The process of finding the right employees and training them! How do you even begin to look for trustworthy, hardworking employees? There are a couple ways you can get to work on this:
- Post online job listings for your local area
- Reach out on LinkedIn
- Reach out in your social network
- Post job listings at the local college
Now you might know how to go about finding people, but how can you be sure you are hiring the right kind of employees for the job? Following is a few steps you should take when hiring new employees:
- Run legal background checks
- Look for timeliness and punctuality when they arrive for the interview
- Study their reasons for leaving past jobs
- Look for employees who are willing to learn the skills of the industry
- Hire employees who will stick with your business and excel
- Only hire employees you yourself would trust in your home
You might have other specific traits and characteristics you expect from your employees, so be sure to keep those in mind during the interview process. It is important to find people who are willing to learn, as mentioned above, because they will need to undergo training in order to work in the cleaning industry. If they aren't willing to commit to the training and learn all of the techniques for efficiency, then they could end up hurting your business by doing a poor job. Your employees will be the face of your business as you send them out to customer's homes and offices, so make sure that you hire people you would be proud to have represent your business.
The next step after hiring would be training these new employees, so how can you make the most out of this stage of the process?
- Find out How They Learn Best: You might start off training in groups of new employees, just to speed up the process and resources, but suppose one employee really needs one-on-one training to truly grasp the concepts? You shouldn't disregard them simply because they would benefit from more personal training, because you never know when they might turn out to be your most loyal and valuable employee.
Every individual will learn information differently, so you just need to evaluate each employee to determine how he or she will learn best. This is valuable information for the future as well, not just during the training process. If you notice that an employee is not doing something as efficiently or skillfully as you would like, you will need to know how best to approach that specific employee to solve the problem. Get to know your employees and see if they would prefer a written guide, verbal explanations and demonstrations, or the opportunity to work in a group. This is how you can create well-rounded employees who are strong in the skills you have taught them.
- Learn Their Strengths: When you send out a cleaning crew to a large space, or even just a pair of employees to a home, you'll have to assign specific tasks to each employee so that the job is as efficient as possible. Learn what your employees do best, and what their strongest skillsets are. Find employees who complement each other's strengths and pair them together for jobs, so that they can each take care of the areas where they excel.
- The Training Should be Real: Clearly, you shouldn't send a new employee alone to a client's house and just let them at it, hoping for the best. Once you have provided them with adequate information about how you would like the job carried out, then all that's left is for them to get some practice using the techniques you taught. Send a new employee out with an experienced employee for a bit of a training exercise. If you're just starting out and don't have experienced employees yet, then you'll have to take out the new employees for a test run. Let them get comfortable with the equipment and techniques while under the supervision of an expert.
- Be a Leader: You should be the role model to your employees, and demonstrate to them how hard work will pay off. If they're struggling with a cleaning technique, get in there yourself and help them through it. They'll be watching you for a representation of how they're expected to behave on the job, so don't do anything you wouldn't appreciate coming from them. Teach them to respect the customers by showing the customers respect yourself. Leading by example is a primary way to create strong and loyal employees.
- Give Them Opportunities for Advancement: Your employees won't stick with your business if they don't see the possibility of a future there. Provide opportunities for bonuses, raises, and advancements in the business. If you have teams of employees cleaning commercial areas, assign a leader to the team and make it a position that your employees have to work for. Make this a career that they could see themselves being in for the long run, and you'll have more employees that are loyal by your side.
- Encourage Questions and Feedback: Lastly, just ensure that your employees know you are open to their concerns or questions. Ask them for their feedback on the training process or the cleaning procedures. They might have valuable suggestions for how techniques could be improved or efficiency could be increased. If they have any questions about the way certain things should be done, they need to know that they can come to you with these questions.
All of these tips will help you build a team of hardworking, loyal employees who will represent your business to the best of their abilities.
You will need to be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that come with it!
Examine first the benefits of green cleaning, so that you can explain to potential customers why they might be interested in pursuing this method of cleaning:Interested in learning more? Why not take an online Starting Your Own Cleaning Business course?
- Health - This is the number one reason, as the strong chemicals found in many other cleaning products are absorbed by the skin or breathed in by the customer. For individuals with asthma or allergies, green cleaning products can greatly reduce their symptoms and help them live a healthier life. These are two of the most widespread inflictions, as nearly every home has at least one person who suffers from allergies or asthma.
- Safety - Not only for your customers, but for your employees as well. Strong chemicals can do damage to the cleaner's eyes and skin, but green products are corrosive or toxic to your employees.2
- Less Expensive - Many green products are made from ingredients that most people would have just sitting around the house already. For businesses, the green cleaning industry is highly competitive, so the prices on green products are competitive as well. You can be sure to find a great deal on these supplies.
- More knowledge - Since green cleaning products are so basic and straightforward, you actually can understand what it is that you are putting into a customer's home. If they have questions, you'll actually be able to answer, rather than not knowing what you are using because it's all made up of chemicals.
How can you get started in the green cleaning industry? Just contact vendors and suppliers, who offer the products you want, and find a line of products that fits well into your budget and also provides quality cleaning.3 Since this is such a popular trend, be sure to promote this part of your business in your marketing campaign.
Now that you know the opportunities and benefits of the industry, what about the problems and challenges you could potentially face?
- What Do You Do if Your Employees are Accused of Theft?
1. This is something you need to plan and prepare for ahead of time. Even if you hire honest and trustworthy employees, you can't prevent customers from making false accusations when they simply misplace or lose something. A Janitorial Bond/Surety Bond can save you the trouble down the road, as it is a guarantee from your insurance company to protect you from accusations of theft.4 Not only does it protect you and your employees, but it can also make your business far more marketable, as it provides credibility to demonstrate to your customers.
- What Do You Do if an Employee Falls Ill?
1. If one of your employees suddenly falls ill and can't make it in to work, you can't just tell the customer that they won't get any service today. If they're having a big party or event and cleaning is necessary, they won't be satisfied with that answer. Instead, you need to set up a back-up system so that you always have a way to fulfill your promise to your customers. This might mean having employees on-call at certain times, being willing to work yourself if you need to, or scheduling large enough teams to work so that if one person falls ill the others will be able to handle it. Whatever the plan is, just make sure you have something in place to guarantee you never leave a customer waiting.
- What if Your Supplier is Late on Delivery?
1. You can't just cancel on your customers because you don't have the supplies on time. Either have a back-up store you can run to for temporary supplies, or always be sure to have a stock of supplies and order before you run out. If your supplier is frequently late on deliveries, switch suppliers so that your business doesn't suffer from their mistakes. In order for your business to be reliable, you need your supplier to be reliable as well.
- What If Your Marketing Strategies aren't Bringing in any New Customers?
1. Simple answer: Change your approach. This is one reason why you need to set marketing objectives and monitor the changes in your business, so you can see if your current strategy is even making any difference at all. Watch your customer growth in relation to your marketing tactics, and ask new customers how they learned about your customers. If you're draining money on a marketing tactic and all your new customers are learning about you online, then it might not be worth it to continue spending that money.
- What Changes with the Holidays?
1. This is particularly a challenge to residential services. During the rest of the year, you might have a pretty consistent schedule, with certain customers having a cleaning on Monday, others specifically on Tuesday, and so on. During the holidays, however, many of your regular customers will be throwing parties and having guests over and their requested cleaning schedule might be thrown out the window. They'll be requesting you to come the day before their party or after the party, or right before special guests arrive. Prepare ahead of time for the chaos of the holidays, and prepare your employees as well. There's no way to predict how the schedule will change, but you can know that it most definitely will. Prepare to work extra hours during the holidays and on different days than you're used to in order to accommodate your employees.
- What Should you Do if Damage Occurs?
1. Accidents happen, and they're simply unavoidable. There's no guarantee that your employee won't knock a vase off the shelf, so what do you do when that happens? If the damages are small, it might be best to just cover the cost on your own without alerting your insurance, as repeat incidents may cause your rates to go up. If the damage is extreme or costly, however, this is when you should contact your insurance. If the customer is not present when the accident happens, ensure that your employees are honest about what happened and present the issue to the customer, not try to hide it.
2. Following an accident, it's advisable to have a talk with your employees about what happened. It might truly have been an accident, but investigate to see if it was an act of carelessness that led to this incident. If your employees are being careless on customer's property, this is something that needs to be addressed. Although accidents are unavoidable, your employees should be making conscious efforts to take care of the customer's property to the best of their ability. Repeated accidents by a single employee can be a red flag about their clumsiness or carelessness, and they might need to reconsider a job in the cleaning industry.
- What Do You Do if One Employee on a Team is Slacking?
1. When you send a team out to clean a home or workplace, you're expecting them to all work together to finish the job efficiently. As long as the job gets finished, you might not be aware that one employee was slacking and leave his/her coworkers to pick up the rest of the duties. If other employees bring this to your attention, however, don't disregard it as it could be costing your business valuable time.
2. In order to investigate the issue, you might require that each employee fill out a worksheet, initialing by the task that they themselves did that day. You can then see if the jobs are weighted unevenly, with one employee doing less than the others. An alternate issue might be that one employee is doing just as many tasks, but not to the right level of perfection that you seek. You can inspect the job afterwards to see which employee might not be delivering satisfactory service. Finally, you might even need to tag along with the team and observe first-hand the employee's cleaning capabilities and work ethic. Don't let your employees suffer from the laziness of another.
- How Do You Deal with Problem Customers?
1. You want to hear about issues from your customers and address them, but what do you do if one customer just won't stop complaining and giving your business a hard time? An important step is that you remain respectful, even if the customer is being respectful in return. Maintain your professionalism and politely ask them if there is any way to resolve the issue they are upset about. With some customers, however, they are simply dissatisfied no matter what you do to help the situation. If that customer is being disrespectful to your employees and bringing on more stress than it's worth, don't be afraid to tell them you can't work for them anymore. Always try to give it time and work it out first, though. You can show you care by visiting the location personally and inspecting the cleaning job they are unhappy with.
You don't always know what the cleaning industry will throw at you, but you can take steps towards ensuring that any problems or issues will be dealt with smoothly and efficiently.