man scrubbing lobby floor with equipment

Low-cost janitorial providers think cleaning is too simple to devote much time to employee training. They may have a new employee shadow someone for a day, and from there, they’re on their own. It’s one of the valid criticisms that is often made about janitorial outsourcing. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Service workers, supervisors, and managers should be well versed in their job duties, facility-specific protocols, safety, and customer service. Your facility service provider should have a documented training program that covers a wide range of topics – from protective equipment to chemical usage.

Make sure that your facility maintenance provider fully trains new employees and also provides ongoing training to keep their employees up-to-date on the proper ways to use equipment and chemicals. Ask prospective providers the following questions to gauge their commitment to training: Do they provide facility-specific training, or just general instruction? Is training done only in the classroom or are there onsite courses as well? Are instructions available in multiple languages, and are they easy to follow? Do they have partnerships with equipment/product manufacturers and industry organizations to provide additional employee training? And finally, do they document and keep records of the training their employees receive?

Prospective providers should also be able to provide documentation of training materials, as well as their processes for documentation. Quality-oriented janitorial services start with strong training programs. And that is dependent upon expertise. When you work with a janitorial provider that recognizes this, they’ll provide their employees with training that makes a difference in service quality.

Alan France, CS-P, CSR-P, is Vice President of Quality and Sustainability at ABM Industries. He has been with ABM for 19 years. Prior to this year, Alan served as the Director of Sustainability, Environmental Services. In this role Alan was responsible for the oversight and the operational deployment of ABM GreenCare and worked closely with new and existing customers to implement and maintain our sustainable service programs. Alan worked with ABM's suppliers to ensure their newest products and innovations are introduced to the ABM GreenCare program.