26 Jul Here are some tips to help make learning easier for your staff
A team of skilled and knowledgeable cleaning staff are the life-blood of a cleaning business, in fact they are the business, everywhere they work they represent the brand and reputation of the cleaning business. Training is a powerful tool with which we can use to shape and mould cleaning staff into a model that best contributes to the overall success of the business. But, the perfect model doesn’t exist in the market, the mould has to be crafted and customised to by the cleaning company to fit the exact and unique operational and business situation. So, it pays to take training seriously, it equally pays to create your own internal training programme.
There are several benefits to creating your own internal training programmes, one of which has just been described – the ability to design tailored learning content, training sessions and practical learning experiences. Other benefits include significant cost savings, not just in trainers’ fees, but travel expenses and productivity losses, greater flexibility in scheduling training sessions, improved team building and continuous skills development.
However, while internal training has a great many benefits, it can be difficult to start the process of creating training programmes and to deliver. In terms of creating internal training programmes we can help you, in terms of delivering the training, we can train your people to becomes effective and self-sufficient trainers.
Here are some tips to help you make learning easier for your staff:
- Let your staff know in advance exactly what the objectives are (what you want them to be able to do or know) so they mentally prepare.
- Do not overload them with knowledge and information. Limit the amount of information given at any one time to prevent being swamped. Our brains will only take in so much information into our short term memory.
- Allow for regular breaks. The general rule of thumb is a 10 minute break after 1 hour of teaching. Breaks allow our brains time to process knowledge in our short term memory to our long term memory, making space to receive fresh knowledge
- Understand your participants physical and cognitive abilities and pace the training sessions to the slowest participant. Avoid mixing participants with very wide range of abilities in one training session, in this case the session will be too slow for some and too fast for others at the same time.
- Carefully pitch the level of training to match their abilities initially, increasing the degree of difficulty to slightly stretch their capabilities and understanding. If you teach topics that are too advanced their will become disillusioned and demotivated, if the topics are too simple, they will simply not take part.
- Combine new knowledge with relevant and appropriate existing knowledge and stress the association between the two. For example, teaching disinfection techniques will involve an understanding two separate cleaning tasks, wet cleaning a surface and applying disinfectant to that surface. Staff should already know how to clean a surface, but combining the two tasks together will help staff to learn how the two tasks are associated.
- Create a diverse range of activities and alternate to keep the sessions fresh, for example, group work, visual presentation, discuss sessions, problem solving, etc.
- Provide regular summaries of the content at key stages before moving on to a new topic.
- Consider involving participants to provide ideas in how and what they wish to learn. If you want to use training as a way to change attitudes and behaviour, allowing them the freedom to have an input will often produce less resistance to change.
- Putting the skills and knowledge into practice during the training sessions and as quickly as possible afterwards will result in greater retention of knowledge and greater interest in learning.
- Mistakes will be made when applying any new skill in practice. In order to ensure accurate retention of knowledge immediately after the training session, and to prevent bad habits from forming, it is a good idea to provide learning support during that initial phase.