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Training / Staff / Management And Training
September 2013 Training Tips

The True Value Of Training And Development

The measurable benefits of training result from many factors including relevancy, timeliness and tracking.

September 10, 2013
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A comprehensive custodial training program brings measurable benefits to both your organization and its cleaning staff.

All organizations train their people, and most spend significant sums doing so.

Yet they generally don’t have any idea whether they’re getting any value from their training programs.

Training Goals

In order to properly select training options, units will need to consider the following targets.

Training must be relevant: If a training program is contemplated, then the level of the training must fit the employees’ needs for information.

Example, if your staff never cleans carpets then training for carpet cleaning probably is not the best use of your training time.

Training must be timely: For instance, the act of refreshing prior to application is wise.

One example, we always see that refresher training is performed before intersessions where project cleaning will be the focus.

Professional effort expected in presentation: Know your audience and prepare your material so that the students will obtain information and have maximum retention.

It is advisable to train a trainer to encourage this professionalism.

Be prepared to refresh and retrain as time passes between classes.

Training must be marketed: The training must be marketed throughout the greater organization.

Also, showing and tracking the authentic economic benefits should be celebrated.

Training should set up the foundation for assessment: The assessment goals should be based on success and setting expectations.

Training should fully define what a “good job” means.

Tracking of training benefits and improvements: The benefits and improvements in performance must be included in the training development package.

Here at Western Washington University, we have implemented not only an inspection and quality control program to ensure that training equals improved performance.

We have also instituted an SOP program to set benchmarks and standards for performance that are verifiable 

Particular Programs

At Western Washington University, our academic custodial services unit has used both an in-house prepared orientation training for new hires and temp employees as well as the widely recognized Cleaning Management Institute’s (CMI) Basic and Advanced certification programs.

In the past five years our department has trained and certified all of our 50-plus staff including supervisors, team leaders and line custodians in the CMI Basic Version 5.

We have also certified all of our team leaders and supervisors in the CMI Advanced Version 5 course.

This training module is composed of several interlocking tracks that expose our staff to formal curriculum style courses, refresher courses, equipment use certification and competency training.

We also provide specialty training on topics like water damage and restoration, emergency sewage recovery, personal safety and blood borne pathogen cleaning.

Training and staff development is a value added exercise and allows the building of a trust/reasonable expectation relationship between the worker and management.


Michael B. Smith is a cleaning educator, CMI Trainer and a quality control supervisor with Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

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