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Tuesday, September 01, 2015


Can you give me an example of "Best Practices" ways to present on-going cleaning & training that are easy for a staff from different backgrounds to understand?


I’m not sure what you are targeting, but I’ll try.
The usually recommended teaching (training) practice is to:
1) Explain the procedure or operation
2) Demonstrate the procedure
3) Have the student explain and demonstrate the same
4) Offer any correction or adjustment necessary.
5) Have student repeat until the operation is performed correctly.
Now, when you do this you will be amazed at what you see. We assume some of our basic operations, mopping, dusting, vacuuming, etc. are so simple and straightforward that everyone will readily grasp them and quickly perfect the technique. Don’t be too sure.
One woman I trained (who quit the same afternoon) took almost a half-hour to learn how to turn over a floor mop properly. The poor thing just could not manage to turn over a mop handle.
Setting vacuum cleaners to the proper height for the pile presents a challenge to some. Others never develop the habit of systematic observation of all room surfaces, and readily begin to skip things that need attention. Even the simple task of coiling the vac cord starting at the machine (so the cord untangles) is difficult for some to grasp (pun intended).
On-going training, then, means observing your workers, spotting the bad habits, following the above training steps, and most important, staying with the cleaner to see that the new habit is being developed. That means that you can’t leave after watching the operation performed once or twice. I read somewhere that a habit isn’t fully formed until after 21 days of repetitions. True or not, it will take some time to break the old and ineffective habits and establish the new and best ones.
In dealing with those with different backgrounds, the above teaching sequence should be effective, even with language concerns. If you are training in blemish identification (indication cleaning), it isn’t hard to show the student “dust”, demonstrate its complete removal, have the student ID and remove dust completely from another surface, appraise the technique, and move on to “grit”, etc.
The key is to remember that systematic, indication-based cleaning is not a simple-minded process and that new cleaners are not going to instinctively know anything about proper cleaning procedures. Too many of our workers are handed building keys, shown the mop closet, and told “See you later”. That is a big mistake, because none of them are likely to have developed good soil detection and cleaning skills from playing video games or watching janitors portrayed on TV.
A good resource for the basics is at Google listing #3 when searching “Indication Cleaning”:
Section V reviews the basic indicators and provides you a basis for training.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor