Training for Cleaning Staff: 10 Tips for an Easy and Effective Onboarding Process

Rea Regan August 4, 2021 11 min read
Training for cleaning staff

Quick Guide

    Growing up, I had chores to do just like most kids. Washing dishes, laundry, vacuuming, cleaning my own room, and so on. My mom showed me how to do it all. It was a total pain, but it got done even without an allowance.

    But, here’s the thing – professional cleaning and just plain old cleaning are not the same thing. Not by a long shot. The knowledge my mom shared with me is something I apply to my adult life each and every day. Although, that knowledge can only take me so far. It doesn’t make me qualified to work as a professional cleaner!

    And if you own your own cleaning company, you often get doe-eyed newbies walking in your door thinking they can do the job just because they can clean their own house.

    Here’s the rub. The field of professional cleaning is more work than you think. Your workers need to broaden their knowledge in many skills. For example, planning and organization, understanding surface materials, staying up to date on the latest cleaning techniques, and even fully complying and understanding all health and safety for chemicals, equipment, and site work. 

    Why You Need Training For Cleaning Staff

    If your cleaners are untrained, then they are open to risks to themselves, to others, and to the surface materials around them. Not to mention that they will ultimately waste time and product.

    Apart from the safety aspect, training for cleaning staff is critical to establish better cleaning practices and standards, and can even contribute to fewer direct costs through reduced wastage. 

    Moreover, Employee Benefit News discovered that it costs 33% of an employee’s annual salary to replace workers if they leave the company. However, employees who stay, without proper or effective training, cost the company so much more through poor customer experiences, more errors, poor quality, and more. 

    And if you didn’t consider that your employees want to be properly trained then you’re sorely wrong on that account. A study found that 61% of employees would perform their job more effectively if they were properly trained.

    American Staffing Statistic on Employee Training

    Moreover, that same study found that employees are far more committed to the company when they have training opportunities as well.

    So, if you’re looking to save on costs, have fewer turnover, have satisfied customers, and have a competent team, you must know how to training staff from the moment they set foot in your door.

    We gathered the best and most effective tips on how to train cleaning staff so you can be sure your team is delivering exceptional customer service and repeat business. (Not to mention all the other benefits of training for cleaning staff!)

    10 Tips on How to Train Cleaning Staff

    1. Effective And Quick Mobile Training

    The world is digital these days. There’s no escaping that. And if you’re still running your company with pen and paper or even endless Excel spreadsheets, you’re open to countless human errors and unnecessary costs due to those mistakes.

    So, what does this mean if you’re looking for tips on how to train your cleaning staff?

    • Cleaners want digital training because they want access to information that is readily available
    • No one wants to spend time sitting in one room for an all-day training session, digital training is time-effective
    • It’s a more flexible way to learn as it’s done on your own time and can picked up where someone left off

    This is exactly why so many cleaning companies are turning to digital onboarding and training processes, like Connecteam. Connecteam helps managers and owners of cleaning companies ensure that employee development and training are efficient and quick.

    Cleaning for training companies on Connecteam's employee app

    Digital training is used to reach every single cleaner that’s always on the go. You’re able to keep track of their progress and completed training on subjects including:

    • Health and safety training
    • Proper use of hazardous materials
    • Equipment usage
    • Maintenance of equiptment and resources
    • Knowing how to perform cleaning in restroom care, carpet care, general office cleaning, etc.

    Additionally, you have a database for safety resources available at the click of a button. This allows your cleaning crew to immediately get answers to questions so they don’t have to chase after you with countless text messages or phone calls.

    Dish out tests and quizzes to ensure that your cleaning really understands the material covered.

    Onboarding is killer in this app. Many small and big businesses deal with space problems within their offices but Connecteam offers flexibility so you can accomplish the onboarding process from a distance. I love the onboarding feature. 

    Parfait Vandi, President and Qualify Manager of UGS Private Security Inc.

    Connecteam makes it quick and efficient to onboard new cleaners and gets them up to speed in a timely manner. With read and sign forms and training, your cleaners have a structured onboarding experience that is both simple and effective.

    2. Soft Skills Are A Must

    Soft skills are positive and strong personality attributes that allow your workers to get the job done. Successfully done.

    Now, it is more challenging to train soft skills to your cleaning crew but you can encourage emotional intelligence and “people skills” in your team.

    Don’t solely focus on performance metrics when training for cleaning staff. Instead, motivate and encourage your cleaning staff to build personal connections with clients. No, your team doesn’t need to know the customer’s entire life story. However, ensure your team can be sensitive and attentive to your customer’s needs and expectations to help ensure repeat business.

    Soft skills include many of these traits: 

    • Communication skills
    • Creative thinking
    • Work ethic
    • Adaptability
    • Teamwork
    • Decision making
    • Positivity and motivation
    • Problem-solving
    • Time management
    • Conflict resolution and flexibility
    Top 10 Soft Skills Infographic

    By hiring employees with soft skills, positive personalities, and a can-do attitude, (and training those who lack such skills) you can take your onboarding and business to the next level. 

    3. They Should Believe In Your Business

    If you really want to know how to train your cleaning staff, then start with belief. Your cleaners need to believe in your business. If they don’t, then they’re not the right fit for the company.

    You need a team that is confident in what they do and the brand they represent.

    However, make sure you aren’t overselling or overpromising your company, like bonuses every month or 150% growth. You must be honest and realistic. 

    4. Set Goals Together

    To best motivate your tea and pursue effective training for cleaning staff, you need to set short and long term goals together. The goals you create together can serve as the foundation for every task your cleaners complete on a daily basis. 

    This will truly help your team as it reassures them that they’re working towards a bigger picture; they know what they do matters in the long run. 

    Make sure to create realistic goals so that no one is working aimlessly towards something that can’t ever be reached. For example, push 14 upsells a month is manageable if the cleaner has 30 clients, but if they only had eight clients, meeting 14 would be impossible. 

    SMART goals

    5. Make A Checklist

    For effective training for cleaning staff, you need to write down a checklist of what to cover instead of keeping it all in your head. 

    Write out the topics, videos, reading material, and whatever else should be covered so that everything is on track for successful training.

    Being prepared in advance ensures that your team is well-informed and shows that you, as a manager, are taking their training seriously

    As mentioned, Connecteam’s employee app for cleaning companies is a great fit. You can build an in-app training process that covers the following topics:

    • A formal letter welcoming the employee to the company
    • A checklist to guide the training like with a “New Employee Checklist”
    • Personal information form
    • Background and security check compliance forms
    • Employee uniform order and agreement form
    • Nondisclosure agreement
    • Declaration of pre-booked holidays
    • Read & sign of appropriate forms

    6. Dish Out Extras 

    A thorough cleaning job is a top priority and ensures positive customer service. However, ensure that your cleaners are comfortable and confident in going above and beyond for the customer.

    Allow your employees to offers extras, or upsells, to the customer like a deep carpet clean or a 5% discount, as this helps guarantee repeat business. 

    Your cleaning job training should cover tactics to offer exceptional customer service, including: 

    • Taking notes on client preferences and sharing them with the team
    • Having answers to common customer questions (an FAQ section in your training app comes in handy here)
    • Quickly responding to phone calls, emails, social media messages, etc.
    • Allow time gaps between jobs to minimize arriving late or needing to leave early for a cleaning job 
    • Wear the proper uniform
    • Have all necessary tools and equipment (along with backup)

    7. Plan For Potential Damage 

    Sometimes accidents happen, so make sure your team is trained to handle it like a pro. Whether it’s breaking or damaging a piece of property, your organization needs detailed instructions on how to handle the situation. 

    Ideally, business insurance ensures your clients’ property and employees’ safety is covered. And you should make sure that your team has the insurance information and contact information on hand. 

    Ensure your cleaning staff understands how the insurance covers them and the customer and how they can best communicate this to the customer.

    8. Make Videos And Use Them

    Throughout training and onboarding, video is a great way to reach the employee and really tell a story.

    Record examples of how to go about the correct and incorrect way to do something so it engages the team and helps make the information stick. The skits can then be recorded and used as training videos for future cleaners.

    However, try to keep the videos short, so you can hold the employees’ attention.

    Amy Champigny, the senior product manager at Deltek, stated that “when developing relationships for the first time, it’s important to rely on video to lead the interaction. This allows both the manager and new hire to read the tone of voice, facial expression, and feel a sense of connection.” Now, technology shouldn’t replace the human touch but it does build a relationship between managers and employees.

    Use software like Zoom or Loom to answer commonly asked questions, hold training, have meetings, and you can even screen-record how to use cleaning materials or how to fill out a certain form. 

    9. Set A High Standard For Health And Safety 

    All of your cleaners should be 100% up to speed on the latest health and safety protocols, including fire protocols as well. Regularly update them on new updates to health and safety to ensure they’re safe, and your customers are as well. 

    For companies in the United States, OSHA has laid out the health and safety topics a cleaning company should adhere to:

    Health and safety are constantly evolving – that’s something the recent COVID-19 pandemic has taught us – so ensure that you are regularly checking if OSHA or other institutions have released new guidelines for your industry.

    10. Create An Employee Handbook 

    Creating an employee handbook can help your cleaners when it comes to training for cleaning staff as they can refer to it at any moment if they have questions, concerns, or just need a refresher. 

    Try to keep it short and to the point, and it should be updated regularly.

    If you’re using Connecteam’s employee app then you can have the employee handbook directly in the app so your employees can refer to it in real-time whenever they need it. 

    Download our free employee handbook template to get started.

    Include the following: 

    • Company history
    • Company mission, values, etc.
    • Company hierarchy & contact information
    • HR procedures like calling in sick, requesting time off, etc.
    • Payroll information
    • Review of key training components
    • Health and safety 
    • Potential damages management 
    • Employee expectations, code of conduct, etc.
    • Dress code
    • Resignation and termination

    Regularly update the employee handbook and add material as needed.

    Training For Cleaning Staff – One Final Tip

    Make sure you ask your new hires and even “veteran” staff for feedback and suggestions about training, onboarding, and development. This will allow you to create the best cleaning job training

    Our guide outlines how to train cleaning staff, but if you have additional questions, then be sure to reach out to us at [email protected] or on any of our social channels.  

    On The Go Training Is A Game Changer

    Onboarding new employees, routine trainings, regulatory courses or simply providing professional skills to your cleaning staff is easy and affordable! Talk to a Connecteam expert to learn more about how our training feature can help your cleaning company.

    Book A Demo
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