Jean Hanson Explains How to Onboard Cleaning Employees

March 19, 2020 in Hiring, Hiring & Training

This article is based on a talk given by Jean Hanson live at the 2019 Maid Summit, which was hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

Be sure to take a look at the full replays of presentations from Jean and over 40 other cleaning industry experts at

Jean Hanson has been developing her entrepreneurial skills in the cleaning industry over the past 32 years. 

As the co-founder of The Janitorial Store, My House Cleaning Biz, and Marketing Systems By Design, Jean teaches other Maid Service owners how to build and grow successful cleaning businesses.

Jean is an ISSA Certification Expert and a Certified Marketing Consultant who specializes in cleaning industry standards and improvement.

In her talk for the Maid Summit, Jean discussed the process of onboarding new cleaners and how a great program with superior training can help you grow your Maid Service with ease.  

In this article, Jean outlines:

  • Why the first day for a cleaner can make or break whether or not they stay with your company
  • How to prep your existing team to welcome a new employee
  • Everything you need to know to train your new cleaner on their first day

If you are preparing to welcome your first ever cleaning employee or you have done it dozens of times before, this article will give you lots of useful tips and advice to ensure your onboarding process is a smooth one.

cleaner in blue apron holding a blue bucket with cleaning supplies.

Why is having an effective onboarding program important to your Maid Service?

In order to help cleaners succeed in your cleaning business, you need to have an effective onboarding program.

Do you remember what it was like on the first day of a job? 

It can be intimidating to perform duties for a position that you don’t understand. 

This intimidation can sometimes lead to an employee leaving before even figuring out how to be good at their job. 

Help your employees have a great first day so that they can feel comfortable and confident at your Maid Service by welcoming them with a proper onboarding program. 

There are several short term and long term outcomes of a good onboarding process. 

In the short term, you will instil confidence and allow them to feel safe to ask questions about the position.

An effective onboarding program will clearly communicate the culture of your house cleaning company, showing your new employee how their role fits with the wider team. 

In the long term, you will improve cleaning employee job satisfaction and lower employee stress.

This will have a great effect on your cleaning business overall as you will enhance the commitment and reduce the turnover rate of your Maid Service staff.

Step 1: Prepare your Maid Service to welcome the new cleaning employee

Be ready for your new cleaner from the moment they walk in the door. 

Before they arrive, be sure to review the application, interview materials (to recall their experience and education) and the reasons they are looking for employment. 

Make sure you’ve asked the new hire to bring in any necessary documents or ID and have new-start paperwork ready to go.

Set up the new cleaner in your employee management system prior to bringing them in so they can learn to clock in and out on their first day. 

On the first day, provide them with the employee handbook so that they have it for the entire orientation. This can be printed or digital. 

Assign them an experienced “buddy” to answer questions and show them the ropes.

When choosing this buddy role, pick a model employee, someone on the path to becoming a supervisor and who wants to take on the role of a mentor.

Step 2: Welcome your new cleaner and discuss expectations at your cleaning business 

In order to effectively onboard your new cleaner, go slowly and give an overview of what you intend to accomplish during the onboarding process. 

Then, provide them with a “welcome kit” to help demonstrate how you value your employees

This welcome kit doesn’t have to be elaborate, it can be simple. 

Maybe you just want to include a greeting card with a coffee mug?

Just do a little something to show you care. Be creative! 

After this exchange, introduce your new cleaner to your house cleaning business’s operation. 

Give them a tour and let them know where to park, where the restrooms are and introduce them to the team.

This orientation can be carried out by a team leader or a supervisor who will be working closely with them. 

Introduce your new cleaner to all the necessary people they need to know or interact with in thei role. 

Step 3: Tell your new cleaner about your Maid Service’s policies 

This is a quick and easy step to an effective cleaning company onboarding process.

Simply instruct the employee to read the handbook and let them know you will cover it throughout the training.

Let them know that even though the handbook will be covered throughout the training, it is still important for them to read it on their own. They will be asked to sign a form indicating that they have read the handbook. 

It is important to have this step so that later down the road if there are any policy violations you can have this to refer to.

Step 4 & 5: Train your new cleaners on their role and safety measures involved 

This step is a potential 2-for-1 deal.

Many companies may have an office space to do training, but if you don’t you can do training on the job site. 

If it helps, offer a special discount or other packages for the homes where these trainings will take place. 

You can combine the cleaning training with the safety training as you move through the program. 

Have new cleaners do their work with a supervisor or a buddy so that they can observe the style of the new hire as well as what may need improvement. 

Remember, don’t overload them on the first day.

If it seems too overwhelming for your new cleaner to learn safety and position training on the same day, then break it down into two days. 

It is better to slow down and have comprehensive training.

Additionally, you should add in customer service training because this training alone will make a huge difference in cleaning client satisfaction. 

Step 6: Give your cleaner a home tour and provide onsite training

At this stage, you should be having training in the cleaning clients’ homes

Let them know where to park, how to enter a home and introduce the cleaner to the cleaning client if necessary. 

Point out any areas that may be off-limits or that don’t require cleaning. 

If you are doing team cleaning, then this is where you can demonstrate the importance of the team and the value of each team member. 

Step 7: Have a pre-shift follow up with your new cleaner

In order to put the icing on the cake of an effective onboarding strategy for your new cleaner, have a brief meeting with the new employee after their first day.

Before their second day on the job site begins, go over the position and revisit information from the onboarding program that has been covered so far.

Use this time to collect the signature page from the employee handbook, review the job duties and your Maid Services’ standards of operation. 

Part 8: Discuss the day with your cleaner in a post-shift follow up 

The final step doesn’t have to take a lot of time but it is important to have a post-shift meeting to round out your great onboarding process.

This allows you to establish lines of communication with the employee and to explain to them that it takes time to learn everything for the role and not to feel stressed about getting it all in one day. 

Reassure them you and the team are there to support them and to reiterate it’s okay to ask questions.

To wrap up:

Consider the first day of work as the most important day in your employee’s time with your Maid Service. 

Make sure you give your newest cleaner all the important information, even the things you think are self-explanatory. It’s important for you to clearly lay out all of the key policies and procedures for your new cleaning employee to help them off on the right foot. 

Do not forget to prep your current team for the newest hire as well. How they welcome a new member can directly impact your new cleaner’s first day experience. 

Now enjoy your new cleaning employee for a long time because they are certainly going to want to work for a Maid Service that cares as much about its staff as you do!

This article is based on a live talk from Jean Hanson which happened at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

You can watch the full talk now:

Check out replays of the full talks given by from Jean and the other leading cleaning experts at


About the author: Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc ( 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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