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What would being mindful bring to cleaning? Safety.

That’s how Yvonne Percival, Kleenrite Customer Services Manager perceives her cleaners to have become. They have become mindful after putting them through Careerforce supported training.

Percival said, “It all comes back to health and safety and it’s being aware of your surroundings and being present when you’re cleaning.”

Kleenrite puts through every staff member, who have been with them for a year, through training to achieve the New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning Level 2. Then they offer those interested to progress to higher level qualifications.

According to Kleenrite cleaner Marietta Fetu, who is working towards her New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning (Level 3) in Specialist Cleaning, “I really enjoy training. I have learned so much more than I knew before the training. It has really helped me with the job.”

“It’s really important to us. It’s one of our founding principles from way back then. Chris Begley, our General Manager, and the company’s goal is to be as close as possible to 100% fully trained on Level 2,” says Percival.

Going back to being mindful, she said that she observes her staff a lot – sometimes hiding in plain sight. She says, “I’m so pleased. They’re actually thinking about where they’re going, what they’re doing. They’re looking around and making sure that what they’re doing is not impacting on anybody.”

Kleenrite staff at the Old Bank Arcade (Photo by Mark Tantrum/

“They are adhering to our health and safety plan. They know the policies. They know how to identify hazards. They not only know how to eliminate or minimise them, but they also definitely know how to report them. Because if they don’t report, they know someone may get hurt.”

Cleaners operate machineries and handle chemicals. Percival said that being mindful also ensures that they themselves are safe.

“If we can keep our staff safe and aware of where they are and what they’re doing, then in effect, the public or the client or their staff are all looked after.”

Leotina Tagoai, who is also working towards achieving her level 3 certificate shared that the training made the job a lot easier for her. She says her understanding has increased.

“I now have a better understanding of the health and safety practices and confident I’m actually completing them properly,” explains Tagoai.

Percival can also attest to the quality of work and service improving as a result of training. Supporting their staff to achieve a qualification is an investment they are happy to make – they believe it pays off in terms of client satisfaction.

“It also gives them a sense of ownership.  A sense of self-worth. We get it back tenfold. I think they don’t quite believe that the certificate is theirs sometimes, like it’s the company’s, but it’s not. It’s theirs.”

“We’ve got a good, dedicated cleaning workforce. If we develop our workforce, our frontline staff, we’re ensuring that the quality of service and safety is there.” 

She added that her personal ultimate goal is to train staff so someone can step up to replace her one day when she is ready to retire.

“Touch wood – I might have won lotto by then!” she jokes.

Learn more about Cleaning qualifications