Employee Handbooks For Your Cleaning Business

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by Suzanna Watson on September 30, 2010

“Human Resources”, that phrase used to scare the daylights out of me.

When I first started my cleaning business, I was always worried about managing my staff the right way. I not only wanted to be good at it, I wanted to run a company that I would like to work for myself.

A employee handbook (also known as employee manual) will help you do just that. If you plan to manage and work in your cleaning business all by yourself, being knowledgeable in “HR” probably won’t come in to play. After all, you are just managing yourself, but you will need it when you hire employees.

When we first started our cleaning business, I signed up for a course on human resources through the local Chamber Of Commerce. I was enlightened to say the least. The first question they asked us was “do any of you have an employee handbook? Most all of us shook our heads to say no.

Then a parade of questions followed.

The very first question was “why do we need one?” Most of us small business owners were convinced we didn’t need one. We are just small little companies, why go through the trouble was the prevailing line of thought. The way we saw it, the staff just needs to show up, we will tell them what to do. There was no need for any employee manual!

Of course we were way off base and the instructors of the conference knew this. They explained just how important a company handbook is to a small business. A good employee handbook protects both you and your staff from misunderstandings down the road.

Employee handbooks cover a variety of topics. Here is a partial list:

  • Orientation procedures.
  • Employee conduct.
  • Discipline policies.
  • Harassment.
  • Vacation time.
  • Holiday pay.
  • Employee benefits.
  • Attendance issues.
  • Discrimination policy.
  • How employees are paid.
  • How overtime pay is calculated.
  • Privacy policies of the company.
  • Policies for promotion or demotion.
  • Guidelines for employee performance reviews.
  • Procedures on handling on-the-job accidents.

It’s a good idea to address these issues when hiring (if you decide not to, it could come back to bite you down the road). When you have a employee manual in writing, you can hand a copy to your employee and go over it with them in detail. You want to make sure they understand it completely so when an issue does arise, you are protected, because you gave that person a company handbook.

To protect yourself a little further, I would have them sign a form stating they received it and understand the policies in the handbook. You do this because you want to cover yourself in all matters pertaining to the policies contained in the manual (and you can’t be too careful).

You will always want to refer to the handbook when matters do come up so that you and the employee can go over that particular issue together. It does not have to be a fancy bound book, it can be a 3 ring binder neatly typed and labeled. Take the time to put your handbook together, it may save you a lot of grief later.

If you need help creating an employee manual (and who doesn’t?) you can always create your own manual with the help of some expert guidance. If you need a starting point, I found one over on Amazon that’s worth checking out. You can find it here… Create Your Own Employee Handbook: A Legal & Practical Guide for Employers.

The cost of the help is small compared to the potential grief you could encounter by not having one. After all, if you want to run a first class company (and charge first class prices) you need to run a first class operation, and a employee handbook helps you do just that.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous July 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm


I’ve spent the whole week reading multiple articles on your blog and would like to let you know how much of a GODsend this site is. I am interested in possibly starting a residential cleaning service with the possibility of moving into an additional specialty, i.e, carpet cleaning or a commercial cleaning service, if the business becomes successful. I am so appreciative of you all for taking the time to inform us on all you have learned over the many years of being in the cleaning service rather than keeping that wealth of information to yourselves.

If I do decide to follow through with this idea, I hope to have atleast a third of the success that you two have. GOD bless you and your family.

Thank You!

2 Tom Watson July 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm

I’m happy to hear you are making use of the site! I’ll be here if you need me!

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