Create a Training Program for Your Cleaning Staff

March 12, 2020 in Grow your Maid Service, Training

This article has been created from Joanna Douglas’ live talk that happened at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

There is much more where this came from, so be sure to check out replays of the full talks from Joanna and over 40 other cleaning industry experts at

Joanna Douglas has worked in the cleaning industry for 9 years and is the owner of Clean Affinity, a Maid Service located in Portland, Oregon.

She has spent the last few years building her business so that she is now able to be an absentee owner, and she loves the life she has created for herself.

Joanna is basically obsessed with helping other Maid Service owners get to where they can be absentee owners too!

She dabbles in consulting and has started several helpful Facebook groups for Maid Services, including her newest group, Automaidic Mastermind.

This group is now meant for sharing training systems that different owners use, but eventually, other helpful systems may be shared as the group grows. Join the group here and read below to hear about some of Joanna’s training program tricks that you can use to grow your Maid Service.

Hiring and training new cleaners at your Maid Service

Hiring and training new cleaners can be a difficult task if you’re not into it.

There are many things that you have to look out for when you are bringing on a new cleaning hire to your Maid Service.

You could have an ideal applicant with many great skills: attendance, diligence, speed, thoughtfulness, etc.

However, this doesn’t mean that they will perform cleaning duties in exactly the way you would want for them to at your home cleaning business.

There should be a standard set for how to clean in order to properly grow your home cleaning business. This is why it is important to train new cleaners to this standard – even if they have a decade’s worth of experience in the cleaning field.

It helps for cleaners to understand what is expected in order to prevent miscommunication and frustration as well as to create a situation where no matter the cleaner you send, they are giving the same result every time.

Write your Maid Service’s training program plainly

When it comes to your cleaning company’s training program, be sure to write it out. Write it simply and illustrate step by step processes so that it is spelled out for each cleaner in the same way.

This may seem a bit silly (to you and to the cleaner) at first, but just because you think everyone knows how to do a specific cleaning task, doesn’t mean that they do it the way you would prefer.

Having a standard helps for your Maid Service to seem uniformed and consistent, making your entire operation more trustworthy in the cleaning clients’ eyes.

Your system for cleaning protocol should be written on a document that is no more than one page long in order to keep from overwhelming cleaners or yourself with details.  It is important to have this for cleaners and staff so that they can refer to it if there is a question or if they simply forget a step.

With your typed-out document detailing your system and defining the quality you expect, you should be able to get the same result when you send in any cleaner into any home.

Organizing your Maid Service’s training program

A training management system is essential.

Break your training process down into sections and separate those into separate days so as not to overwhelm your newly hired cleaner right away.

Here is an example of how you can break it down:

1st day – Teach the new cleaner how to take care of cobwebs, the kitchen, and bathrooms in homes. Each company might have a different method for completing these tasks.

2nd day – Cleaners should practice completing a kitchen with efficiency, speed, and quality. Kitchens can be complicated and dirty, so allow more time in the training to focus on them.

3rd day – You can train your cleaners to dust and spot clean on this day. Focus on what you use and your methods of getting things taken care of without streaks or damage.

4th day – Vacuuming and mopping can be trained on this day. They are commonly done by many people so it is not the most urgent, but it still needs to be trained on.

5th day – On this day, have trainees complete a full home cleaning on their own, with a training manager watching intently, of course. This will allow the trainer to see how your new cleaner is absorbing the training and be there to stop any bad habits or correct any errors in the process.

6th day – At this point, a trainer can demo the entire process again so that your new hire can see it done correctly once more. It helps with the learning process to see things done several times in order to allow it to ingrain into memory.

On the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th days – The new cleaner works solo with a trainer to check their work, and to make sure that the cleaner is fast and keeps up with quality at the highest level.

Of course, these can be adjusted if you prefer to train on dusting first, or in any other order – as long as they are all covered.

Provide a quiz at the end of each day in order to be sure that your new cleaner is absorbing the information provided. This doesn’t have to be an intense quiz, just a little something to refresh them on the day’s work.

Presenting your training program to new cleaners

To be sure you have everything you need in the training program, think about everything you do from top to bottom.

Start with all of the cleaning supplies you use and annotate them in a list. This will allow you to see it all written down and it will make it more obvious for you to detail how you work within your notes.

Next, create a list of the equipment you use to clean homes so that you can be sure to train on the operation of each piece.

Following your basic listing of steps, develop another list for how your cleaners will start their day so that they have a full layout of what to expect.

Consider the following questions when creating your program:

  • Do they start the day by going to the office or straight to a home?
  • How do they clock in?
  • Where should they park?
  • What is most important for your cleaners to know about the way you prefer your cleaning operation to be performed?
  • Where do they check if they have a question?
  • Are there options for assistance before they contact you?
  • What is your order of operations for a home clean?
  • What do they do between jobs?

Address each of these questions as well as the basics and the daily training program so that you are able to cover everything within the first 2 weeks after a cleaner is hired.

Systems are your golden ticket

Be sure to define the quality you expect and spell it out so that you end up training cleaners the exact same way.

Define time expectations as well so that cleaners can get used to being timed and be able to improve their times when needed, but don’t rush them or have crazy-fast times they need to meet.

After all, you still want the quality to be there, plus, expectations should be realistic so that they don’t feel too pressured and quit.

Offer a 30 day grace period and encourage cleaners to time themselves too so that they can get engaged with the process.

Additionally, pay attention to key performance indicators (KPIs), which in this case are the quality scores of trainees.

Get feedback after every job from the cleaning client.

If you haven’t heard from then, send in your VA to get feedback.

Stay up to date on your processes and review them periodically. This is such an important system to create because it allows so much freedom from your business.

With a standard training program in place, you can grow your Maid Service while traveling, spending time with family, and generally living your dreams while helping others to live theirs as well.

This article was created from a presentation given by Joanna Douglas, live at the 2019 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid.

Check out replays of talks from Joanna and over 40 other cleaning industry experts at

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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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