At Twilight Cleaning, we believe strongly in training and developing our staff, so they become independent and capable of high-quality work. We are also partnered with Kent Supported Employment, who provide us with assistance in employing people with special needs, particularly those on the autistic spectrum.
KSE also help us with initial on-the-job shadowing, which allows new staff members with special needs to be supported for their starting period. This helps us to understand the specific challenges posed by new members of staff.
Our traditional training is essentially the three S’s: Say, Show, and See.
Say: Say what needs doing, how long it should take, and how to look for improvements.
Show: Show your staff member how the task is done. This is an important step for those staff members with special needs, as they can see how it is done in practise.
See: Watch your staff member as they do the job: could it be improved, and what changes could you suggest?
The beauty of this approach is that you can go back to any one of these stages at a later point to reinforce the training or spend longer on one stage if you think the staff member doesn’t quite understand. This is especially useful for our staff who may need extra encouragement for tasks they’ve not performed before.
Regular inspections also help us to reinforce our training, and we do this alongside our staff members, asking them to point out anything they may have missed in their work. This ensures our staff feel valued enough to self-criticise and take pride in their work, and, ultimately, take responsibility for a job well done.
Being ISO-certified means our work must be measurable and quantifiable. Our training and development programme is created and instilled to deliver this level of success, especially for our staff with additional needs. We are now looking at how to expand these efforts in different ways.
We take great delight in meeting the challenges posed by employing those with additional needs and developing them to be great staff members. KSE also promotes online courses, one of which is called ‘An Introduction to Supported Employment’ This course is a great way to investigate this topic further!
By Laura Napper, Managing Director, Tenterden Twilight Commercial Cleaning, who will be sharing more of her experiences and thoughts on our blog at www. americancleaningandhygiene.com, so stay tuned.