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Survival of the HAPPIEST

Offering the right industry-recognised training, such as courses from the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) – or bespoke systems of an equivalent status – is essential, as this not only ensures your workforce has the correct skills, it gives everyone confidence to do the job they are employed to do, thus delivering even better customer service.

Ensuring your team members are fully up-to-date on the correct use of equipment and chemicals – for both their safety and increased efficiency – and issues such as the Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) are essential. These must be delivered by accredited bodies that have the respect of the industry and the sense of achievement that your colleagues will get from the receipt of their certificates, as they complete the required modules, will be inspiring and satisfying to witness.

However, in-house training, bespoke to your own organisation is also helpful, in fact I would say it is essential. If you want to really make a difference – setting your organisation apart from your competitors – then training courses, specifically created to reflect your company’s values and aims can add that crucial ‘x factor’. At Facilicom, we offer every colleague the chance to take part in our ‘Hostmanship’ training, what we call ‘the art of making people feel welcome’. This applies to clients, site visitors and fellow colleagues and covers some of Facilicom’s key values:

  • Service – what does this mean to us and how can we improve it?
  • Taking responsibility – what it means to work as part of a team
  • Being caring – taking a pride in our work and demonstrating this to clients and facility users
  • Searching for and sharing knowledge – if you encounter a problem and need guidance or assistance, talk to your manager and colleagues
  • Getting dialogue right – really listen to what others are saying, if you are unsure of what’s being communicated, seek clarification

Hostmanship helps us to show that customer service is not a department hidden away at head office – it’s a part of everyone’s job. The training helps to instill people skills in our operatives, giving them the confidence to communicate with colleagues and clients, another way to increase their wellbeing.

People base their job searches on many different things, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasing in importance. Service providers that can demonstrate their commitment to the wellbeing of not just their workforce, but also the wider community will provide an edge that may help to attract the brightest and best new recruits.

One way that Facilicom demonstrates that it takes its obligations to its workforce seriously is its support for increasing fairness, dignity and professionalism in the cleaning industry. It is a founding sponsor of the Living Wage Recognised Service Provider Scheme, and is also a key participant in the Equality and Human Right’s Commission’s ‘Cleaning Taskforce’, working to improve employment practices in the cleaning industry.

‘Green’ issues continue to exercise many people’s minds in the face of dwindling natural resources and ongoing discussions about global warming. There’s little doubt that companies who can visibly show that they are taking steps to limit the effect their activities have on the wider environment will speak to a potential colleague’s social conscience. Facilicom’s C2Zero system helps us to calculate the precise carbon impact of every aspect of our service operations on behalf of our clients. By understanding and measuring this, we are able to fully offset the environmental impact and return the whole cleaning process on a client’s site to a carbon neutral position.

As more and more cleaning contracts switch between companies due to the continuing trend for tendering after an allotted time period and workforces are inherited via TUPE, workplace wellbeing becomes even more important. A smooth transition to a ‘new regime’ can only happen if everyone feels supported, satisfied and optimistic for the future. Treating your colleagues – whether new or existing – with dignity and respect, putting social sustainability at the heart of all your operations, will help to retain and reward them, boosting their personal wellbeing and improving morale across the entire organisation.

About Sarah OBeirne


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