By Van Walter
May 28, 2019
When employees aren’t properly trained or equipped to handle unexpected issues, lapses in cleanliness and hygiene are more likely to occur. In turn, these lapses negatively impact customer safety and satisfaction, and thus the bottom line for your business. For example, haphazard cleaning of food contact surfaces increases the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks, and failure to frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces and items in schools and hospitals allows harmful germs and pathogens to spread to those with vulnerable immune systems.
Fortunately, the emergence of new technologies, including some that utilize the power of augmented reality and the Internet of Things (IoT), are changing the way that organizations approach employee training and education.
Skill and Training Challenges
Many industries must deal with skills gaps that can then have a domino effect on work output, customer satisfaction, safety and profitability. For instance, foodservice businesses frequently face a shortage of workers to take on traditionally low-paying roles in kitchens and the front of house. English may be a second language for some workers and turnover can be frequent. In places that serve food, like restaurants, hotels and school and hospital cafeterias, there is no room for error when it comes to food safety. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene levels is of the utmost importance.
To further complicate the matter, employee training can be time-consuming and costly, especially if you’re trying to train workers across numerous locations. If turnover occurs, training needs to be conducted again when new hires are brought on board. This makes the training cycle seem as if it is never ending. Plus, different trainers deliver differing levels of quality, which can impact employee comprehension.
Although training is instrumental in educating employees about cleaning processes, unanticipated on-the-job cleaning and hygiene issues like a broken dishwasher or a non-functioning sprayer on a floor care machine can still occur. If not managed properly and efficiently, these issues can result in costly downtime and safety risks.
A New Way to Train and Troubleshoot
Just as mobile rideshare applications have enabled transportation at the touch of a button and smart watches allow us to carefully track health data, there are now technologies that are simplifying training and problem solving while also making certain hygiene processes much more transparent.
Consider the following technological advancements for your organization to make your workforce smarter and more efficient while keeping your customers safe and happy:
- Cloud-based training: For easier, consistent and more affordable training, organizations can take advantage of cloud-based learning management systems. Employees are able to access courses, videos, documents and simulations to better understand what, how, when and why to clean. Look for a system that can train in multiple languages to accommodate all learners and provide performance reports to assess employee progress and identify opportunities for additional training.
- Augmented reality troubleshooting: To help employees solve issues on the spot and keep businesses running smoothly, organizations can harness the power of augmented reality. Today, these virtual reality tools can connect iOS and Android users to customer service support teams for more in-depth troubleshooting. In real-time, users can identify problems and quickly assess solutions through interactive experiences. This helps prevent equipment shutdowns, improves end-user training and assists personnel onboarding.
- Connected dashboards: Managers and employees no longer have to hope that a dishwasher or laundry machine is working properly. With smart sensors and IoT dashboards, they can now capture data directly from these machines to ensure that compliance measures are being met. For example, employees can track the temperature of dishwashing cycles and check that chemical was properly dispensed so that linen emerges clean and safe from a washer. By keeping a close watch on these processes, employees can drive continuous improvements and be alerted to potential issues and take the proper corrective actions.
Closing the Gap
Organizations face a skills gap and training challenges when it comes to managing cleanliness and hygiene. This is often due to variables like high turnover rates, language barriers and a lack of experience. It’s important to overcome these issues in order to keep facilities like office buildings, schools, retail stores, hospitals, restaurants and hotels clean. Thankfully, connected solutions are helping businesses address training and troubleshooting to drive cleanliness to new heights.
Van Walter is the Director of Training – North America with Diversey, a leader in smart, sustainable solutions for cleaning and hygiene. To learn more about solutions from Diversey, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.diversey.com/solutions/IOC.