Each year in May, since 1999, the Campaign for Learning has been running Learning at Work Week to build a strong learning culture at work, creating an inclusive approach and encouraging the extension of training to all employees within the organisation.
Taking learning and development to the next level
Benjamin Franklin once said: “An Investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” and Principle Cleaning Services has been investing its resources in some key areas to take its learning and development programme to the next level for its employees and clients.
The company has always believed in the value of providing quality training for staff, and that the benefits of well-trained cleaning staff should never be overlooked. This reaps huge rewards in several important areas:
Being creative and making training accessible
However, during this year’s Learning at Work Week, employers are being encouraged to be ‘curious and creative’ and Principle Cleaning Services is pleased to share how it is continuing to think creatively around the area of learning and development, using digital and latest technology to make training accessible, timely, relevant and responsive to the needs of front-line cleaning staff.
Using technology to overcome the barriers to training
Amy Gentles-McKie, who has recently been appointed to the company’s new role of Employee Development Manager explains: “It’s vital in the cleaning industry that people fully understand not only what they need to do but why they need to do it. And one of the biggest challenges we face in the cleaning industry, when trying to do this, is that, English is not the first language for many employees.”
This is a particularly important for Principle Cleaning Services which provides cleaning services to some of the most iconic, successful and busiest working environments in London. In the last census, carried out in the UK, 22 per cent, or nearly 2 million residents, used a main language other than English, and this numbers is growing.
“We are increasingly seeing the use of live video streaming and webinars being used in training and see this as our avenue to being innovative in delivering training materials within our field. We also want to explore how we can use virtual technology,” says Gentles-McKie.
“And in cleaning, of course, people don’t work the usual nine-to-five. They are on site to meet the needs of the client, often very early in the morning, or late at night. So it’s about balance. We want to make sure that employees working in these situations have as much opportunity and as much access to training as all other staff members.”
Investing in people
Principle Cleaning Services has made a major investment in new software, moving away from Microsoft to the technological accessibility and mobility of Google features. This software not only enables the company to share best practice across the business and to create a strong audit trail, but provides employees with connectivity anywhere and through any device. The company will be increasingly using the technology to join up with hard to reach operations staff and to provide an alternative to the traditional face-to-face, at-a-desk training methods.
“As people move up the company chain trends are showing that the approach to learning is more ‘as and when we need it’ over prescribed training programmes,”says Gentles-McKie. “We want our training for cleaning staff to be feed-back focused too, we want them to let us know what training is important and necessary to them, and we want to respond to this, as well as reacting to the needs of the business.”
Managing Director Peter Smith added: “We’re committed to investing in our people right across the business. This clearly demonstrates to our cleaning staff that, as well as helping them to do a good job by increasing their confidence and professionalism, we value them. They are important and their job satisfaction and development are key to maintaining a positive brand for Principle Cleaning Services and for creating a positive customer experience.”