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Creating Standards – Whole Workforce Training

01 June 2022

UhUb explains how cross-company skill building via the UhUb community is the way to ensure new standards of cleaning operations are adopted and upheld post-pandemic.

There is no doubt the cleaning industry has experienced a huge amount of change over the past few years, with both Brexit and COVID having a significant impact broadly and certainly in driving the demand for the demonstrability of quality cleaning and training standards. It’s becoming more and more important and is fast becoming a key topic for businesses and service user discussions. Talking to UhUb however, their thinking is that through stressful times comes new thinking, invention, and adoption.


Going Beyond Setting the Bar


Setting standards is a decision about how we want to do things and can be subjective. In the past they have often been decided upon, and disseminated, by a small group of people or an organisation. These individuals or groups may have a very specific view of how things have always been done and therefore, how things should be done in the future.

Why change what has always seemed to work? The issue there is the world has changed, and along with it, client and service user expectations on skills, knowledge, and evidence. Historically there has also been very little monitoring of standards, meaning once published there is no real-time knowledge of how they are received, perceived, or progressing. UhUb believes laying out, and publishing a set of skills standards is one thing, a good thing, but making sure they are adopted and deployed ‘as standard’ is very different. To go further, demonstrating those skills and standards is different again and most published standards have failed to gain traction across the sector effectively. They may be "known", they may be spoken about, but are they delivered every day across the sector?

What’s clear from talking to UhUb is that in some parts of the sector there is a different way emerging. Within forward thinking businesses, that understand the need for training for all, the need to demonstrate it as well as working beyond business borders and throughout the whole supply chain, a new approach is being taken. This is being led by UhUb’s community and facilitated by the rapid development of UhUb itself to match needs and creative approaches.

To ensure standards are created and maintained across the sector, this emerging thinking suggests that it is most effective to approach it "business by business" and an adoption of Whole-Workforce training is at the heart of that movement.


Why is Whole Workforce Training Appropriate?


Whole-Workforce training is the only way to ensure everyone across the business receives the same level of training and has the same skills, including the ability to create personal training plans for any role in a company. This is how, within the UhUb Community, standards in knowledge, productivity, abilities, protection, and information can and are being created. When supported by data, Whole-Workforce training can step change the quality of cleaning standards. Put simply if it’s demonstrable then it happened!

Once a solid foundation of basic training has been established, it should be built upon with career path and leadership training for both field and non-field based staff.

Whilst Whole-Workforce training is a proven way to create standards within a business itself, the industry needs to go further. Standards must be established and delivered right across the sector and we are hearing the UhUb Community are doing this is through ‘Knowledge Networks’. Knowledge Networks are being deployed business to business across the supply chain using training in, and training out.


What are Knowledge Networks?


More than ever companies need to provide a commitment to their service users that every operative will be trained to the same standard. Knowledge Networks enable sub-contracting companies to use the same training tools and share learning between businesses. This ensures training is consistent even if operatives are outsourced. In addition, companies are sharing 3rd party training, from any source including social, product & equipment and site specific to those who need it (training in). It seems that as supply chains become more complex and less linear, developing standardised, demonstrable Knowledge Networks will become more important.

Now that we know how to create effective cleaning standards, training and education can and should go further still. We all understand that if you employ and deploy staff these days you are responsible for them beyond uniform, wages, PPE and basic training and consider issues such as their wellbeing by understanding their personal challenges. It is expected that you look after your staff and see them as more than just a skill set or a resource, which in turn creates loyalty and engagement.

Fundamentally we need to realise, as many are, that you cannot teach tomorrow’s standards or meet tomorrow’s training demands with yesterday’s tools and methods. Change is happening, even across long standing organisations, to stay relevant and to ensure a quality training offering can still be made. This is seeing an exploration, at different rates and with different flavours, of new solutions, technology, and methods. That’s exciting and will lead to a diverse range of new education solutions that will benefit the sector, its service users and all its people moving forward.

Picture: a connected-data map graphic. Image credit: UhUb.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 01 June 2022


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