTube Inspires a Better Way

Robinson Sr. recalled using YouTube videos to teach himself how to maintain his new, complicated firearm.

“The manual was terrible and I’m an engineer,” he says with a laugh. But after 30 minutes of watching, pausing and rewatching a video, he mastered the task. It also got him thinking how this experience could improve cleaning training for everyone.

“With a personal video trainer, you can catch the best experts on video and use the best practices and most precise language to communicate the correct message and show the tricks.”

Having the right information on demand stops the telephone game and turns workers into experts.

KaiTutor: The Training Solution That’s Always There

The KaiTutor personal video trainer uses a play-pause-practice method to make training easy, accessible, and inexpensive. In-house testing revealed just how effective the method is.

Six employees who never operated any cleaning machines were tasked with maintaining a six-fixture restroom. Cleaning time dropped after each session with KaiTutor while confidence rose.

By the fifth play-pause-practice session, the newbies were cleaning like fully-trained professionals.

  • Task time dropped from 66 minutes to 11
  • Employee confidence rose from ‘somewhat confident’ to ‘extremely confident’
  • Training took less than half a day per worker

“I was so impressed we began making KaiTutor standard on each of our machines,” says Robinson Sr. Today there are approximately 10,000 units in the field loaded with training and maintenance information, troubleshooting facts, and custom messaging.

The units let workers learn at their own pace and while its visual presentation overcomes language barriers. Training is consistent, and touchscreen technology makes operation intuitive. Worker pride, confidence, and morale improve along with productivity and quality of work.

Increased profits can also lead to increased wages and less turnover.

“I believe the cleaning industry can greatly benefit from KaiTutor,” says Robinson Sr. “It’s a win, win, win.”

Click here to learn more about how KaiTutor can improve cleaning.

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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