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Cleaning business CHAOS to CONFIDENCE with Diane Daniel

August 13, 2022 in Training

Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by The ZenMaid Team

The following article is based on a talk given by Diane Daniel at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

Diane is well-known throughout Douglas County as “Georgia’s Cleaning Expert.” She spreads her cleaning gospel through the Enjoy Life blog, videos, weekly podcasts, and frequent public speaking engagements. She is a respected and passionate servant within the community committed to helping her family, team members, clients, friends, and neighbors enjoy their best lives.

Key takeaways from this article

You’re not alone if you’re experiencing chaos in your cleaning company. And you’re in luck because it’s never too late to turn things around! You can take that chaos and implement these three systems to make a confident and efficient company. 

  1. Have a written system
  2. Create a career growth path for your team
  3. Offer recognition

A written system

Many companies don’t use written systems in their day-to-day tasks, and this is to their detriment.

For instance, cleaning businesses may hire a new employee and verbally tell the employee the cleaning instructions and expectations. 

Unfortunately, verbal instructions don’t cut it. You need written training programs so that expectations are clearly expressed. Plus, these written instructions provide clarity, stability, and consistency. 

Written instructions help scale your business and track quality. 

Scaling your business means setting the stage in training to support and enable growth. Have a clear strategy and use the necessary planning to achieve your goal. Critical steps to scale your business include:

  • Know your purpose
  • Perfect your service 
  • Invest in technology
  • Secure clients
  • Continue to adapt and innovate
  • Establish sustainability

If creating your own written training system sounds overwhelming, don’t worry; plenty of companies offer software and informational services that are available to you. Learn more about creating a maid service training program right here

Create a career growth path for your team

Every employee needs to know that there is career growth available within your company. 

Your business’s career growth organization may look something like this: Trainee – Certified Technician – Team Lead – Manager – Senior Manager.

Regardless of the exact job titles you choose, your employees need to see a clear path to growth.

When a new, hard-working, amazing person comes on board with your team, it’s essential that this person knows the available career options. You want employees to feel valued – not confined – to their current position. 

Offer recognition

Sometimes we don’t do this enough.

As small business owners, it can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily to-do lists. 

Let your team know that they are important and appreciated. 

You can give: 

  • Awards 
  • Certifications
  • Monthly gifts
  • Leadership development

Unless you are a team of one, take the time to recognize and reward your employees. 

Many leading industries provide leadership development to their employees. Starbucks, Google, and Coca-Cola do leadership development because they know the value of each team member and what each individual brings to the team.

Every person is naturally wired to lead in a certain way. 

On a basketball team, every person has a role. The head coach, coaches, and the players play various positions. When each person maximizes their role, the team can expect to win game after game. 

Use strengths-based leadership assessments with your team. 

  • Know your strengths
  • Invest in other people’s strengths 
  • Meet the basic needs of those you manage
  • Use the right strength dynamic for your company culture

A six-month strengths-based leadership program isn’t very expensive yet gives you a high return on investment.

Some people are extroverts; some are introverts. Some love leadership; some love behind-the-scenes work. 

Love languages are key. If someone’s love language is words of affirmation, go out of your way to verbally acknowledge their work. A simple comment goes a long way. Words have the power to build up or tear down. If someone’s love language is quality time, stop scrolling on your phone during a conversation and completely focus on your employee. 

Want to know more about using the Five Love Languages in your cleaning business? Check out this ZenMaid Magazine article. 

Communication is key in company culture. Giving recognition and neglecting recognition are both types of communication. What do you want to communicate to your team – that they are important or that they are expendable?

Communicate what your company stands for on a daily basis. 

From the beginning stages (the vetting process before someone is hired) to career growth stages (say, moving from a technician to a team leader position), it’s critical that your employees know what you stand for. 

Company Culture

The three factors that change your chaos into confidence boil down to one thing:  company culture.

We’re in the people industry and we want to build people up. 

Quality of life is important for you and your employees. 

Consider what environment you’d want to walk into.

Ideas to improve the quality of life for your hard-working employees:

  • Spontaneous gift cards for massages.
  • Giving employees the day off for their birthday (a paid day off).
  • “Summer Fridays” – Every week, an employee gets to go home early on a Friday.  

Everyone wants a good quality of life, and these options are examples of creative and thoughtful things to do as an employer.

You want people to look back on your company and think, “Wow, that was really a fantastic place to work, and they really cared about me.”

Company culture is how you can impact others in your environment and how they can go out into the world and impact others.

Always think the best of others. This can be incredibly difficult when someone is off task. Lean in, listen to what they need, and maybe you can provide a solution to whatever someone needs at that time. 

Set healthy boundaries for you, your employees, and your clients.

Boundaries can be an overlooked topic among cleaning services. Speak up about what is okay and what isn’t. 

As humans, we sometimes struggle with boundaries.

Example: Your employee goes into a home with a list of three specific services on the work order to complete. However, the client expects additional things to be cleaned. Empower your workers to speak and say something like, “That is not on my work order but let me check with the office.” Your employee knows to set boundaries while treating clients respectfully.

Listen to understand; don’t listen to respond. Make eye contact with others and devote your full attention to their needs. 

Create an environment where people feel like they belong, can grow, and are doing work that matters. 

We’ve got more resources for creating a great company culture in your cleaning business. Check out this article to learn more!

Ask Others

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help.

If there is a company that you admire, reach out to the owner. Ask questions:

  1. Why do you like your job?
  2. What is it that makes you smile here?
  3. What mistakes have you made?
  4. Who inspires you?
  5. How do you make decisions at work?
  6. What are your daily habits?

Then, look at your own company and do a self-assessment. 

Advice from trusted mentors is priceless! Seek it out and use it.

Your next step

If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:

For more resources on how to grow and perfect your cleaning business, check out the replays from the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid. The summit featured more than 60 presentations from other maid service owners who shared tools and strategies to help you achieve the highest levels of success in your business. 

You can see Diane Daniel’s full talk from the Maid Summit here:

https://youtu.be/mKtKywH5TE0

Try ZenMaid for free!

ZenMaid

About the author: Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc (www.zenmaid.com). He previously started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. His goal with the maid service software at ZenMaid is to help other maid service owners do the same.

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