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Education Takes Center Stage Opening Day of ISSA Show North America

November 16, 2021

Attendees look at education sessions lined up for the week at ISSA Show North America 2021.

Education was the focus of the opening day of ISSA Show North America 2021, with participants attending a variety of classroom sessions covering all aspects of the cleaning industry.

In the commercial cleaning track, Cindy Ogden president of FUEL it, an immersive training solutions firm, and Dennis Koerner, president and CEO of ITN, a leading provider of statistical services for Human Resource Departments, tackled a topic on every commercial cleaning business owner’s mind—employee turnover—in the session The Turnover Solution: How to Stop the Churn in Commercial Cleaning.

After a show of hands among session attendees confirmed employee turnover is a problem, Ogden and Koerner remarked that changing jobs is easy for employees and has no stigma. Employee turnover is triggered by three main factors, a misalignment between what employees believe, accept, and value compared to their employers. Other than unsatisfactory benefits, most workers quit their jobs because the positions are not a good fit for their skills, there are a lack of opportunities for growth, or there is a poor work environment. “Everyone knows people quit bad bosses,” Ogden said.

“Opportunities are not just pay and promotion,” added Koerner, who said a reliable job with a steady income, regular recognition, and a connection to people are also valuable to workers. “It’s key to understand what drives a person.”

Three employer hiring and onboarding practices can help businesses choose workers whose values align with the company. Precision hiring, which involves employers carefully monitoring how many candidates open their job ads and which take the time to complete an application, is a first step. Purposeful training, which includes company goals in addition to processes and systems, is another key aspect of hiring workers. Finally, employee inspiration, which takes into consideration an organization’s culture and values and offers support to new team members, is the final step in keeping new workers at your company.

“In companies with an onboarding process, 69% of employees will stay for at least three years,” said Ogden.

In the K-12 and Higher Education track, a panel of school custodial supervisors discussed the benefits of green cleaning at Infection Prevention in a School Setting: Safer Disinfection, Best Practices, and Training Tools.

The panelists follow a green cleaning routine at their schools and use products such as hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid which is made through onsite generation. This was an advantage when regular cleaning supplies were in short supply during the beginning of the standard. “We were able to tell our school administrators that we already had everything we needed, salt and water,” said Mervin Brewer, former assistant custodial supervisor of the Salt Lake City School District.

It was challenging to convince some people not familiar with green cleaning products that the solutions were effective. “It can be hard to convince people that if a product isn’t pink or green, doesn’t come out of a bottle, or doesn’t smell of pine of bleach that it is actually cleaning,” said Keith Webb, former executive director of plant services at Newport News Public Schools in Virginia. “Fortunately hypochlorous acid was already on the N List.”

Webb said questions from the public about the effectiveness of green cleaning began dying down once surface testing proved the products and processes were effective against SARS-CoV-2. 

 

See the highlights in photos from Day 1:

 

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