When I was asked to write a piece for INCLEAN
about training and its benefits, this started to
conjure my memory of all the previous schools
that I had sat in, some good and some not so good;
and classes that I have taught over the years, again
some good and not so good.
It made me think of the benefits I had taken out of the classes and
what had helped me in business and what hadn’t.
The conclusion I came to was that every training class I sat in or taught,I had increased my knowledge greatly.
At the end of the day, I took the training course
for what it really is – an invaluable learning experience.
We can become very naïve working in the cleaning industry and
readily forget how times change and with that technology changes
We forget that as change occurs, and for the hope of betterment
to everybody, that processes and systems also alter as equipment
standards and educational based standards increase.
It is interesting to speak to people who have done particular training
course a few – or many – years ago and when there’s the option to
re-train, the response is: “I have already done that one”.
Even though the information may not have altered a great deal, what you take from the class may be priceless.
I have the enjoyment of being able to see both people and their
businesses grow through education and have noticed that the ones
who come back over the years for more training tend be the businesses
which are growing and succeeding.
This does not end with the owners of the business; as they are the ones who train their staff.
In their own rights, staff are an investment for all businesses and if
the staff are invested in progressively then the flow-on effects for the
growth of the business is exponential.
With any investment we want to make sure that money is utilised
wisely and correctly. We don’t have the funds to just throw away for
the fun of it.
As with any investment, there has to be a return. This
means making the right choices in staff is critical.
One of my mentors who I considered family was a gentleman by
the name of Ralph Bloss, and he used to say, “change is inevitable,
growth is optional”.
This has always remained close to my heart and is
a poignant reminder that no matter what, change will happen.
It is up to us if we want to change and grow too, or remain stagnant.
People have always been scared of change; which is a perfect point
in proving the benefits of training.
Through training schools we talk about the reason for change, we show the reason for change and we offer the benefits of change.
Whether it is learning how to use more efficient equipment,
practices or systems; how to market better to your customers or a
clearer way of looking at your work or business as a whole, training
schools can help you to look at things differently.
Sometimes for the good and sometimes not so good, but it motivates you to be thinking about your business rather than letting it flow on its own merry way.
I am always surprised when we have somebody who has been in
business for a long time and they are concerned that it’s not going in the
right direction but, when offered a solution of training or sitting down
with somebody to evaluate their business, the answer is I’m too busy or
I can’t afford it.
Maybe they really are or can’t, but if the business isn’t improving then it’s
time to change so they can’t afford not to make time or find the budget.
So, while the benefits of training may differ for each individual, the
reality is that we need to continually update our knowledge, alter our
systems and change our ways because as Ralph would say, change is
inevitable, growth is optional.
*Grant Hickey is managing director of Advanced Specialized Equipment,