“There can be a risk from dangerous pathogens. For example, a person can unknowingly contaminate their hands by touching washroom surfaces including taps, door handles and flush levers. Routine checks and cleans are vital to remove these contaminants to protect customers from contracting illnesses. We also tackle risk through the use of the correct tools and training, which are required by all cleaning staff. It ensures they have a thorough understanding of potential hazards.”

“The rollout of ‘smart devices’ to all our team members means we

 paperwork.”

That said, while ensuring a steadfast, high-quality core  “The challenges the retail industry face mean that there’s a greater need to ensure all areas of the business are  on to the facilities management industry. We need to be ready to adapt, and quickly respond, just as much as the high street does.

“For example, shopping centres and leisure sites require a  to ensure they are up to the correct cleaning standards. On these sites, we offer general and high-level cleaning, janitorial work and repair work.

“The consequences of something like unclean washroom facilities can impact the bottom line for clients – shopping centres or leisure sites need to maintain a strong reputation for cleanliness or customers will leave to use services elsewhere. The responsibility of upholding this reputation lies with us - the contracted cleaning partner. We have a duty to ensure standards do not slip.”

“In tandem, it’s very important for us to provide a ‘lean’  and our output as a whole to develop a cost-effective structure. I suppose it’s similar to Henry Ford’s assembly line principle: we’re as aligned as possible to our client and their business, and the result is quite streamlined.”

Steve also cites the use of technology as a game changer in the cleaning industry. He said: “Washroom hygiene requires hourly checks and cleans performed by staff, so  technology such as the rollout of ‘smart devices’ to all our  reduce paperwork. These devices are an excellent asset – with additional functionality continually in development.   management of sites.”

Arc software has also been introduced to contract managers at ABM UK, which the company uses as an

additional tool to track jobs on larger sites. This software is a portal for all required paperwork to be stored so it can be accessed easily at any time, and that important paperwork isn’t carried from place to place.

Steve added: “Our teams adhere to all requirements from UK Washroom Hygiene legislation – health and safety protocol is engrained in all members of staff. An important part of this is the technology we use as it helps to minimise risk and ensures everyone can deliver an excellent service 

“Health and safety is also a core component of training on our Intermediate Cleaning Apprenticeship. This apprenticeship is in place for new employees and for current employees to upskill in their existing role. The focus while learning is on effective communication, self- development, how to deal with routine and non-routine waste, working with customers, washroom cleaning and cleaning and maintaining surfaces, all of which are core services we offer.”

“Within ABM it is common to see employees starting at apprentice level and moving into managerial roles as they progress.”

Career progression in the industry is an important issue for Steve, who added: “There’s been a shift in perceptions surrounding cleaners and janitors – there’s a trend towards this being a career choice, rather than a part-time job. Within ABM it is common to see employees starting at apprentice level and moving into managerial roles as they progress. The facilities management industry offers a wealth of career opportunity that not many people are aware of.”

Further to the Intermediate Cleaning Apprenticeship offered by ABM UK, their Brand Ambassador Training was set up to align internal training to the core values of the clients. Training days are hosted and have a clear focus on issues management and customer service. Each training programme is tailored to individual clients and seeks to enhance the performance of staff on site. The main objective of these training days is to align the needs of clients to the service provided to them. This training is offered to ABM UK staff as well as the company’s client base and their teams.

 services within the facilities management industry looks very bright. We strive to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to training and technology. It is in these areas that ABM UK can continue to develop new ways of working and ideas – such as our brand ambassador programme – to  pool of candidates who will ultimately be the ones that drive the industry forward.” FEATURE | 65

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