I’m pleased to report we recently retained our Gold Investors in People Award following an exhaustive audit. We were the first English pest control company to receive gold certification, in 2018. It’s therefore wonderful to know our commitment to staff development hasn’t dropped in the intervening years. At the time, the assessor, Anne Hyde, noted, “the Investors in People Gold Award is testament to Cleankill’s commitment to engaging, empowering, developing and rewarding the whole workforce.”
Founded in 1991, Investors in People was originally a government owned initiative designed to promote good practice in training and development. Its framework sets the standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage employees effectively so that collectively you deliver sustainable results.
There are several components to achieving the gold standard but primary among them must be training.
Training During a Pandemic
Obviously, 2020 was a difficult year. In terms of training, social distancing and movement restrictions meant we couldn’t send our technicians on the usual courses. In many cases, these training courses weren’t even taking place.
But…we never saw the pandemic as an excuse to cut costs on training. Training is part of what makes us Cleankill. It is enshrined in ‘The Cleankill Way’, our company ethos, which includes the following statements:
- Our staff are the most highly trained in the industry
- Our staff enjoy working for Cleankill, and enjoy receiving the benefit of recognition and reward whenever possible
Without the option for face-to-face training session, our Technical Manager, Chris Davis, focused his attention online. Rather than looking at large group/team training, he was able to use the time and the peculiarities of lockdown to concentrate on the needs of individual staff members. In some cases, this meant finding courses that could be taken online, for example, ‘Safe Use of Rodenticides’, ‘Health and Safety in the Workplace’ and ‘Food Safety’. At other times, Chris held Zoom training sessions with individual technicians to help them prepare for professional qualifications.
Chris is acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading pest controllers – there is always more that can be learnt. In the last twelve months, he’s chaired RSPH and Pest Control Education and Training Sector meetings and passed Food Safety Level 3, a long-term goal. In pest control you never stop learning, and continuous development means just that, you need to constantly be moving forward, checking that your training and qualifications are up to date, and seeing how else you and your team members can improve.
Online studying doesn’t suit everyone and so, of course, our training schedule has been disrupted. However, we’ve preferred to see it as an opportunity to broaden our technician’s knowledge and understanding of pest management. That doesn’t mean we won’t be clamouring to send our technicians back into the classroom as soon as we safely can, it just means we have tried to best optimise our options during a pandemic.
We’ve just had proof of the success of this approach. Our Central London technician, Oliver Roe, has been shortlisted in the ‘Young Pest Controller of the Year’ category at this year’s National Pest Awards. The winners will be announced at a black-tie event at the House of Commons in September. Good luck Oli!
We are proud of the way we work and the people we work with, and I’m glad to say that feeling is reciprocated. The Investors in People assessor noted in her most recent report:
“100% of interviewees said they would recommend Cleankill as a great place to come and work and are real ambassadors for Cleankill. People can describe why they think Cleankill is a great place to work and they are proud to say they work for you.”
I can’t really say more. Thank you!