The absolutely worst thing you could do when hiring employees is…

Post image for The absolutely worst thing you could do when hiring employees is…

by Suzanna Watson on August 21, 2012

The answer is NOT training them properly. At the end of the day, it pays to train them correctly when first hired.

A common complaint many have is that it takes time and money to train new team members. I must say that is a VERY SHORT-SIGHTED way to look at the issue. Why?

Because training doesn’t cost, it PAYS in the LONG RUN.

The returns you will get from a well-managed training program will pay for itself many times over. For instance, customer complaints will drop dramatically when you properly train staff.

Sadly, customer complaints DRAG down most cleaning companies day in and day out. And as we all know, it takes a lot more effort to go fix the problem, not to mention restore the customers confidence in you than it would have if you just fixed it right the first time.

Training your employees is a no-brainer.

If you want the job done right you must start by giving your employees the proper time and tools they need to consistently do an excellent job. You can’t cut corners on this part.

Some may say “a cleaning job doesn’t take any special skill or training”. I would disagree! It may not take a special skill per say, but it sure does require training. You must invest the time to make sure they are prepared for every scenario that may come their way.

Your staff must be able to perform the cleaning tasks, but also must know how to handle any unforeseen issue that may arise. The more your employees can handle on their own, the less likely a customer will complain about having to wait for an issue to get resolved.

Some issues may seem trivial to you and your staff but to your customer it may be a major issue. Customers have all kinds of pet peeves, some large and some small. Treat them all the same!

If it’s important to the customer, it should be important to you!

If your staff does not know how to handle a particular situation it can become a long drawn out process and may affect your reputation with that customer. It probably took a long time to get that customer, so why would you want to tarnish your reputation with them.

Something simple like what solution to use on a particular surface can confuse a person who is not used to cleaning. I once asked a temporary employee to clean a large mirror in a fitness facility and walked away, BIG MISTAKE!!!!

He picked up the solution containing bleach and started to clean the mirror! Lucky for me I forgot something in the room and caught it before any damage was done. We assume people know how to clean. This is a major mistake many companies make from day one!

Employees want to do a good job, and often the ones who are not performing well are not trained well. When an employee is trained well they perform more efficiently which leads to cleaner facilities and happy customers who will keep you for a very long time.

Another part of proper training is keeping everything standardized. So make sure all solutions are the same, all equipment is kept is tip-top operating shape.  The janitorial closet is kept in order and well stocked.

This will keep you from getting panic phone calls saying “I’m out of paper towels or cleaning solution what do I do”?  Your company will run smoothly for the most part if…

  • You train your employees in the proper use of the cleaning solutions
  • You show each employee HOW TO CLEAN kitchens, bathrooms, desks etc… ASSUME NOTHING!
  • You teach them how to resolve situations when they arise (late office hours, more trash than normal, unusual requests)
  • You explain to them how to conduct themselves while in a customer’s facility (no foul language, no using of equipment etc…)

Think about this, if one of your employees call out sick, you will have little worry about putting another employee in that position because there will be very little variation from one employee to another.

If you invest time in your employees, they will feel as though they are a real part of your company. This results in a happier staff, one that will do a consistently good job for you and your customers!

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to our RSS feed and get loads more by clicking here. If you need detailed instructions on how to start your own cleaning business, then check out my value packed course by clicking here. If you are badly in need of a first class website to take your cleaning business to the next level then click here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shannon Pye August 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Great post!! Thanks for the info.

2 Tom Watson August 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Thanks Shannon!

3 Karen Marion August 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

This is a great article! Teaching everyone to know how to do the same quality of work is basically the same success as having a McDonald’s franchise. Repetition, Duplication, Replication., etc. I have a lady that has worked for/with me for 3 years. I taught her everything she needed to be able to duplicate the way I wanted things cleaned. She’s good! I feel confident that when I send her to one of the vacation rentals I manage, the work will be done correctly and guests will take notice and think…this is nice, really nice. So…one day, I’m training a new cleaning person. The art of presentation in the bedroom. This gal could clean, but she couldn’t make a bed to save her life. So, I was sharing my knowledge of bed making. Bed making that would welcome any weary guest. Of course, we were interrupted by my lady that I taught so well. She thought I was joking about teaching this woman how to make a bed. She laughed and carried on for several moments. Until, finally, I rolled my eyes in frustration and left the property. Six beds later and six complaints later, I called my knowledgeable friend and employee of 3 years and explained to her that Monday morning, she was in charge of this one property for cleaning. I told her that the new lady would be working with her and the duty of teaching “how to make a bed” was now in her ball field. She never has interrupted a lesson since. I have also implemented a twice monthly 15 minute session for all for fine tuning and tweaking their skills in bed making, sheet folding for time saving, towel folding, dusting, cleaning, sanitizing, and any other questions or answers they may have. It’s great when everyone is on the same page. Makes for happy employees and customers!!

4 Tom Watson August 22, 2012 at 8:22 am

What a wonderful lesson to share with us Karen. Thanks! It’s the details (and training that goes into them) that separate one company from another. Thanks again!

5 Susan August 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

Can any of you direct me to a good source of cleaning methods? I want to teach my employees, but how do I know that I am doing it the best way possible? I have read many recommendations from companies like P&G on using household equipment and products they sell. But I was hoping some commercial cleaning advise would be available. I really enjoy your site and read/listen to everything you make available on running a cleaning business, but I have yet to see any tips on actual commercial cleaning. Could you please steer me in the right direction? Thanks so much!

6 Tom Watson August 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Hi Susan!

That is a great comment (and question). You make a valid point that I don’t have any actual cleaning methods on site. That’s something I’ll have to address (I’m usually just focused on “how to get started” in the biz etc…). In my courses I do cover that, but it never really made it to the site. Anyway…as to pointing you in the right direction…I don’t know offhand of any sites that cover that. I will take your advice though and incorporate some posts in the blog that tackle that issue.

Thanks for the comment!

7 claire pryce September 17, 2012 at 1:55 am

I need advice on training a new girl…not from a profesional company ..just a friends acquaintance who does housework. She doesn’t know to clean under the bedroom furniture and I don’t want to embarrass her. How do I tell her about theis.

8 Tom Watson September 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Hi Claire!

Just explain to her that you want to go over how your company cleans different rooms in a home. Then go about showing her without even mentioning that you know she doesn’t do that. She may say “I didn’t know about the under the bed part”, and you would just say “yes, that’s what sets up apart from the rest”. This way it seems casual.

I would try to train her in an actual bedroom, leaving nothing out (emphasize the under the bed part if need be). Then, just ask her if she has any questions. That should accomplish what you want without embarrassing her.

9 michele October 3, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I have been house cleaning for 15 yrs. any looking to expand. any tips on hiring?

10 Tom Watson October 3, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Hi Michelle!

My advice would start by suggesting you look for and hire a canidate with a GREAT ATTITUDE. Happy employees lead to happy customers, which in turn leads to more referrals THEN MORE MONEY. On the other side is great cleaners (or bad ones for that matter) with a poor attitude. Avoid these folks. They will cost you customers, money and your sanity.

Next up is TRAINING. Walk them through HOW YOU WANT IT DONE. This may take a day, or it may take a week or a month (depending on their experience level). Invest the time to do it right.

Lastly… Monitor their performance. Both scheduled and unscheduled inspections will keep them on their toes and keep your customers happy as well.

If you do these 3 things, you’ll be fine. If not, trouble awaits. The great part about this is IT’S NOT THAT HARD TO DO IT RIGHT. Just be disciplined.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: