The importance of a good start – Have a great Induction Programme

The value of an employee’s introduction to their new employer should never be underestimated, writes Lynn Webster in the UK for ECJ.

The value of a new employee’s introduction to their employer should not be underestimated. Many studies have been provided over the years considering the impact on the individual of an effective induction and the consequences of a negative experience. When we consider the relative costs of replacing staff who have resigned following a poor start, the resources spent to deliver their induction well are well spent.

Cleaning organisations do generally acknowledge the benefits of induction but it can become a casualty of insufficient application, especially when there are other external pressures – a busy manager preoccupied by operational needs or a process which is not fit for purpose. Delivering an induction can be interpreted in a number of ways and will vary from business to business but essentially the aim is to support the employee in adjusting to their new work environment.

When it comes to cleaning operatives this is of paramount importance – even more so as the employment pool decreases. As referenced in the British Cleaning Council (BCC) report on the cleaning industry of March 2020 (NB, pre-pandemic impact) many thousands of job roles will be created but with a chronic shortage of individuals prepared to take them.

Look at the various models for the cleaning industry and for the operative in particular. There is a key marker in the achievement of ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) where there is a mandatory requirement for all employees to participate in a site-specific orientation programme with evidence of written documentation of content and completion. There is a clear definition in the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) License to Practice scheme to support various modules during induction as a building block towards further training and a career in cleaning.

Similar topics are covered in available on-line process where the easy access for individuals remotely has been made more apparent in recent times with far fewer face-to-face opportunities.

Many cleaning service organisations also deliver their own bespoke induction in a clear, professional and sometimes award-winning manner. Such actions have operated in silos without a joined up recognised standard for the industry.

The British Services Association (BSA) cleaning committee is aiming to provide a cleaning industry recognised baseline induction standard at cleaning operative level. The intention is to create a collaborative framework for any organisation employing cleaning operatives to sign up to. This will have defined modules identified where content could also be ratified from other training schemes.

This will not be a prescriptive ‘how to’ but a guide to demonstrate best practice. It is intended to be self-regulating however how this will be policed is still unclear.

Retaining valuable employees still remains the key focus and however this is interpreted the value of our operatives must be at the forefront of any action. A warm welcome and the feeling of belonging to the team will be fundamental to building motivation and enthusiasm.  To ensure that your Induction Programme is helping retain your new recruits, contact