An article in Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online recently examined the stigma associated with skilled workers in the cleaning and maintenance industry. This post is brought to you by Vreeland Cleaning Service Insurance programs.
There is an increasing labor gap that threatens the future productivity of the commercial cleaning industry. Deemed the “maintenance crisis,” as baby boomers near retirement age, fewer young workers are entering the skilled laborer professions to take their place. Currently, approximately 56 percent of skilled labor roles are filled by baby boomers.
There are two distinct stigmas that hurt the cleaning industry: one that the roles are “dirty, underpaid positions,” and two, that they are primarily occupied by men. Innovative training techniques can help alter these stigmas, generate interest, and aid young workers’ transitions in to successful careers.
Organizations are relying on gamification of maintenance training. Scenario based training in games using realistic equipment provides an overall understanding of how their work and actions affect an organization. By simulated equipment and creating real-life scenarios, workers not only gain a better understanding of their work, but will see their role in it. The game environment also appeals to younger workers who grew up playing video games. Not to mention, you can reduce costly repairs by practicing virtually first. Amy Earl, vice president of Antech Systems, discussed the stigma associated with the maintenance and manufacturing industries.
“Stereotypes were established when American interest was shifted toward liberal arts, four-year degrees and programs like law and medicine. We need to turn the stigma for manufacturing and maintenance around.”
Do you think the stigmas affect the industry from attracting new talent? What can be done to alter these stigmas? We’d love to hear from you.
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