Not just training – how International Workplace is an integral part of NJC’s health and safety culture
NJC provides premium cleaning and support services, self-delivering office, window and specialist cleaning. The company provides services to customers including blue-chip companies, property management organisations and prestigious mixed-use estates. The business is based on an understanding that it is “Not Just Cleaning” but creating an environment where its customers and their employees can excel, through service, people and technology.
Anthea Besser is the HR Director at NJC. She tells us how International Workplace is an integral part of the company’s health and safety culture.
Our health and safety culture has really been supported by working in partnership with International Workplace. Our L&D manager speaks very highly of the company and works very closely with International Workplace to make sure our learners are supported. We have a mixture of people undertaking training, from team leaders up to senior managers, and the reason we keep working with International Workplace is very much because of their customer-centric focus and bespoke approach. There is a lot of flexibility and empathetic understanding of learners, giving support for specific situations rather than a one size fits all approach. Not only are they the experts in the field, but they also really understand learners. So often, that's the bit that can be lost.
"There is a lot of flexibility and empathetic understanding of learners, giving support for specific situations rather than a one size fits all approach."
Health and Safety training solution that works for us
Most of our managers are on site on the shop floor, rather than desk-based, so the traditional training approach actually worked for our world far better. But that isn't the world we're in anymore, we all get that. It’s actually been a catalyst for self-directed learning, and I think as a training provider International Workplace has made that adjustment and supported those that are having to make it themselves.
In our sector, you've got the BICSc (British Institute of Cleaning Science) standards, the Health and Safety Executive and so on. I think where the industry struggles is in the practical application, because at the end of the day, these are frontline staff. Every minute is paid for by the client and therefore time is money. Trying to find a solution to support development, learning and knowledge testing in an environment where they're on the shop floor all the time is an ongoing challenge. I think we are doing things that are slightly different as we are trying to focus on beyond just the mandatory. There's always that focus on infection control, working at height and so on, which will always be driven by safety culture, but we also have an equal focus on the value add that we're trying to achieve as well.
Adapting to a blended learning approach
The blended approach to learning allows and enables a different way of learning, providing it's used appropriately. Elearning has a place and is a valuable element of a blended learning solution, but if all of the traditional course delivery approaches simply move to elearning and never move back again I think we'd be missing a trick. We're trying to really differentiate between what is more knowledge-based learning, which lends itself to elearning, but within that, trying to have a range of mediums within it so that there is video, spoken word, written word and visuals, with an eye on the increased prevalence of neuro diversity in the workplace as well.
Self-directed or self-paced learning, as opposed to the social setting of a classroom, is actually a potentially better solution for some people. So I think the future will definitely see an increased and ongoing use of elearning, but not necessarily to the detriment of the benefits of the other things you get from face to face training, such as the networking opportunities that are built in.
Our experience when working with International Workplace
The key thing is the learner experience. That's where it starts for us. As a business, it’s quite easy for us to find a training provider who will get our managers trained in IOSH. But finding a training partner that provides that support too isn't as easy to achieve. That's the USP really, and why we continue to work with International Workplace.