Starting your own house cleaning business can be a smart business decision. It’s not as simple as perfecting your cleaning techniques, however. You also need to hire and provide training for cleaning staff while concentrating on growing your business and meeting quality standards. Here are seven tips for training new maids and house cleaning employees.
1. Cover Basic Training With Strategic Team Scheduling
Deciding how to train cleaning employees depends on how you organize your business and the size and scope of each job. If you typically send one cleaning person to each home, sending a new hire along can be beneficial on-the-job training.
However, the more team members you have, the more essential it is to have every new hire work with each seasoned employee. While you want to ensure every employee understands the company culture and branding expectations—such as what uniform they wear or how they communicate with clients—they should also become familiar with how each cleaner performs the necessary duties.
The more experience each new maid has on the job, the better their long-term performance will be. By providing extensive and partnership type training, you can help instill confidence in even the greenest employee. Starting them off right (and with plenty of resources) guarantees they remain committed to doing a thorough job.
Here are 7 general guidelines on how to train new maids:
- Develop a standard method for each job, such as how to remove stains from grout or how to properly steam clean carpet, and train every staff member on procedures.
- Offer multiple methods to achieve the same result so employees can use what works best for them while delivering consistent results.
- Pair up each new cleaning staff member with an experienced maid to learn the ins and outs of the business.
- Issue employees a uniform or mandate specific colors or dress codes for uniformity.
- Practice customer introductions with each staff member, such as requiring that they give a greeting, introduce themselves, and cover any legal or technical details at the start of the job.
- Explain how to handle property damage and outline insurance coverages and policies for reference.
- Establish parameters for scheduling and responsibilities, making sure each employee works in every area of the business.
2. Concentrate on Soft Skills
Soft skills include personality attributes and social awareness. It can be challenging to train these qualities, but you can encourage traits like emotional intelligence and overall “people skills” in your staff.
Rather than focusing on performance metrics, encourage your cleaning staff to build personal connections with clients. You don’t need to know every customer’s life story, that much is evident. But, being sensitive to their needs and expectations is the first step toward ensuring repeat business.
Soft skills encompass the following traits and areas:
- Communication abilities
- Creative thinking
- Work ethic
- Decision making
- Time management
- Conflict resolution
Focus on hiring employees with positive personalities and can-do attitudes, and the physical house cleaning training aspect of onboarding will be the least of your worries.
3. Give Your Employees the Power to Upgrade Customer Service
Although ensuring a thorough cleaning job is the best way to provide excellent customer service, your employees should feel confident in going above and beyond. By allowing your staff to give your clients “extras,” such as a complimentary carpet deep clean or a ten percent discount, you are increasing their ability to deliver amazing service.
Your cleaning business training should also include tactics for providing great customer service, such as:
- Taking notes on client preferences and passing those along to team members.
- Having answers to client questions.
- Returning phone calls, emails, and other correspondence promptly.
- Allowing time gaps between jobs to minimize arriving late to a task or needing to leave early to be on time elsewhere.
- Showing up to the job in uniform and with all the necessary tools and equipment (plus backups as necessary.)
4. Focus on Building Long-Term Clientele (and Lucrative Relationships)
You might think that sourcing clients, completing cleaning duties, and processing invoices are all that’s necessary to run a cleaning business. However, if you only focus on current clients and existing jobs, you may find that your business doesn’t gain the momentum you’re hoping for.
To build long term relationships with clientele, you and your team need to use more than just cleaning products and equipment. You need software tools to streamline client invoicing and billing, track employee scheduling and maid training, and follow up with clients after completing jobs.
Encouraging your team to utilize all the marketing tools available to them—from email communication to Facebook and other social media pages—can elevate the customer experience and increase your odds of retaining clients.
Make sure each staff member understands how to use email building and other tools. If you decide to incorporate satisfaction surveys, appointment reminders, or other technical features into your business model, train your staff on how to use them.
By making these tools part of your daily business operations, you are securing longevity and success for your brand and company. These days, exceptional service isn’t enough: you need tools and the passion of you and your team to facilitate growth.
Interested in the tools & features mentioned above? WorkWave’s cleaning & maid software has all of these options and more. Check out our maid service software page for more information.
5. Use Positive Reinforcement Training Tools
Hopefully, you already have a qualified and motivated team to care for your clients’ homes. But if you have concerns or reservations about any employee (new or otherwise) or your overall team, it’s worth investing in additional training and reinforcement.
For example, you could use evaluation metrics to issue bonuses, offer paid time off for meeting specific goals, or ask customers for reviews and reward an employee of the month or quarter for receiving high marks.
Secret shopper programs are another option for growing businesses. By offering a discount to existing clients, you can ask them for detailed feedback on your staff’s performance. Because employees never know which client will submit a review, they tend to display more motivation toward their regular tasks.
Typically, using negative reinforcement—such as demerits or a point system—drags down employee morale. Positive reinforcement, however, can encourage healthy competition among staff, enhance the level of service customers receive, and increase employee positivity.
When you give your cleaning team motivation and the space to excel, they may surprise you with their efforts.
6. Have a Plan for Potential Damage
Any employee, but particularly new staff, can have an accident in a client home and either do damage to the property or break a piece of property. While staff should receive instructions on how to clean carefully yet thoroughly, mistakes do happen.
Ideally, you should have business insurance to cover your clients’ property and your employees’ safety. Your cleaning employees should have pertinent insurance information and contact details with them each time they visit a client’s home. They should also receive a briefing on how to handle such events if they occur.
Every business owner would prefer not to have to use their business insurance, but you and your staff need to have coverage for just-in-case scenarios. Ensure your maid staff understands how to use the coverage and how to communicate the necessary information to customers.
7. Keep an Open Mind and Remain Flexible
Growing your cleaning business brand is both challenging and rewarding. Perhaps the most essential part of training, retaining, and developing cleaning personnel is keeping an open mind. After all, no two employees are the same, meaning a bit of flexibility will prove priceless for your business model.
Having set policies and procedures in place, including things like dress code requirements or uniforms, maintains your brand’s image and consistency. But, allowing your maid staff some leeway in how to handle clients and perform routine duties encourages them to remain productive and take ownership of their work.
No matter how many employees you have or how little experience they have, focusing on people first is a great way to approach your business model. Effective training methods, helpful technical tools, and the right mindset can grow your business beyond your greatest expectations. And, you will be bringing the best and brightest employees along for the journey.