How many times do we look at training for our staff, technicians or ourselves as an expense rather than an investment in the future of the company?
The familiar slogan that "training doesn''t cost, it pays" is plastered all over most company bulletin boards and break rooms, but do we really understand and pay attention to the message it sends?
Our employees are accustomed to learning skill sets from a young age through repetition and memorization, later by completing basic tasks and later still by lecture and theory evaluation.
Most of the adult training methods used by cleaning and maintenance trainers are a mixture of lecture and hands-on, which may not fit the learner''s requirements to retain the knowledge.
In many cleaning and maintenance companies, training is completed in the first days of employment, with little effort going back into the retention of skills or knowledge after the employee has had several months or years in the industry.
Some companies feel that the rest of the training will be facilitated during the employment phase of the employee''s lifespan with the company.
This type of thinking can be detrimental to the long-term success of the employee and the company.
Continuing training programs set a pattern deep into the company that skills are ever evolving as the industry changes.
It also creates a company culture that embraces a changing environment rather than fighting the necessary course adjustments called for in any business plan.
A continuous training program can also instill critical decision-making matrices for staff members that are highly trained and, therefore, skilled in the complete maintenance picture.
Not only should the company train staff members for all potential processes the company will use to produce revenue, but should also train executive staff or owners on new techniques for managing the company resources of land, labor, capital and time.
Just a few short years ago, company managers were managing how people existed in the workplace, with little outside intrusion of the world other than the telephone.
Today, the workplace has been inundated with outside interference from smart phones and Internet connections.
New management techniques need to be established, through training, to help design policies on how to use the technology available — without being overwhelmed by it.
Everyone needs to become aware of how training can also affect the ways our customers view the company.
Many of us would not trust a doctor who had no recent training since medical school.
I realize that cleaning and maintenance training may not be in the same mindset as medical training, but let''s not forget the viral-type infections or bacterial material that many cleaning professionals get near each and every day.
Simple training programs could be implemented to ensure that our professional staff is completely understanding of the potential exposure risks they face and are properly trained to make the critical decisions that keep themselves and the people for whom they clean safe.
All in all, training programs offer so much more than just the training itself.
Dane Gregory is the commercial sales manager for Bridgewater Corporation, which owns Interlink Supply. He works with commercial cleaners to help them build their businesses by adding services without a lot of additional cost. He also helps them with technical aspects of cleaning carpet, tile and grout and stone surfaces. Gregory instructs classes for each floor surface as well as the Commercial Cleaning Initiative, which covers all these floor surfaces. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.