How to Onboard New Cleaning Employees with Jean Hanson

March 19, 2020 in Hiring, Hiring & Training, Uncategorized

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

It featured presentations from over 40 cleaning industry experts.

Replays of all of the talks given by Jean and the other experts in the cleaning industry can be seen at

Jean Hanson, co-founder of The Janitorial Store, My House Cleaning Biz, and Marketing Systems By Design, is a 32 year cleaning industry veteran. 

Jean is an I.C.E. (ISSA Certification Expert) and a Certified Marketing Consultant with a special focus on onboarding and training of cleaning employees.

Jean shared best practice in developing an effective onboarding program for cleaning employees. 

In this article, you will learn: 

  • How effective onboarding can improve your employees confidence and job satisfaction
  • How a strong introduction to the role and company can help reduce cleaning employee stress and turnover
  • What you can do to improve your Maid Service’s hiring process 
  • The benefits of re-evaluating your hiring process over time

#1: Be consistent with your onboarding processes

It is important to have consistency in all areas of your Maid Service but especially with onboarding new cleaners.

To achieve and maintain this consistency, put newly hired employees through the same training program.

Even if role responsibilities will differ, starting with the same foundational training will ensure that your team members are on the same page.

Develop and apply a checklist for your onboarding process.

As your business grows and your hiring process evolves, it will be important to review this checklist and supporting documents and make changes to reflect the new systems. 

#2: Be prepared to onboard new cleaners

The effectiveness of your hiring can be impacted greatly by the amount of preparedness and professionalism that you apply to the process. 

When a new cleaner is hired at your company, you want to show them just how valuable their position within the team.

Provide all of the appropriate paperwork when they sign on, including the cleaning employee handbook.

This is how you create a great company culture from the start, by ensuring that you are putting everything into each new cleaner and giving them a realistic idea of what is expected.

#3: Assign your new cleaner a buddy 

Training the new employees doesn’t have to be all done by you.

A new employee will likely have many questions when first starting with your company, so you need to ensure that they have someone to ask. 

If you have a cleaner currently on track to becoming a supervisor, pair them up with your new cleaner.

Not only will this allow them to have some practice with leadership, communication and training skills, it will also help to jumpstart the relationships between team members. 

#4: Demonstrate the cleaner and cleaning client experience 

All employees want to be prepared for any situation they find themselves in, especially when they are new. 

Start your cleaning employees off right from day one by communicating that they are valued and that the team is there to support them.

You can show this by having a well-planned out training program to introduce them to your cleaning company and their new role. 

Additionally, expand on customer service training and demonstrate how to handle different situations that your cleaner may come across when performing their job duties. 

#5: Clarify the roles at your Maid Service

An easy way to improve the onboarding at your Maid Service is to clarify the different roles that exist within the company.

During the onboarding process, it is the best practice to explain the supervisor role, team leader role, who the new employee’s buddy is, etc.

You can introduce them to other roles in the business like the bookkeeper or customer service representative so that they get a full understanding of how all the divisions work together to contribute to the company’s vision. 

#6: Set the expectations of cleaners from day one

When it comes to setting a standard, that is best done immediately. 

Be clear and concise with your expectations so that you aren’t leaving it to cleaning employees to understand what you mean by things like “do the floors” or “we don’t have to do the rooms that are closed off.”

Some things can be interpreted differently than we might expect, so give new cleaners examples of expectations with real-life, in-the-home situations. 

#7: Have a comprehensive onboarding program 

Although developing a thorough training program may take some preparation, you must identify what you need to do in order to train properly and figure out the time it will take. 

A great way to improve your onboarding program is to cover everything that you possibly can so that your new cleaner can be prepared to start on their journey with your cleaning company.

This doesn’t mean that it has to be a long training process but it should include a detailed explanation of what it is like to realistically work for your cleaning business.

Schedule your onboarding process appropriately, whether it takes 2 days or 5, as long as you provide enough information so that your cleaner can begin with confidence.

#8: Have follow-up sessions while onboarding cleaning employees 

It is the best practice to review the job performance of a cleaning company employee. 

Not only should you do this, but also ask how the cleaning employee is adjusting to the new role and offer encouragement as well as direction. 

These follow up sessions are critical and shouldn’t be put off because the sooner you nip any issues or concerns in the bud, the better.

Following up with cleaners allows them to feel secure, knowing you have their back and that you care about their learning process in your Maid Service. 

#9: Review and modify your onboarding program as needed

Each time you hire a new cleaning employee, it is best practice to assess the effectiveness of the onboarding program. 

Ask your new cleaning employees:

  • Did you feel prepared for your new role as a cleaner?
  • Did we forget to cover anything in the onboarding process?

You can also ask the supervisor and managers you have on staff how well the onboarding program is working. 

Consider these questions in your reviews:

  • Does the new cleaning employee understand their roles and responsibilities? 
  • Do they understand the expectations at your Maid Service?
  • Is the new cleaner adjusting to their role?

People want to be involved in their roles, so you show you care by asking their opinion to improve your onboarding process and therefore your Maid Service as a whole. 

#10: Communicate your Maid Service’s culture

One of the best practices you can have in your onboarding process at your house cleaning company is to put your culture on display from the beginning.

Show your new cleaners that your onboarding program is comprehensive, clean and thought out, just like your cleaning services.

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:

Full replays of talks from Jean and over 40 other cleaning industry experts can be found at

Discover more helpful articles and cleaning industry advice on ZenMaid Magazine:


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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