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Contributed by Kaivac.

Proper training is crucial in the cleaning industry. Not only do workers learn how to perform their cleaning tasks most effectively and safely, but the time and investment in training also tends to reduce turnover, which is an ongoing problem in the industry.

However, not all training methods are created equal. Based on research by the National Training Institute (NTL), which analyzes different training methods, there is a "cone of learning" that cleaning trainers should be aware of.

With some training methods, students remember only about five percent of what they have just been taught. With the cone of learning methods, they retain as much as 90 percent.

According to Matt Morrison with Kaivac, these are the three most effective ways to teach cleaning professionals based on the cone of training concept:

1.   Teaching Others. Once a worker has mastered a task, by training other workers the same task, they can retain about 90 percent of what they have been taught. "This is often referred to as peer tutoring," says Morrison. "Each time the worker teaches someone else, they are refreshing their own memory."

2.   Play, Pause, Practice. This typically refers to watching videos. "Practice by doing makes the material more personal and understandable. Plus, if the worker can play a video, pause the video, and then practice the task on the video, the NTL says they can retain 75 percent of what they have just been taught."

3.   Cooperative Learning. This type of learning is a group training process usually performed in a classroom. A group of custodial workers, for instance, would be taught how to perform a specific task. Then they practice the task within the group. The NTL reports this stimulates learning, and workers remember about 50 percent of what they have been taught.

"The least effective way to teach is with lectures," adds Morrison. "Only about five percent of what we learn is retained, and because English is a second language for so many cleaning workers, this figure may even be lower."