By: Jennifer Meek

What if we told you there was a way you could make more money, become an expert in your field, outperform your competitors and do your job better, too? You would probably assume we were referring to going back to school, which would include making time for night classes and taking out loans to pay tuition. Have no fear, we’re referring to certificate programs, which can be much more accessible to busy BSCs with proven paths to success.

An often underutilized tool, certificates can do plenty to enhance your BSC’s business—and best of all, many of the most effective certificate programs can be completed right from your computer for a nominal fee.

BSCAI recently published an infographic that explains the benefits of professional certificates. Citing a study from Georgetown University, it shows that professional certificates can increase earnings by 25%. It also shows that certificates impact hiring, increasing any professional’s chance of being hired by 91%. In the BSC field, this can have direct implications on new business. BSCs with professionally certified employees or whole-company certifications can increase their competitive advantage when bidding for new business. The infographic also cites a study by the Institute for College Access and Success that indicates a steep increase in the amount of professionals who are pursuing professional certificates.

In-Person Certification

In the cleaning industry, there are many different avenues for earning professional certificates. Big industry events such as the ISSA Show and the Clean Buildings Expo often hold seminars and training workshops that allow workers to earn certification in person. Many certification organizations, like ISSA’s Cleaning Management Institute (CMI) will offer on-location “boot camps” and multi-day certification sessions. Sending employees to in-person shows has an advantage.

Hands-on training and the networking opportunities at these events can be very enriching, with benefits for your BSC beyond the certification earned. However, travel and admission can be costly. These are often a great opportunity for BSC owners to participate in, but what about your team of employees? Sometimes it won’t make financial sense to send employees away for training, especially when turnover is a constant concern in our industry. The good news is that you have many other options, and any type of certification program will have an additional benefit of reducing turnover by engaging and investing in your staff.

Accessible Certification Options for BSCs

Distributors and manufacturers may help your BSC by sending an expert to your place of business to conduct in-person trainings for your staff that could lead to professional certifications. We recommend you ask your manufacturers and distributors for more information regarding the ability to include paths toward certification in the training programs they provide. Sometimes there is immense value even in an unofficial certification program that you use within your organization to reward employees who put the time and effort into specialized training. This can serve as an incentive toward more pay, promote healthy competition among your top employees, and of course reinforce the value of your workers’ roles in protecting the health of our shared spaces.

Online certification programs can combine ease of use with all of the benefits of accredited certification programs. Most manufacturers and industry organizations offer online learning portals with paths toward some type of professional certification. The Charlotte Online Learning Program, for example, has partnered with CMI to offer CMI-verified certification courses along with product-specific training for any sized custodial team. End users are able to earn CMI certification and continuing education credits toward industry certifications through the program.

Celebrate Your Achievements

Perhaps the most valuable return on a professional certificate is the investment you will make in your staff. Your staff are frontline workers who uphold your business’s reputation but also make public spaces healthy and safe, playing a vital role in public health. When you make any size investment in their professional development, you are showing them that you value what they do for your business and public health. This will have a lasting impact on morale within your organization.

There are many creative ways that you can use the earning of a professional certificate to boost your BSC’s staff morale and celebrate their achievements. This article on Cleanlink shows how one company held a ceremony for its workers after they earned a certificate. A ceremony, staff luncheon, family picnic or even simply a laminated certificate can make a lasting impact. We encourage you to consider the opportunity to not only invest in certificate programs for your staff, but also to invest in ways to celebrate their achievements.