Once you get a few accounts – and the employees to clean them – you will want to start thinking about cross-training a few members of your staff.
The idea is to have “coverage” in case people unexpectedly quit or need time off. Though employees have the best of intentions, situations will occur where the person you hired CAN’T clean for one reason or another. This can be a headache if you don’t plan for it.
Once you start hiring you’ll find out that employees get sick, have family emergencies and experience car trouble that requires them to need a day off. Just like you, your employees have lives that are busy, and things don’t always go right! “Life gets in the way” as they say.
While you may have adequate lead time to make other arrangements from time to time, inevitably these situations occur at the LAST MINUTE. If you are not prepared this could leave you SCRAMBLING to find a way to get everything done.
These things tend to occur at the worst possible time in many cases. I can’t tell you how many times I had a nice dinner planned, an evening with friends on the schedule or tickets to a baseball game torpedoed by someone calling out.
In the beginning stages of my business I had to cancel my plans and do the work myself, but then I got SMART. I decided to pick one or two crews and train them on different jobs JUST IN CASE an issue popped up. This tends to work because generally you’ll have a few “hungry” staff members, those that are looking for more hours.
I was lucky in that I had a very dependable two person crew that would almost always scoop up everything that I offered them. They were actually happy to get the extra hours. I was fortunate that this crew worked for me for over a decade. That didn’t stop me from cross training some other staff members as well, as you can’t have too many options for when people call out.
The only advice I can offer as to WHO to cross-train is this… make sure you are training a person or crew that is dependable themselves! Ideally this is someone who has worked for you at least several months – if not more – and not only does a good job, but would welcome the added work load.
This process may take some time but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes. Sure you may have to spend a little more of your time and money training people to do multiple tasks, but the up-side is off the charts. Especially when you have tickets to your favorite baseball team!
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