Training new employees to clean houses can be challenging or rewarding for professional residential cleaning business owners. It all depends on your approach and why you’re training.
If you’re a small company and training new staff so that you won’t have to clean, then you’re in a fantastic position!
Leveraging yourself is the best move you can make. You should feel proud that you’ve got to this point in your business!
But, if you’re bringing on more team members to replace staff that is no longer with your company, then you my friend, may have ambivalent feelings. Perhaps even leaning towards caution.
Think about it, if the person, who is no longer with you, left on good terms and was an outstanding employee, no one can replace them. However, if that person’s employment was terminated, you’re probably a bit anxious. Hoping to make sure you on-board this next hire the right way.
I gotcha 😉.
This is why creating employee training systems are so important. And, as a rule of thumb, they should be tweaked every now and again.
However the matter of why you’re training new staff people, rest assured, it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem. Developing training procedures for new professional cleaning staff is like all other processes in your business.
Training good employees takes time, patience, and the ability to stand firm on certain concerns, yet open-minded to implementing better options.
Trust me, my husband, Elbert and I have been employing residential cleaning staff for the past 18 years. We have employed personnel to replace staff AND because our business was expanding.
So, we have been on the emotional spectrum from the feelings of total relief to being scared to death like contestants on NBC’s old TV show “Fear Factor”. Lol. (Yea, we’re old school.)
Training new hires was always a bit unnerving, so we had to figure out, quickly, how to effectively and efficiently train new house cleaning staff members.
Any method that was systematic and made sense to us.
The good thing is that we had already established a good interviewing system for the commercial cleaning side of our business.
Try to incorporate a good interviewing system. This can help with the employee training process.
Having a good interviewing system can directly affect how well the training process will be. You will at least have some familiarity with the people you’re onboarding.
Once we created this 3-step system for hiring staff for office cleaning, we incorporated that same method for our residential services too.
When we got to the point of securing new team members, we knew the type of trainee we were working with. We created our own house cleaning training manual. Here’s an outline the basics for training cleaning employees below.
Here’s how to create an employee training system in 5 easy steps.
Have a clearly established plan for housekeeping. Use a simple and easy to understand customized checklist for each of your customers.
It is best to have a customized cleaning checklist. With this, your trainee will get to know your cleaning procedures as well as how to cater to each customer.
If you don’t have a cleaning checklist, you can get it in our cleaning resource library. It’s a general house cleaning checklist that should cover the basics for any residential cleaning service.
Additionally, as stated above, each home is different and has different needs. As you’re training staff, it’s important to have conversations that express that.
The cleaning procedure with products may be the same house to house, but the care of other matters along with cleaning may vary. Such as bed making preferences, or where to put certain dishes, or if the dog is let outside when cleaning is done.
Things like this are just as important which is why a house cleaning checklist would come in handy.
Use the entire work day to train. From the pick-up location to the drop-off location. At each home, instruct the new hire according to that home’s cleaning routine.
a) Demonstrate with products. Show what to clean and the product you use to clean it. b) Instruct with rational. Explain why you use certain chemicals, or non-chemicals, and why you prefer to do it this way. Understanding “why” always helps. c) Give them the freedom to clean on their own for a while. Check on them every 10-15 minutes or so.
During this time you or other staff can clean other rooms in the house so as to keep up with the day’s cleaning schedule. You don’t want to fall behind.
Clean either by task or by room. This particular method will depend on how your cleaning business provides service.
When we work as a team, we work on the hardest rooms first (kitchens and baths), then we divide the dusting, wiping, tidy tasks, and floor care between the staff members.
This works well as an established team but may not be good while training. Demonstrate, instruct and give the trainee a little independence one room at a time.
Depending on the length of your training process, you can practice on bathrooms all day on Monday. Then demonstrate, instruct, and give the freedom to flow in kitchens on Tuesday. Wednesday will be for all living areas. The rest of the week, repeat and then start adding the time keeping element.
The time keeping element is so important. It is vital to stay on time throughout the work day no matter the fact that you’re training cleaning employees. This is why it was suggested earlier to clean other rooms in the house as the trainee would focus on just one room at a time..
If you have not established a time-keeping system or incorporated time-blocking in your schedule, please feel free to grab it. It is also in our professional cleaning resource library.
As you train your new hire, be sure to use wisdom and be honest with yourself. If after, 2 or 3 days, you don’t feel that this person is a good fit for any.reason.at.all, do not keep them on. Honestly, in the long run, you and your other team members will be happy.
In fact, ask your other staff members, if any, how they feel about the newbie. Did they observe anything peculiar? Did they notice any inconsistencies? Anything odd or out of the ordinary?
Did you or your current staff members notice anything good or pleasant about the trainee’s personality? Did anyone observe the trainee take initiative in terms of problem solving? Notice anything positive? Do you believe this person will be an asset to your business? How so?
Now is the time to make a decision if you want the person to stay with your company.
Seriously, go with your gut!
I read somewhere online that it is always best to “hire slow and fire fast”. Nothing can be more true. And, to add to that, simply don’t hire someone, even after training, if you are on the fence. It is not worth it.
No matter your reason to train cleaning staff for your professional maid service, be smart. Start off by incorporating a great interviewing process to put focus on who makes a good fit. Develop a good plan for training with cleaning checklists and a time-blocked daily schedule. Demonstrate, instruct, and give independence to the new hire in a structured pattern over the course of the training period. Lastly, go with your gut, because after the training period, decide if this person is the best addition to your growing cleaning business.
“Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.” – Howard Schulz
Creator of A Janitor’s Story®. I started my office cleaning side hustle at 20 years old. Years later, with the partnership of my husband and our amazing staff, my business grew to mid-six figures and fulfilled my wildest dreams! Now, 27 years STRONG, I’ve retired, and I help aspiring entrepreneurs to START and GROW their house and office cleaning service businesses to achieve their biggest dreams. I’d like to help you do the same.
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