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Boosting business through training and development

Jan-Hein_HemkeJan-Hein Hemke, managing director of soft services and contract cleaning specialists, Facilicom UK, looks at how businesses can reap the benefits of developing the people who work with them

Training and development is great for the individual concerned, helping them to develop new skills and progress their career, but what about the organisation funding that training?

What sort of return do they get on their investment and is it worth it? ROI is quite rightly a key factor in many business decisions; a company is unsustainable unless it gets those judgements right. Training and development is an investment area where many find the returns to be intangible, and some businesses are frightened to spend money on it.

A ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past, so it can be a concern for businesses that they will invest in training people and then those people will leave to work somewhere else, even a competitor. However, by providing training and development opportunities as part of a whole package of wellbeing measures, including paying a fair wage, and rewarding good performance, the chances of retaining people is greatly increased. The investment in training is, in part, an investment in a retention policy that in turn can save on recruitment costs and reduce any drops in productivity that would occur if people left.

Even if people you’ve trained do leave, the business will have already had the opportunity to utilise their skills and experience, and when you’ve invested in them, people are more likely to be positive about you as an employer, which can help make the recruitment process easier, quicker and therefore more cost efficient.

Investing in wellbeing so that people look to stay for the longer term can reduce business overheads as job role churn is minimised with a resultant reduction in recruitment, training and new uniforms costs. As a family business, Facilicom believes that treating everyone with dignity and respect, and giving them the chance to develop is very important. We see better levels of commitment and dedication and our customers benefit from a higher level of service.

Our investment in our people has helped drive our business success; we expanded our total workforce to almost 4,000 people across the UK in 2015. We offer a range of training to everyone who works with us so that they can develop both personally and professionally. This includes ‘Hostmanship’ training (the art of making people feel welcome) and leadership courses to allow people to develop a wide range of skills, including communications which is vital if they are to progress in their current and future roles.

For people to develop, they need to work in an environment where they feel respected and well treated. We are fully committed to improving the conditions in which cleaning operatives are expected to work. We are fully engaged in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC’s) campaign.

Cleaning operatives have a significant impact on everyone’s daily lives. They can reasonably be viewed as an emergency service and should be recognised as such. Imagine what would happen if they weren’t around.

We’re campaigning on behalf of our colleagues and others like them, and making a public commitment to their wellbeing and development. This means our colleagues know we are looking out for them and our customers know we are an ethical business.

By developing our people we are able to grow our business in size and quality of service, a situation that benefits all parties involved.

Jose Damian, who is one of our cleaners, was 2015’s British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) Rising Star award winner. He’s worked with us since 2012 and has been promoted twice in that time. He won the Rising Star award for ‘having substantially grown in his role in a relatively short period of time and having accomplished improvements to the cleaning service on his contracts’.

Since winning the award, Jose has continued to shine. His loyalty, talent and commitment is a great example of how people react if you treat them with respect and invest in their development.

Earlier, I asked whether investing in training is worthwhile, for Facilicom the answer is a resounding yes and people like Jose are the proof.

About Sarah OBeirne

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