This article was updated May 2022.
About the presenter
Diane Daniel is the founder and owner of Enjoy Life Cleaning Services, a home cleaning company designed to make homeowners’ lives easier by providing consistent, quality cleaning services. Diane is an award-winning cleaning service owner and community leader. She is focused on company culture development and believes that the greatest joy in life is deciding what to do with your time. Through her proven cleaning system and serving in excellence, she helps her cleaning clients relax and create more time to enjoy doing more of what they love.
Company culture: what does it really mean?
We hear the phrase “company culture” at work, in social media, and in the news. But what does it really mean and why should you care about it?
Company culture is the way you positively impact others in your environment (the workplace) and how those people, in turn, go out and impact others.
Let’s consider these companies for a minute: Google, Amazon, and Chick-Fila. These are three companies that have a really strong company culture.
How? They care deeply about how they communicate with the world and the people they employ. After all, the biggest part of your company is its people, right?
So, a great company culture is the foundation of your company’s success.
The million-dollar question is: how do you make sure that your company is in alignment with what you claim to care about? If you’re not 100% sure, then maybe you need to do a self-assessment. Close your eyes for a moment and honestly answer these questions:
- If you came into your company right now as a new employee, would it be an environment that you would want to work in?
- Would you be excited to come to work every day?
Suppose your company culture isn’t exactly where you want it to be. Take a day this week to sit somewhere quiet, breathe, and write down what your company stands for, its principles, and how you want to conduct your business on a daily basis.
Your notes should include your company culture from the moment someone steps through your doors, to the onboarding process, to the methods you use to communicate with your new hires. (To learn more about training for retention, check out this article.)
One of the things you’ll notice as you write down your core principles is that communication is key. Communication demonstrates what you stand for on a daily basis.
If you need to tweak or completely re-do your company culture, we’re here for you. You’ll need to start with four things that keep you on task.
#1 – Lead with love
From the moment your employees step through your doors, they deserve to know that they’re loved and cared for. Because who wouldn’t want that? Employees who feel valued are much more likely to work hard, stay with your business for a long time, and have good attitudes.
Some ideas to show them you care:
- Give them a paid day off for their birthday. This really means a lot to employees.
- Spontaneously buy them a massage at a nearby spa. (After all, cleaning is hard physical labor and they could use a break!)
- Create a fun schedule, like summer Fridays where your employees have a short work day every Friday of the summer so they can enjoy some outdoor activities with their family.
Quality of life is important because we all want it. You may have started your business in pursuit of a better life. Your employees want the same thing. They want time with friends, evenings to pursue their hobbies, and vacation days for their trip to Disneyland with their families.
#2 – Always think the best of others
Yet again, this is easier said than done. You’ve probably been in a situation where a cleaner is off task; they didn’t clean the right part of the house, they’re behind schedule, or they have an issue with a client. Before you get mad and lash out, try to assume the best of your employee.
If an employee has a bad attitude try to think the best of them. Put yourself in their shoes for a change. Ask them how their day is going and if everything is alright at home. Maybe you can help them find a solution to whatever caused the bad attitude. People fight battles every day that you don’t know about.
Sometimes your employees have a bad attitude because things aren’t going well at work. It could be something as simple as a broken vacuum. Make sure they know you’re open to talking about these challenges before you jump to conclusions. Your employees want to be heard, not chastised.
Sometimes bad attitudes can stem from a poor hiring process. Check out this article to learn how to build a more effective process: How to find and fix the problems in your hiring process.
#3 – Lean in, tell us what you need, and trust us to care
When you lead with love, you’ll immediately get good responses from your team members. Now, you have more respect from them which bolsters your company culture.
Have you had a job that just sucked the life out of you? Was your supervisor mean and impatient? You don’t want to be that person.
What you want is for someone to think about your company and your leadership and think – Wow, that was a really fantastic place to work. Those people really cared about me.
This may be easier said than done. We’re all humans and sometimes we get upset or angry about something. When you face a difficult situation, remind yourself to lead with love. Not sure how to go about having tough conversations? We’ve got a helpful article that walks you through it: How To Get Comfortable Having Difficult Conversations With Your Team.
No matter what the situation is, clear and concise communication will help. This takes us to our next step.
#4 – Set boundaries
Boundaries benefit everyone. They’re not mean; they’re necessary. In other words, boundaries are good for you and your team.
As the owner, it’s up to you to set parameters for your cleaners and clients.
Let’s look at an example: Your employees clean a client’s house and that client tells your staff that she wants extra things cleaned in her home that weren’t part of the original agreement. But your employees are empowered with the boundaries that you set. So, they’ll reply “I’m sorry but we can only do the scheduled clean today. If you want any extra services we would be glad to help you tomorrow or later this week. Would you like to schedule another appointment? I can do it for you right now.”
Boundaries create an open dialogue, place safeguards in your business, and provide fair treatment for both your cleaners and clients. Remember, your cleaners are one of your greatest assets. So, make room for them in your schedule.
#5 – Invest in your cleaners’ leadership and development
Use the next few hours of your day to research a strengths-based leadership program that you can do with your employees next month. Every person is wired to lead in a certain way.
One team member may be an introvert while another is a staunch extrovert. Some people are comfortable teaching and training new hires while others don’t have that gift.
There are TONS of quizzes, workshops, games, and books that cover personality traits. It’s a fun way to get to know your staff and talk about something other than vacuums, toilets, and kitchens for a change.
Once you find an assessment you love, use it every time you onboard a new hire. This assessment shows that you care about them as an individual and you want to accommodate your business to them. We recommend using the Five Love Languages — you can read more about it here.
If you choose the Five Love Languages assessment, you can see how your employees liked to be loved. Let’s say that you notice on your employee Brandi’s assessment that her top love language is words of affirmation. A few days later, you receive a five-star review from a client whose house was cleaned by her. Go out of your way to stop Brandi and tell her – Brandi, I just received a five-star review because of your work — phenomenal job! Well done! Keep it up.
Your assessment will also show you who has the potential to enter a different realm of your business. Some people are naturally wired to work closely with others and train them. You can’t teach a teacher-mentality. Some people have it and others don’t. Use their strengths to the advantage of your company.
Strengths-based assessments have an incredible return on investment. Some of these assessments may span over six months. But it’s worth it!
Be the example of a great leader
If you want your employees to be great leaders, then you need to go first and set the example. As a general rule of thumb, positive affirmations can be done in public, but anything that could be perceived as negative should be done in private. When you punish or hardly criticize your employees in public, then you’ve lost their trust forever.
Great leaders like yourself acknowledge their team. In fact, great leaders go out of their way to do so. They;
- Affirm their employees in public meetings
- Give yearly awards
- Meet their team out in the field with a special snack or gift
- Praise their employees online
Your company culture boils down to you as a leader. Be honest with yourself and lead by example, tweak parts of your work environment that you don’t want, and lift up your employees. Your company is going to be the type of place that people WANT to work at.
If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:
- The future of cryptocurrency in your maid service
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- Why it’s important to always have a big goal for your cleaning business
- 3 simple steps to increase sales with an hourly cleaning special
- Increasing your maid service profits without increasing sales
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.
To hear Diane Daniel’s full talk from the Maid Summit, click here.
You and your maid service deserve a little peace and quiet. Try ZenMaid for free today!