CHAPTER 11-: This is the eleventh chapter of “The Complete Guide to Starting a Cleaning Business.” Are you about starting a commercial cleaning service? If YES, here’s a step by step guide on how to train your employees to handle cleaning jobs professionally
Recruiting the right workers is only half the work done when it comes to assembling a cleaning staff that will be of great value to your cleaning service company. The other half of the work revolves around the training of the employees that have been hired. A lot of beginner entrepreneurs reject or ignore the idea of employee training simply because they do not understand the significance of this course of action and thus fail to realize what great assets well trained employees can turn out to be both in the long and the short run.
Why You Must Train your Employees Before Assigning Cleaning Tasks to Them
As you already know, the cleaning business or rather the industry itself is based on service. People are employed in companies like yours so that they can take on the physically challenging job of cleaning the houses and the offices of your clients. Intense labour combined with impressive skills is what leads to quality service in this field. When you hire your workers, you cannot expect them to fully understand the dynamic of your business. More often than not, they will remain in the dark about the expectations that you have of them and the standards that they are ought to meet in order to thrive in your company. Sure enough, you can hand them a one page note that outlines all their duties and requirements. However, a few lines on a piece of paper will not give them a clear understanding of how exactly they are expected to go about their business in your company.
Also, you must bear in mind the fact that there is no such thing as perfect workers. From the perspective of a novice entrepreneur, an ideal worker is one that is perfect i.e. an employee who is fully competent and is equipped with all the skills and experience necessary to excel in each and every single task that is assigned to them in a cleaning service company. Such perfect workers are not even a rarity, they are simply impossible to find unless you can create home and office cleaning humanoids.
Ask any experience entrepreneur and he or she will tell you that ideal workers at the time of recruitment are those who possess a commendable set of skills, a considerable amount of experience in the field and the eagerness or hunger to learn, develop and evolve as workers in your company. In order to facilitate that learning, development and evolution that you ideal workers strive for, you need to provide them with training facilities. This will be mutually beneficial for both your cleaning service company and your workers.
One of the reasons why inexperience entrepreneurs do not feel the need to train the employees of their cleaning business is due to short sightedness. In their eyes, there is very little point of spending money on the training of an employee when you can quite easily make money by utilizing the worker in the job field immediately following recruitment. At a cursory glance, this rookie logic does seem to make a lot of sense. If you know how to recruit the right workers, you will certainly not end up with employees who are completely useless or inefficient. They can and will make a decent contribution in the jobsite. As a matter of fact, some employees can pull off a satisfactory job without even being trained. So why should you drain your pockets and providing training to your money making cleaning staff?
Is Training your Employees Worth the Expenses?
If you are wise enough, you probably have the answer to that question figured out in your head by now. It’s been mentioned that untrained employees can help you complete a satisfactory job in the homes or offices of your clients. The key word here is satisfactory. During the initial stages of your business, you cannot afford to rely on satisfactory performances. You must aim for excellence and improvement at all costs.
If doing a decent job is good enough for you, then the quality of your service will never rise and your portfolio of clients will hardly ever increase. In this world of competition, do you honestly think that a client would refer your cleaning company to a friend or family member simply because you carried out a “satisfactory job”? With such a weak willed approach, your clients would barely notice your effort let alone appreciate it and praise you for it.
This is why training your employees is so important. The quality of your service may not be sky high during the first few months of the business operations, but as long as you are facilitating the training of your employees, there is always hope for your service to grow in quality and also expand in terms of diversity. With trained employees, you can have a realistic expectation to achieve excellence within a short period of time. Also, training will help your employees learn new skills that they can use to add to your collection of services. The more services you offer, the higher will be your chances of attracting lucrative clients. It is a very straightforward logic indeed.
Spending money in training the employees of your cleaning service company needs to be seen as a form of investment. That makes it much easier for you to draw out money and use it for the purpose of their development. Like with any worthy investment, training your employees will eventually reap rewards. If you are consistent with your training practices and adapt the right approach to training, your employees will have a lot more to contribute to your business in terms of both proficiency and efficiency.
When you have skilled and hard working workers at your disposal, your business is bound to tread on the path of success. With each new day at the jobsites, your employees will continue to perform better, and when they always have training programs to rely on, you can be sure that your employees will be in a constant phase of improvement. Training your employees is one of the simplest and easiest ways of guaranteeing the future success of your cleaning service business.
10 Tasks / Skills You Must Train Your Cleaning Staff On
The role trainings play in the growth and development of organizations cannot be overemphasized that is why no amount is too much to be budgeted for training as long as it produce the results that you desire in your organization. There are key tasks that you must not ignore when planning training programs for your cleaning staff and that is what you stand to learn in this article.
If you have seen any cleaning company whose staff are known to deliver top notch services, then you have seen a cleaning company that doesn’t joke with the training of its staff members. Here are 10 tasks that you must train your cleaning staff on;
I. Customer Service Skills
As a matter of fact, everybody that works in the corporate world should undergo customer service training. It is important because in the work place, customer service is not just about servicing your company’s external customers but also servicing your internal customers who are your colleagues. So as a cleaning staff, you will be required to interact with people wherever you work so it will be to your advantage to get trained on how to relate with your clients.
II. Attention to Details
One of the reasons why corporate cleaning companies lose cleaning contracts is simply because of a plummet in the quality of services rendered. What you need to do to ensure that your cleaning staff delivers top notch cleaning jobs as required by your clients is to train them on how to pay attention to details whenever they carry out their cleaning jobs.
III. Health and Safety Skills
Cleaners are exposed to health hazard in the line of their duties that is the reason why it is highly important to train them on health and safety; cleaners should be safety conscious at all times especially those who work in the petrol – chemical industry or the medical industry.
IV. Reporting and Communication Skills
In order to properly execute your cleaning jobs and also put proper planning in place that will help your improve on your service, then you should train your cleaning staff on reporting and communication skills. This skill is one of the important skills that is needed in the corporate world and cleaners are not exempted.
V. Time Management Skills
Achieving more at work means that you should be able to effectively manage your time. All your cleaning staff should be trained on effective time management skills; they should be trained on how to prioritize. If you do not train your cleaning staff on effective time management skills, there is the possibility that they will resume late in their duty posts and even spend more time than required in handling a task.
VI. Cleaning Equipment Handling Techniques
There are various types of cleaning equipment and it is your responsibility to train your cleaning staff on how to handle cleaning equipment that they are expected to work with. It is not enough to give them brief explanations on how the equipment works; you should be detailed when training them. With that you will be able to bring out the best in them when they make use of the equipment when cleaning. Please don’t release any equipment to a cleaning staff if they have not been trained on how to handle it.
VII. Quality Control Skills
Quality should never be compromised if you truly want to continue to remain in the cleaning business that is why you must do all it takes to train your cleaning staff on quality control skills. Aside from training all your cleaning staff on quality control, you should create a quality control department; their responsibility should be going round your various cleaning posts and ensuring that all your cleaning employees are complying with your quality control standard.
VIII. Interpersonal Skills
Another important aspect that you should train your cleaning staff on is interpersonal skills. Every human needs good interpersonal skills to be able to achieve their goals and their desires. The fact that your cleaning staff will be working for organizations and also with a team, makes interpersonal skills training a must for them. So ensure that you make provisions for interpersonal skills training for your staff before assigning them to a work station.
IX. Cleaning Chemicals Handling Skills-: Most of the chemicals used in the cleaning industry are hash to the skin and eyes that is why it is important to ensure that you train your cleaning staff on how to handle cleaning chemicals.
Your cleaning staff should also be train on compliance. Much more than setting rules for your cleaning staff, you should also make room for them to know what it means to comply to lay down rules and regulations. Your cleaning staff should not just comply with your company’s policy, but they should also comply with the policy of the company they are assigned to work.
There you have it; 10 tasks you must train your cleaning staff on.
Finding the Best Training Program for your Cleaning Staff
There are various training programs available for cleaning staff; some trainings are tailored to help address some skill set gap that is needed for peak performance. The bottom line is that once you contract the training of your cleaning staff to a professional trainer, they will conduct training need analysis to determine the type of training that will benefit your staff (workforce). So if you want to find the best training for programs for your cleaning staff, then you should conduct training need analysis. Now let us quickly consider how you can find the best training programs for your cleaning staff;
a. The First Step to Take in Order to Find the Best Training Programs for Your Cleaning Staff is to Conduct Training Need Analysis (TNA)
It is difficult to know the actual training that your cleaning staff may need in order to perform excellently on their jobs without first conducting a training need analysis. The essence of training need analysis is to discover the skill set gaps that exist in an organization. It is easier to prepare a training module to address specific needs if you know the area that needed to be improved upon. With training need analysis, you will be able to engage your employees to know the challenges they are facing on their jobs, the skills they need to be able to perform optimally and how the training style that is suitable for them.
b. Search Online for Various Training Options
Once you are able to discover the skills that your cleaning employees are lacking, you can comfortably search online to find the type of training programs that will help them acquire such skills. The truth is that, you will see loads of cleaning programs that is why it is important to know the type of training programs that will benefit your staff before going online. One good thing about training programs is that you can discuss with the training consultant to help you customized the trainings to fit into your budget and your training need.
c. Talk to a Training Consultant
One of your best options when it comes to finding the best training programs for your cleaning staff is to talk to a training consultant. Training consultants are trained to work with their clients to help them achieve their training goals. Although you will be required to pay some consultation fees, but you will surely get value for your money if you engage a core professional training consultant.
d. Sample the Views of People in the Industry
Another way you can find the best training programs for your cleaning staff is to sample the views of people who are in the cleaning industry. People who have stayed longer than you in the cleaning industry would have tried their hands on various training programs and they would have come to the conclusion about training programs that are suitable for cleaning staff in the cleaning industry. If you are in good relationship with leaders in your industry, they will be willing to suggest suitable training programs for your company.
e. Ask Your Clients
Another option that you have when it comes to finding the right training programs for your cleaning staff is to ask your clients. The truth is that, your clients are also stake holders when it comes to designing training programs for your employees because they are the recipient of your cleaning services and they pay your bill. So ensure that you ask your clients questions that will help you serve them better. Statistics shows that the top reason why corporate cleaning companies lose their clients is simply because of decline in the quality of the job they deliver. Instead of allowing your client to get to the stage of being dissatisfied with your service, ensure that you engage them at different intervals to know if they are satisfied with your service and if there is anything you can do to improve your service.
Whenever you are shopping for the best training programs for your cleaning staff, ensure that you also source for suitable training style that will help you achieve your aim of organizing the training. There you have it; the way to find the best training programs for your cleaning staff.
Now that you understand the evident advantages of training your employees, you need to learn how to go about your business of training them. Adequately training your employees is not exactly the easiest job in the world. It requires patience, perseverance, commitment and above all vision. It is sort of like coaching a sports team for the major leagues. Every dollar that you spend in order to train your employees needs to have a purpose and a motive. Spend too less, and your training programs will bear no fruits. Spend too much and the seemingly beneficial training programs may end up hurting your business financially. If you want to maximize your training efforts, then take heed of the following 7 pieces of advice.
7 Tips for Training your Employees to Handle Cleaning Jobs
1) Learn to Accommodate Everybody
There is no one winning formula to achieving success with a training program. This mainly has to do with the fact that different people have different learning capabilities. It should come as no surprise to you that some people have the capacity to absorb and utilize information much faster than other people who tend to be slow learners and play catch up. Therefore it becomes necessary for you to come up with a training program that is in sync with the preference of all the individuals in your team. Do not rely on one particular method. Keep changing the strategies. If reading a manual works for one employee, it does not mean that other employees will not be requiring verbal explanation and physical demonstrations.
2) Count on Simulation
In order for a training program to be successful, the training environment must be as real as possible. Do whatever you can to reproduce and replicate the environment of a real jobsite. This will help you to better test and assess the skills of your employees and will give your workers a taste of what it’s like to work in the offices and homes of your clients. Make sure that they are trained in a safe and controlled environment. Many cleaning projects require your workers to exercise interpersonal skills. Therefore, it is important for you to make sure that the employees are role playing with each other to work out how to function better in the simulated training environment.
3) Lead from the Front
Do not be the boss that barks orders from the back of the line. Instead, do whatever you can to let your employees know that you are putting just as much effort as you expect them to put in. This is how you establish your image as an ideal role model employer. If you avoid taking shortcuts, your employees will learn to do that from you. If you value hard work and consistency, then your employees will most likely do the same. While trying to be a role model, do not get carried away and simply concentrate on doing your job perfectly. You need to keep a watchful eye on your employees to make sure that they are learning their craft well.
4) Look Out for Training Opportunities
Training opportunities will present themselves to you in every step of the way. You just need to keep an eye out for them. Once the basic orientation and job skills training are complete, you need to shift your attention to advanced training that will further develop the proficiency of your employees. There is virtually no end to how good a worker can become in the cleaning service business. Make sure that your employees are always being trained to be better than they were yesterday.
5) Trial by Fire
Even them most realistic simulated environments with the perfect role playing does not compare to the actual environment of a jobsite. The pressure to deliver in a real environment is always much greater than it is in a jobsite. The trainees in your cleaning service company need to acclimatize themselves with this pressure to perform. Therefore, it is a good idea to put trainees in a real environment during an actual cleaning project. With that being said, you must ensure that your clients are unaware of the fact that you are using their homes and offices as a training environment. It is a risky business, but what is business without a few risks?
6) Answer Them Beforehand
Anticipating questions and answering them even before they are raised is a key characteristic of a good trainer/employer. You cannot expect your employees to always ask the right questions. Most of the times, employees do not speak up mainly because they are afraid of asking the wrong questions and incurring the wrath of embarrassment in the process. Help them out by providing them with all the information that they could possibly ask for.
7) Let them Respond
No matter how comprehensive your training program is, you can never quite expect it to be flawless and perfect. This is why receiving feedback from your trainees is of utmost importance. Their feedback will help you pinpoint the areas where they are struggling to grasp the training program and also give you an insight into how you can improve your training effort.
Recruiting the right workers and training them adequately goes hand in hand. One is incomplete without the other. When you get both of them spot on, you will be well on your way of forming the most impressive team of cleaning staff in the town.