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informal but well-managed process, consisting of meeting and talking with new colleagues, watching activities and asking questions. From employee feedback, we have found new team members feel the benefits of a good programme, becoming a more settled employee. This seems to be a more effective response to training, which internally leads to lower labour turnover and improved industrial relations.

Staffing is a vital asset to any industry or sector; the contract cleaning sector is no exception. The sector has a reputation for high staff turnover, statistics suggest there is a 70% annual turnover of staff within the industry, something that I think can be reduced using the correct methods of staff motivation and engagement.

Now, I do think some level of staff turnover is healthy for a business as it provides ‘fresh blood’ and a new employee can be more productive and effective. However, the level of turnover needs to be monitored and controlled. Too high a turnover rate leads to an unproductive and un-cohesive work force.

Within contract cleaning, organisations employ huge numbers of staff, so it is essential that procedures are in place to manage recruitment and productivity. To ensure the correct candidate is selected, systems should be effective, efficient and fair.

One of the key methods of ensuring staff retention is to begin with a thorough induction programme, to help welcome and settle staff. Within Hotelcare, the programme is an

Career development simulates staff, provides scope for improvement and training, which will help to ensure staff work to the best of their ability. By periodically carrying out staff reviews or appraisals, management can recognise and reward achievements, which can be an important incentive to staff enjoyment and satisfaction levels. It also allows staff to plan their future development within the organisation and know how they can progress themselves. Action plans can also be developed for each member of staff.

At Hotelcare, cleaning staff are encouraged to take Housekeeping NVQ courses which have proved very successful throughout 2010. By ensuring that staff are adequately trained for their role is important for not just effective work but also for learning health and safety rules and fire regulations that are essential.

Training shouldn’t stop at the cleaning staff; but should carry on throughout the company to make sure that everyone is working to their fullest potential, for example management training courses for human resources and accounts.

Creating a moral support network can also be an important way to ensure staff happiness and contentment; examples are: providing support with issues such as visa queries, benefits, English lessons and housing issues. Knowing that support is available from the organisation the employee works for can help to promote loyalty.

It is often true that organisations neglect the importance of staff retention within their staffing strategies. It is recognised that staff training is an investment for any organisation; it is however one of the most important costs and can often reap the most rewards and result in long-term savings.

By adopting some or all of these strategies, hotels and other establishments that employ contract cleaners should be comforted by lower staff turnover rates, as it reflects on he management structure in place at the organisation.

Staff training and motivation is something, we at Hotelcare, believes it is worth investing in, as staff loyalty is priceless for an organisation that operates in a high turnover industry. A number of our Directors are prime examples of the benefit of investing in staff, starting out as Housekeepers and working their way up through internal promotions to Company Directors. We, for one, will be continuing to invest in our workforce.

The future of our cleaning industry | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | 33 CONTRACT CLEANING

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