Home' Inclean NZ : INCLEAN NZ Aug 2017 Contents 10 INCLEANNZ August 2017
Despite the advancements of new
technologies transforming the cleaning
sector, cleaning remains a people-centric
industry, with frontline staff critical to an
However due to the industry's intensive
nature a universal challenge remains staff
retention. According to UK-based OCS
Group CEO Peter Slator it all comes down
to getting the basics right.
"One of the things that is prevalent
globally in cleaning is how diffcult it is to
retain quality staff in the frontline," Slator
told INCLEAN NZ. "[High turnover] is the
nature of the cleaning industry but if we
can improve retention rates we'll be able to
provide a better service to our customers.
"It's incumbent throughout all our markets
all over the world to develop far better
employee propositions to engage our workers
better in order to retain them. If we can do
that, then we can provide a better quality
service to our customers. But in order to do
that we have to get the basics right.
"We have to make sure that the right people
are joining the business. We have to keep staff
engaged and we have to provide recognition,
as well as reward, when they do a great job.
It all sounds very basic but so many times so
many industries don't get it right."
Part of improving staff engagement
is through innovation. At the time of
publication, OCS was preparing for the pilot
launch of its new e-learning platform in
selected markets ahead of a global roll out.
The platform enables staff to access OCS'
learning packages via their smartphone or
tablet as well as enable employees to capture
and access real-time information such as
OCS goes back to basics
During a recent trip to New Zealand, OCS Group CEO Peter Slator spoke with INCLEAN NZ editor Claire
Hibbit about how OCS is fostering staff engagement and innovation to curb a universal
challenge in the cleaning industry.
colleague requests, task specifcations and
"The technology trends that we're seeing
is leading us to invest in the capability of
providing more real-time information that
is of value to the customer and helps them
better understand the services we're providing,
the requests they're making and how their
assets are being managed," Slator said.
"We're beginning to pilot different
opportunities in different markets and I
think both New Zealand and Australia are
great places for us to bring our innovation.
This [e-learning platform] is really going
to change our ability to communicate
information to the frontline of the business."
But while new technologies are being steadily
adopted by the industry worldwide, Slator
insists robotics won't replace cleaners any
time soon, instead he anticipates to see what
he describes as "role blurring".
"There are environments where robotics
are feasible, and we have some customers in
some environments that could use it, but I
think there's a lot of practical circumstances
that get in the way of evolutions being truly
effective," he said.
“Today, if you just think of a cleaner as just
a cleaner then you've completely missed the
point. They provide much more than that.
They provide a service to the customer and
to our customer's customer.
"If [a cleaner] is working at the airport
cleaning and they see a passenger who's
struggling with their luggage we want them
to go up to them and help that passenger. We
are there to refect the facility and the values
of the facility's management.
"We'll soon see role blurring like this
in cleaning industry. Cleaners in many
environments will be doing far more than
just pushing a mop and making sure there’s
no dust or no dirt around."
On home soil OCS NZ is leading the
charge with its electric vehicle initiative
-- part of a wider strategy to become the
most sustainable cleaning business by 2020.
"I think we can learn from a lot of things
that are starting to happening here in New
Zealand," said Slator of the initiative.
OCS is trusted by more than 70,000
clients around the globe to deliver essential
and sustainable facilities management
services, with Slator highlighting Asia,
Australia and NZ as major growth markets.
"Even though they are developed markets,
they are terrifc growth opportunities for
us. We just have to make sure that we
don't try and grow everywhere -- it's about
"We're in a strong market position in NZ
and we see the opportunity to not only
further develop our cleaning services but
to also bundle services. They're services we
haven't been leveraging with our existing
customer base -- that's where we see a lot of
growth opportunities at the moment."
"If you just think of a
cleaner as just a cleaner
then you've completely
missed the point. They
provide much more than
that. They provide a
service to the customer
and to our customer's
Peter Slator with longservicing OCS cleaner Brian Dunn and OCS
NZ MD Gareth Marriott at the Massey University Albany Campus
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