Home' Inclean NZ : INCLEAN NZ May 2018 Contents 18 INCLEANNZ May 2018
Training and communication are key
to engaging an ageing workforce,
explains Daniel Balas, national
account manager – Rubbermaid
Ask any environmental services manager about what keeps them
up at night and the answer will most likely be: keeping great staff !
Employee engagement, safety and retention are top of mind for any
business where turnover is high and staff prefer to simply leave rather
than voice concerns to supervisors.
In the cleaning sector, the work is physically demanding and
employees are especially susceptible to repetitive strain injuries. It’s
a sector where many workers are older than the average worker and
speak English as a second language.
To avoid injury, organisations are now investing in new, more
ergonomic and safer technology that make a huge difference. But
training about safe practices is fundamental so staff know how they
can avoid injuring themselves and use equipment correctly.
Investing in your staff means more than providing the basics.
People feel valued when they are part of the organisation’s success
and can see the efforts to provide the best tools, training, support and
ongoing feedback. For older employees and those from culturally
and linguistically diverse backgrounds, it’s important to find ways to
connect and communicate appropriately and effectively.
When it comes to training, older employees are more likely to engage in
a face-to-face education style, visuals with demonstrations or a hands-on
approach. A digital training model may suit people in remote locations or
people who are confident with a smartphone or digital device.
The intangible advantage that comes with taking time to show
someone how to operate a new piece of equipment or step them
through a new process is priceless – people know they are valued and
can see the investment being made to ensure they are up-to-speed.
The commercial cleaning sector has an ageing workforce.
Empowering an ageing workforce needs to be sensitive to the
generational and cultural expectations of people who grew up before
the digital age accelerated and technology became commonplace
and second nature. Everyone learns differently, so training needs to
be flexible to match the end user’s learning style. Not everyone is
comfortable with a digital online style of training and communication.
To fully support change, people need meaningful infor mation,
hands-on training, user manuals, quick reference guides, high
touch point posters and time to adapt that aid the transition to new
technology. A genuine and dedicated focus on developing confidence
through appropriate and ongoing education is vital.
Everyone needs time to become confident and comfortable with a
new way of working. Whether it’s a new IT system or a new cleaning
system, changing the way people work and the steps involved can be
met with resistance and create challenges for an organisation in terms
of productivity, costs and team morale.
Reviewing programmes at regular intervals plays a critical part in
staff training, they help you recognise and value your team members
creating a culture of open communications. Outcomes of effective
performance reviews are beneficial for both staff and business. Also,
considering staff feedback, setting up goals and agreeing on outcomes
will show organisation’s commitment to meet staff needs.
Workforce acceptance and confidence is crucial otherwise the
business goals of workforce productivity, increased cleaning
efficacy, lower water usage and improved WHS outcomes cannot
be fully realised.
Providing all stakeholders with effective and meaningful training
can be the difference between success and failure for a new system
implementation. Education and training should be a top priority and
an ongoing process, not a one-off ‘set and forget’ task. When staff are
engaged, confident and comfortable with a process improvement, the
facility will reap the rewards.
This article first appeared in INCLEAN Australia magazine
“For older employees and those
from culturally and linguistically
diverse backgrounds, it’s
important to find ways to connect
and communicate appropriately
Links Archive INCLEAN NZ Feb 2018 Navigation Previous Page Next Page