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, less likely to hop to other jobs and great ambassadors for their company.
But until now standard training methods were expensive, time consuming and ineffectual.
Workers can only take in a limited amount of information during a single, person-to-person training session. Without retraining that information is lost and best practices break down. Workers are discouraged, output is diminished, customers are unhappy and business owners are frustrated.
‘You can purchase all the fancy new machines, robots, rider scrubbers, No-Touch restroom cleaning machines, or whatever machines, but if the worker is not properly trained, those machines will sit in the janitor’s collecting dust,’ laments 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 as 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, happens 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. Best practices are forgotten and workers 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 was amazing!’
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, there is always tricks, every time.’ 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 a Personal Video Trainer 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 the Personal Video Trainer 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 improves 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 Personal Video Trainers,’ says Robinson Sr. ‘It’s a win, win, win.’
Click here to learn more about how Personal Video Trainers can improve your business.