Hiring, Training & Rewarding Employees During COVID-19 (and Beyond)

A discussion with 3 industry leaders

By Vickie Holland

We recently had a round robin discussion with three Jan-San industry leaders. We asked them to weigh in on hiring, training and rewarding employees. We also asked how COVID-19 is changing these processes. Not surprisingly, there was some interesting overlap on the responses. The comments below have been lightly edited for clarity.

What changes are needed in your hiring process during COVID-19

Joseph Patrick Gaither (JPG):  Prior to the outbreak we had been moving to a paperless process and other than the in-person interview had successfully transitioned the process to be online. Moving forward we will conduct all interviews online. Although we feel that you lose some of the personal touch with this approach it is necessary to ensure the safety of our staff.

Melissa Usher (MU):  Arthur Jackson had to make a quick transition in becoming more remote and electronically accessible to our new incoming talent. Pre-COVID, our corporate recruiter would partner with management to hold in-person interviews either at the corporate office or in our client buildings. We would facilitate at least 2 large in-person new hire orientations at the corporate office. We no longer hold new hire orientation in-person. We had to move our interview process to over the phone or Zoom calls. New hire orientation paperwork has moved to DocuSign.

Judy David (JD) We are currently in a hiring freeze.  If we do get permission to hire, we will do screenings online, but in-person interviews will be with just a couple of people, as opposed to the panel style we typically use.   We’ll have to social distance and wear masks throughout.  We’ll also try to make it as paperless as possible. Right now, my focus is more on delivering the necessary disinfection with our current staff.

What are the 3 traits you look for when hiring new custodians?

JD: Some important traits to look for include strong work ethic, dependability, positive attitude and willingness to learn.

JPG: The three traits I value most are #1-Dependability: sustained employment, the ability to maintain professional employment, #2 Work ethic: understanding why we are all here- this is usually a topic of discussion during the work history conversation and #3- Genuine: someone that is honest or sincere. Nobody in our profession is perfect. I look for a staff member that can recognize an issue and engage in problem solving or solutions. But that won’t happen unless we can recognize issues and have that dialogue. I prefer a candidate that is genuine and not constantly trying to sell themselves.

MU: The traits we look for in any new custodian would be attitude/personality, work ethic and work history.

How do you keep your employees motivated?

MU: Motivation starts with the manager or supervisor at the work site. They get to know each of their employees and what makes them tick. They empower their employees by allowing them to have responsibility and flexibility over their day to day tasks. Our managers reward a job well done with pizza parties (as one example). 

JD: I have been known to sometimes dress in costume to motivate our team. I try to make it fun, no pride! Food is also a great motivator! Team breakfasts are great. I had a past program where I hid a note in an area to be cleaned. First custodian to find the note won “Lunch with Judy”. I loved this reward because I was able to sit down and have a quiet one on one chat with an employee and really get to know them. Handwritten thank you notes go a long way. We also like to reward and recognize employees with a leadership position.

JPG: Positive reinforcement! If you don’t recognize the behavior you want, you will get the behavior you recognize. We also do a lot of little things throughout the course of the year to celebrate milestones or recognize a job well done with lunches or water ice in the summer. Honestly the best practice is to be approachable and accessible to the staff, every day. When you walk the buildings always recognize your team members, compliment their work, thank them for showing up every day and doing a good job. Take 2 minutes out of your day to talk with them and see how they are doing, that small recognition and appreciation really goes a long way.

Any suggestions for Employee Safety during COVID-19?

MU: Be mindful of your PPE (do not wear your mask below your nose or on your chin), keep up on your hand washing hygiene, keep your distance, if sick, stay home. We are so focused on COVID that many employees are forgetting their other safety training. I highly recommend sending out safety tips and self-care reminders to your managers and front-line employees.

JPG:  We have been preaching universal precautions since the beginning of the outbreak. A great deal of the information related to the pandemic has been fluid, so early on we tried to prepare with an overabundance of caution. The advice I give to our staff is to treat their PPE as an essential tool necessary to perform their job, like a broom or a microfiber rag. PPE has always been essential to our organization, but in the last six months there is a greater focus and expectation from our employees and customers that we have been engaged in almost daily.

JD:  Wear your masks, don’t touch your face and wash your hands.  Wash them every time you take your gloves off.  Wash them before you take a break.  Wash them at the end of your shift.  Wash them because you pass a sink.  Universal precautions are as important now as ever.  If we don’t stay healthy, how can we keep everyone else healthy?  Also, did I mention you should wash your hands?

Imperial Dade offers free training programs to customers. Contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit http://www.imperialdade.com for a location near you.

Restaurant Reopening Guidelines

By Vickie Holland

On a Zoom call last weekend my friends were talking about what they miss most during the “Stay at Home” order. The #1 answer was going to a restaurant! Thankfully most of the restaurants in our area have pivoted to curbside pick-up but that doesn’t take the place of sitting down in a beautiful restaurant while someone brings you a plate of delicious grilled red snapper on a bed of quinoa topped with a tropical fruit salsa. Or an order of jerk chicken wings (flats only) well done.

Once the “Stay at Home” order has been lifted, is your restaurant ready for customers? The National Restaurant Association has published this handy comprehensive reopening guide to help you get ready. Take the time to read it carefully. In addition, Imperial Dade’s HyProtection Zone consultation is available. This complimentary service includes a site survey, product recommendations, and review of best practices addressing disinfection and hygiene.

Here are our 10 favorite reopening guidelines:

  1. Check in with all employees’ well-being. They may have lost a loved one or experienced anxiety, loneliness or depression during quarantine.
  2. Instruct sick employees to stay home. Prescreen employees on arrival for signs of COVID-19 by taking their temperature.
  3. Enforce strict hand hygiene. Prompt reminders with posters on best practices.
  4. Develop a strong SOP for cleaning and sanitizing surfaces. Check that your disinfectant is EPA registered and appropriate for use against SARS-CoV-2.
  5. Train employees on the new, more detailed disinfecting and sanitizing practices.
  6. Follow the 4 steps of Food Safety: Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill
  7. Consider rolling silverware and eliminate table presets.
  8. Provide hand sanitizer for customers and employees.
  9. Use single-service gloves, deli tissue or suitable utensils.
  10. Consider a reservation only business model to better space diners.

Employees should be aware of the steps you have made to protect them from COVID-19. Ask employees for feedback on these changes and listen to suggestions. Employees often have creative solutions.

For more information on restaurant reopening guidelines, disinfectants, or COVID-19 prevention in the workplace contact your local branch today and ask to speak to a chemical specialist. Visit www.imperialdade.com/locations to find a location near you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Steps to Going Green!

By Vickie Holland

You may have been told to “green” your facility or “We’re going green”.  This may have immediately raised questions for you, your staff, and your customers. Where do we start? What will this cost? When does this happen? How do we know if we missed anything?

Our Greensafe Program is designed to help you understand what “going green” really means and where to start.

10 Steps to Going Green

  • Conserve Energy: Turn off computers, lights, and printers when not in use. Use LED light bulbs.
  • Implement a Comprehensive Recycling Program: Place recycling containers for ease of recycling paper, plastics, and other materials.
  • Reduce Waste: Print less paper by going digital. Conserve water.
  • Use Green Cleaning Products: Switch to third-party certified green chemicals. If possible, use a dilution control system which reduces waste.
  • Use Sustainable Cleaning Tools: Microfiber mops and dusters reduce chemical use.
  • Use Proper Matting: Control soiling near the building entrances saves time and money and protects your floors.
  • Use Green Cleaning Equipment: Select CRI certified vacuum cleaners with optimal filtration to provide best indoor air quality.
  • Use Green Towels and Tissue: Switch to  third-party certified green products.
  • Use Green Trash Liners: Proper sizing reduces waste and save money. Use liners with third-party certification.
  • Train Employees: Train employees on proper equipment use and correct cleaning procedures to reduce cost and improve safety.

If you need to meet the requirements of LEED Certification, we can help. If you need to switch your entire program tomorrow or take the first step, we can help.

Please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit our website to learn more about the following services:

  • Greensafe cleaning program including site surveys, consultation, and product selection
  • Cleaning chemical dilution-control systems with third-party certified products
  • EcoLogo, Safer Choice, Green Seal, UL Certified, and EPA Compliant product offerings from major manufacturers
  • Carpet & Rug Institute Green Label Certified equipment from major equipment manufacturers
  • Complete custodial green cleaning training programs

Designing a G.O.A.T. – How to Achieve a Best-in-Class Team

By Vickie Holland

Selecting a G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) is one of my favorite things to debate with my husband. We use the term “G.O.A.T” to argue and defend our favorite movies (Ocean’s 11- his pick), football players (Peyton Manning- my pick), or football team (’85 Bears- DUH!).

You may disagree with us on any of these except for the ’85 Bears. They were amazing! They excelled in both defense (64 sacks in a season) and the exciting pairing of Payton/McMahon. Even this Eagles fan must hand them the title of G.O.A.T.

What if your work team was measured up against other teams? Would you consider your team the G.O.A.T. or still a KID (aka baby goat)? With a little direction you could have the G.O.A.T. team.  Here are 4 steps to help you achieve your best in class team.

#1- HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE

In Ocean’s 11, Brad Pitt and George Clooney put together a team to simultaneously rip off 3 Vegas casinos. Their team includes a pickpocket, a computer hacker, and an acrobat. By selecting team members with different but needed skill sets they were successful. When hiring, look for people who bring new talents and skills to your team. If you have a team that is afraid to embrace technology hire a new person that loves to learn new things. If your team works quickly but often misses key things, hire someone who pays attention to details.

#2- CREATE A POSITIVE CULTURE

As I said, I am wild about Peyton Manning. His ability to lead 2 different teams to Super Bowl Championships proves he brings a winning attitude to all situations. As a leader, do you have a positive attitude? Do you encourage teamwork? How does your team describe you? Fun? Fair? Organized? Respectful? A positive culture starts at the top and trickles down. Lead by example and be mindful of any bullying.

#3- CONTINUOUS TRAINING

Does your training program stop a few weeks after hiring? Professional athletes know the importance in keeping their skills sharp (Spring Training/Preseason Camps). Are new employees the only team members receiving any training? Continuing to train and develop your employees has many benefits including lower turnover rate and reduced your overall costs. Training increases learning. It is also a great way for your team to adopt new methods or technology. Continuous training shows your team you’re invested in their success.

#4- REWARD & RECOGNITION

Recognizing the good work of employees is the easiest way to acknowledge their value and show respect.  It will not only make their day it will make you feel good too! Having an employee recognition program in place is a great reward! Recognize people on their milestone work anniversary and their birthday to show your appreciation. Employees who feel appreciated and know they are being acknowledged perform better.

A simple “thank you” can go a long way and is free! Who doesn’t like positive feedback and reinforcement of a job “well done”?

 Imperial Dade also offers free training programs to customers. Contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit http://www.imperialdade.com for a location near you.

Great Training Leads to Janitor Pride

By Jennifer Jaworski

Have you thought about the impact a janitor has on a building? Properly trained janitors keep your occupants and visitors healthy with the work they do. Producing a successful cleaning operation starts with the supervisor and/or trainer. This is where your janitorial staff looks for guidance and leadership within their position. Here are some ideas to increase janitor pride in your workplace.

Properly Train Janitors

It’s important to take enough time to train correctly, including explaining all safety precautions. Give examples and answer all questions when they arise. We all know training can become repetitive and unexciting – find ways to make it interactive and fun. Additional materials should be available for staff to review on their own.

Promote Green Cleaning

The key to green cleaning success is training your janitorial staff to use effective cleaning methods that reduce environmental impact and promote sustainability. By including various resources that combine traditional approaches with new tools and practices, you can ensure that janitorial operations will be effective. Green cleaning products have also been proven to be safer for your janitors as they have fewer chemical sensitivities.

Improve Productivity

Building strong staff skills doesn’t stop after your training programs are complete. Encourage janitors to continue developing their expertise and show your appreciation for those who shine in their work. Trainers can increase the self-esteem of their janitors, leading to the improvement of cleaning quality and productivity.

Imperial Dade can help you design a training program for your cleaning staff. Contact your representative today or visit us at http://www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you. 

 

 

6 Benefits of an Ongoing Training & Development Program

By Vickie Holland

The need to train new employees is obvious. New employees need to learn your company’s procedures and policies. Does your training program stop a few weeks after hiring? Are new employees the only team members receiving any training? Continuing to train and develop your employees has many benefits including lower turnover rate and reducing your overall costs.

We pulled together this list on why establishing an on-going training and development program for your team is important to both you and your employees.

    1. REDUCES EMPLOYEE TURNOVER   A recent survey by SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) states the average cost per hire for a company is $4,129 and it takes 42 days to fill an open position. Investing in employee training makes the employee feel valued. Valued employees are happier, tend to contribute more and are less likely to look elsewhere for employment.
    2. REDUCES OVERALL COSTS In addition to saving on hiring costs, training promotes consistency throughout the organization leading to increases in efficiency and improved performance.
    3. IMPROVES PERFORMANCE Training increases learning. This is a great way for your team to adopt new methods or technology.
    4. PROMOTES TEAMWORK Cross-training skills across your staff helps when employees are absent or on vacation. Consistency across your team leads to teamwork, improved performance and cost reduction.
    5. INCREASES JOB SATISFACTION Investing in employee’s professional growth keeps employees engaged and motivated.
    6. IMPROVES SAFETY AND WELLNESS Establishing correct procedures, creating awareness and confirming all employees are following your standards will promote safety throughout your organization. Proper techniques, such as correct procedure on lifting heavy objects or wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) will help ensure employee well-being. 

Good companies have good employees. Exceptional companies have well trained employees.

A WELL TRAINED STAFF IMPROVES CUSTOMER SATISFACTION!

Imperial Dade also offers free training programs to customers. Contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant or visit http://www.imperialdade.com for a location near you.