A reader comments: "We have decided to hire an outside trainer to conduct workshops on floor care and other custodial tasks. How do we get the best value from this investment?"

Training is an investment for not only your employees, but the future of your company. Based on the size and structure of your company, bringing in an outside trainer is a wise move at this time. Although some members of your staff have skills in different areas, none seem to have all the skill sets as well as experience to conduct training in a timely manner. The decision to bring in an outside trainer was partly based on the desire to go to the next level and become nationally certified within the next six months. Acquiring this type certification can set your company apart from others in your area as well as give you a better handle on managing your bottom line.

One of the first things you should do is to establish metrics to measure progress in this endeavor. Such metrics should include productivity (square feet per hour) for different types of accounts as well as total valid complaints for a period of time (week/month/quarter). Other metrics to consider might be your supply consumption costs, staff turnover and any other number that can help you gauge progress as you initiate training and the certification process.

One of the key elements of the certification process is to standardize systems including training, equipment, supplies and other elements that can have a serious impact on your bottom line. Of these, training all staff to the same outcomes has some major benefits. Not only can there be labor savings and increases in productivity but also savings in lost hours due to injuries and overtime.

We will continue these thoughts in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net