Automating Your Janitorial Training Program
Episode 197 Ashley Matos Busy Bee Cleaning Service
Today Mike coaches Ashley Matos with Busy Bee Cleaning Service. Busy Bee has more than 400 employees and Ashley wants to know how to automate their janitorial training program.
So many owners want to plop employees in front of a generic, one size fits all training video made by a third party company that specializes in making training videos. The problem with that is, ‘how to clean’ is the least important part of your janitorial training program.
KEY POINT: Employee problems almost always stem from attitude problems, NOT lack of understanding on HOW to clean
Even when someone misses a trash can or doesn’t wipe down a sink properly, it is not that they don’t know how. It’s that they weren’t properly motivated to do their job right.
That’s not to say that there doesn’t need to be any technical training. Your employees need to know the basics about chemical use and how to fulfill the promises your company makes to your customers.
Don’t limit your janitorial training program to the technical aspects of the job. Focus on your Core Values.What it looks like to be an effective community member. How to take care of one another, show up on time and have a good attitude.
KEY POINT: Hire for attitude and a Core Values match and train for skill
Now that we have covered the flaws in trying to “outsource” your janitorial training program and told you what you should focus on- let’s talk about how to make that happen.
The first mistake is to picture a long, boring 400 page operations manual. That vision is not only crazy expensive and frustrating to create- no one will ever read it. Also, best practices change so quickly, a written manual can become outdated as soon as it’s finally printed.
With the advent of smart phones and their unbelievable video capabilities, video training has never been easier to create and keep updated. In addition, the people in the video will be your employees, wearing your uniforms and using your specific cleaning equipment and cleaning solutions.
KEY POINT: Every time you or one of your supervisors trains a new employee- video it!
Once you start videoing every training session, you will create a library of video training. Your janitorial training program will start to take shape. You will start to notice trends; What you like and what you don’t like. What trainers are in tune with you and your company and which ones might need additional training.
BONUS LOVE: When you give your supervisors training on how to train- record that as well!
Not only will you see trends on how to train and what to include, you should also notice your training getting broken down into bite-sized parts. Here are some examples:
- Specific cleaning tasks- trash, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, bathrooms, etc.
- Cleaning supplies- what chemicals to use, how to dilute them, how to transport and store them, MSDS sheets, etc
- How to be a good community member- Core Values, showing up late or calling out, how to treat other employees, etc.
- Administration- clocking in/ and out, scheduling, customer communication, etc.
RESOURCE ALERT: CLICK HERE for a deep dive into customer communication
Just like no one wants to read a 400 page operations manual, employees get overwhelmed with long videos. Ideally, you will have a quick 2-5 minute video for each of your tasks. Organize those videos into groups. See above examples (cleaning tasks, supplies, community, administration, etc).
BONUS LOVE: Once you have your videos made, it is much easier to create written material to go along with the videos. Ideally 1 page or less per video
Now your janitorial training program is taking shape nicely! Once you have the videos broken into categories, you can create a schedule of what categories they learn and when.
Don’t just give them all of the videos to watch and hope for the best. Have them watch a category and then demonstrate they understand. You can have them take a written test (online or offline) or perform what they learned for a supervisor.
Ashley asks about how to integrate the videos into the new hire process. Mike explains that he uses the training as the last part of the hiring process. He pays applicants as 1099 for the first couple of weeks until they complete the training program. After working together (with pay of course) for a couple of weeks both the employee and employer have a much better idea if it is going to be a good fit.
RESOURCE ALERT: Listen to a more in-depth discussion on the interview process HERE
The last piece of your janitorial training program pie is to create a clear path to success. Here are some sample milestones you might consider including:
- In training
- Able to clean with a partner
- Able to clean alone
- Can train new employees
- Can check other employees work
The best way for a new employee to learn is to teach. Empower employees to train others as early in the process as possible. The ability for employees to check on each others work can also reduce the need for you as the owner to check work and/ or pay supervisors to check employee work.
As always, Mike ends the show by giving his guest the opportunity to share some of the lessons she has learned in growing her cleaning company in the… What’s the best piece of advice you ever received? We know that Cleaning Nation is always growing and improving their training programs. Share your success, ask a question, leave a comment! Mike responds to every one!
Don’t’ quit – keep your clients happy
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the cleaning business?
Turning down jobs because they didn’t feel like they were experienced enough instead of taking the chance to grow and rise to the task
What one thing Cleaning Nation can do today to improve their lives or their business?
Use newsletters to keep your employees updated and clients updated on employees
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
We know that Cleaning Nation is always growing and improving their training programs. Share your success, ask a question, leave a comment! Mike responds to every one!