To grow your cleaning business beyond yourself you will have to recruit team members – but I need to tell you some home truths before you do…
When you start to gain more cleaning hours than you can physically do, it’s time to start thinking about when to recruit a cleaner to share the workload with you, and to grow your client base.
Getting to the stage where you’re looking to recruit a cleaner is a big deal, so firstly congratulations on reaching this milestone, it means your cleaning business is doing an excellent job and has been recommended and recognised as a legit service that lots of people want to use. Bravo.
Now the tricky part – you have to try and find another human being who will represent your cleaning business in the way you represent it. You need to find somebody who will clean the way you would, interact with the clients the way you would, and love your business and brand the way you do. Day in and day out.
The reason I say ‘tricky’ is because, well, it’s nigh on impossible!
Okay… I’m going to try and give this to you gently.
I have been running my cleaning businesses for the last 8 years and I have employed many, many people. In all of that time, the only people who eat, sleep, breathe, and love my businesses totally and fully, is a huge fan base of one. Me.
** NEWSFLASH **
Your business is not personal to your employees. They do not care how it runs; they do not care what your business troubles are, or about how you have had to fight so hard to get where you are today. They don’t care.
Your cleaning staff will only care mainly about the following 4 things:
1. They have enough hours for what they need for their life
2. They get their paid holiday time
3. Their job is secure
4. They are paid on time
Sorry to burst any bubbles, but before you recruit it’s important for you to know this.
Before I put you off, it’s not all doom – you can recruit a cleaner and motivate them to represent your cleaning business well and to represent the brand with pride, no problem at all. You can create a great working environment for your cleaners so that they love working for you and your clients, no problem.
You just will never, ever, get a staff member to love your business like you do. This isn’t a bad thing or something you are doing wrong, it’s just your new reality of being ‘the boss’. When you first employ people it can be very frustrating when they don’t act, do or say things you wish they would! It can be maddening when a cleaner calls in sick over something you deem workable. Even the best cleaners will have off days and not be to their normal standard. Sometimes staff will make you want to pull out your hair!
The trick to dealing with all the frustrations of being an employer is to know not to take employees personally.
Put simply: When someone comes to work for you, it is their job; it is not their personal labour of love.
Think about whenever you have worked for someone else in the past. Did you jump out of bed with the same enthusiasm as you do for your own business? Did you push through at a job, when you were just not feeling it or were poorly like you would in your own business? Would you take a drop in money, from your job, just to get a project that you believed in passionately off the ground?
The answers, I’m guessing, are no, no and hellllllllll no!
So why do you think employees of your business would?
It is naive to think that your cleaning business will be different from any other business out there and that your employees will always be committed brand ambassadors, just because you built it and you believe in it.
I have cleaners that have worked for me and still do, for 5, 6, 7 years of my 8-year history. I am very lucky (and also have some great procedures in place within my businesses, for my cleaners, that has been developed over years, which I’ll share with you another day)
If I were a betting woman, I’d say, in the main, my employees are happy working for me; I have good retention rates and have created a team of very loyal, committed cleaners. I always try to be a fair employer and consider the cleaner in all that I do with my business BUT if the needs of the cleaner changed and I could not meet them, they would leave me and my business. It would not be personal, it’s just how it goes, people change jobs. Cleaners will come and go.
Some employees do go rogue and sometimes try to get personal. Some employees will suddenly switch personality if you do not go along with their narrative, or, my personal favourite, employees that suddenly become HR lawyers because they have read one page of an employee’s rights forum and they think they can take you task about something, but this topic deserves its own blog post. Thankfully, these individuals are few and far between and as long as you stick to rules 6 and 7 below you can help avoid some of these scrapes. The reason I tell you the above is to illustrate the point that the employee ultimately cares about the employee, in good or bad scenarios. It’s not personal.
You were not heart and soul committed to your past employers, and now that you’re the boss, you get to view this situation in a whole new way (and also feel very sorry to your past employers too for those non-needed duvet days you took now that you know the pain of absent staff!)
Before You Recruit A Cleaner
1. Have a clear list of tasks and duties you want the cleaner to do
2. Have a list of all the features and benefits of working for your business
3. Have a clear set of standards and expectations for your cleaning staff
4. Get a contract of employment to protect you and your business – I can’t stress this enough!
5. Speak to your insurance provider about how taking on a staff member will affect your premiums and to ask if you will need any additional insurances, like ‘Employers Liability’ insurance
6. Leave your heart and ego at home when dealing with staff members. It’s not personal, it’s always all business, no matter how well you may get on – be friendly and caring towards your cleaning staff, yes, but maintain a professional boundary at all times and always, always, keep your businesses goals in your focus.
7. Be legal in your business – treat all employees properly and fairly, subscribe to all government statutory requirements and minimums, have proper contracts and training, have a support structure for your cleaners – I always try to judge this best by asking would I be happy to work for me?
Hiring employees is an exciting time and means you are doing something right, as your business is growing. But know, hiring employees will change the landscape for you, the cleaning business owner and it is important to learn new tactics and protect your heart (and sanity). I’m going to hold your hand and help you through this strange journey of now being responsible for people.
Do you have anything you want to add to this post? Do you have any questions? Please comment below and share this post with anybody you think may find it useful
Thanks for being here,
Next post – The Recruitment Process For Taking On A Cleaner
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