Change can be a scary thing for some, but with the right training and tools the transition to a new system or process can be turned into a positive experience. Alicia Fenwick* explores the role of training and education in change management.
People are a critical success factor to any process improvement or change management initiative. While the features and benefits of a new product may compel a facility to modernise and streamline their systems, the investment will only pay off if the products are used correctly and confidently by the team.
To fully support change, people need meaningful information, hands-on training and time to adapt. A genuine and dedicated focus on developing confidence through appropriate and ongoing education is vital.
Everyone needs time to become confident and comfortable with a new way of working. Whether it’s a new IT system or a new cleaning system, changing the way people work and the steps involved can be met with resistance and create challenges for an organisation in terms of productivity, costs and team morale.
Take the example of a residential aged care organisation changing from a traditional wet string mop and bucket cleaning protocol to a full microfibre system. Workforce acceptance and confidence is crucial otherwise the full benefits of microfibre – such as productivity, time management, increased cleaning efficacy, lower water usage and improved WHS outcomes – cannot be fully realised.
One of the biggest and most common challenges for a healthcare or aged care facility is balancing efficacy in infection control with productivity and labour costs. When mopping with a traditional wet mop, the environmental services staff member would generally empty and refill buckets every three rooms to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
This takes time and with repetitive lifting of mop buckets also puts significant stress and strain on the lower back, neck and shoulder. If the nearest cleaning cupboard or trolley is some distance away, time walking back and forth also slows productivity.