The Town of Normal, Illinois, is anything but normal. From the historic Normal Theater to the iconic Children’s Discovery Museum, the town maintains several popular attractions thanks to its dedicated Facilities and Energy Management Department. The department oversees building operations and maintenance for 18 different municipality facilities to provide safe, clean, and welcoming environments for the town’s 54,000 residents.
In 2012, the department was outsourcing facility maintenance and decided to review its training program for custodial staff, which revealed several opportunities for improvement. To ensure its busiest, historic, and most challenging facilities received the same level of care and attention, the Town of Normal decided it was time for a new approach.
“We wanted to provide all employees with the same level of advanced knowledge, professionalism, and skills needed to succeed,” said Mark Clinch, director of facilities and energy management, Town of Normal. “Having previously outsourced facility maintenance, it was time to bring it all in-house and develop an updated and effective training program.”
To streamline operations and standardize processes across its municipality facilities, the Town of Normal implemented professional development training in 2012 with the help of ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and Green Building program (CIMS-GB).
CIMS was created “by the cleaning industry and for the cleaning industry” to support building service contractors, in-house cleaning service providers, and residential service providers. CIMS-GB adds a green cleaning and sustainability component, and helps organizations secure points toward the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
“CIMS-GB provided us with the framework to efficiently and effectively self-assess our operation objectively,” said Clinch. “As our department aligned itself with the new program, I witnessed continuous improvement among our staff, along with an increased understanding of the value of best practices.”
Over the past eight years, several different departments within the Town of Normal, including the police, parks and recreation, vocational training, and local school districts, have worked together to successfully implement CIMS-GB certification.
“Ultimately, the program has helped transform our team into world-class employees,” said Clinch. “Achieving certification validated the professional credibility of our staff and operations.”
With the CIMS-GB program in place, the Town of Normal realized numerous benefits, including:
- Stronger leadership. One of the most significant changes the department experienced was the immediate impact the CIMS-GB program had on servant leadership. The program helped train staff to become accountable and reliable by providing credible resources for problem solving and task implementation while at work.
- Improved quality control. The CIMS-GB program utilizes an app-based software that allows the Town of Normal to measure and report daily tasks, output, projects, and more. This provides valuable insight and performance metrics that the department can leverage to increase productivity. Having access to the program’s industry guidelines also allowed the Town of Normal to share best practices across departments, thereby transforming the municipality.
- Increased employee morale. The training program treats staff as professionals. This helps boost morale and reinforces employee success. By cultivating those relationships, the management team in the Town of Normal has built an increased level of trust among all of its staff members.
- Community appreciation. The certification program helped the Town of Normal establish credibility within the municipality, which resulted in increased appreciation from the community. For example, the training and certification program at Heartland Community College provides employees with 0.5 credit hours. Participating employees also receive honors.
“As a public servant, our goal is to provide tremendous service at a great value so resources can be invested to maximize the benefit to our community overall. Certification took us from philosophy to a tangible reality and the community has responded with an outpouring of praise,” added Clinch.
To learn more about ISSA’s Certifications and Standards, including CIMS and CIMS-GB, visit issa.com.