When I started out with Crystal Clean Service as a sole trader, I was determined to teach myself the skills and knowledge I needed to run a successful business. Whilst there is a great deal of general information available that has been targeted at supporting entrepreneurs, I quickly reached a point where the most efficient way forwards was to engage in formal training, and I began to enrol in courses to learn about things like HR management and health and safety.
Crystal Clean Service now employs more than 70 people, and I don’t think I could have got to where we are today without the knowledge, and perhaps more importantly, the confidence in that knowledge that I gained from structured training and personal development courses, back when we only had a handful of staff.
Staff training and development has played a very important role in the growth of Crystal Clean Service as well. From my first employee onwards, I wanted to create a business where every employee is given the opportunity to learn and grow with the support of the company, whatever their abilities and personal circumstances.
As the company grew, we soon had an established route for new employees to begin training and development through regular one-to-one appraisals and on the job training through our own Crystal Clean Academy training programme. What I immediately noticed was an improvement in staff morale, and consequently a better quality of cleaning service being delivered to our customers. We also employed independent professionals to assess employee workloads, and ensure that they were clear, fair and reasonable.
The cleaning industry has traditionally had a high staff turnover rate, but at Crystal Clean our focus on training and development has resulted in many of our leavers coming back to work when their circumstances have changed for the better, often after a considerable break, because they feel valued and respected and that the company looks after them.
I want all our staff to feel valued and looked after, not just because they deserve it, and they do, but because it’s an important factor in overall morale and encourages everyone to take real pride in their work. Cleaning is a tough job and ultimately it’s the quality of the job that matters, which is why we have placed such an emphasis on training and staff development.