A reader writes: “I only hire experienced janitors who already know how to clean. This saves me time and money. Your opinion is appreciated.”

This seems to be a recurring question and my position remains the same. You need to invest in training to the level of certification to maximize the return on investment you have in your custodial staff. There are different levels of training and certification that may be required or in some cases, unnecessary for particular positions and functions. For instance, if Bill is only going to clean office spaces, he may not need to be trained in stripping floors since that could be a waste of training time. On the other hand, he should be trained to the point of certification (passing a verbal or written test combined with hands on experience) to maximize his abilities.

If I understand your position you interview a new hire and ask them if they have any cleaning or custodial experience. If they answer yes, then you hire them. My concern is that an applicant may have ten, twenty or more years experience in doing it the WRONG WAY! Although you may defer to someone with prior experience, the only way to verify their capabilities is to evaluate them as to knowledge and skill sets. Why not go the extra step and orient them on the XYZ Way of cleaning that will include product (equipment, tools, chemicals) of cleaning so that there is less confusion and hopefully better productivity?

Many of the major manufacturers and distributors provide training in their product lines which means that when you purchase from them you get value due to their providing not only technical assistance but also training to the point of certification. Please consider taking advantage of what you may already be paying for but not utilizing to your benefit.

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.