Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to hire the RIGHT people for your cleaning service business

Over the past 11 years of being an employer in the cleaning service industry, my partner and I have read thousands (if not tens of thousands) of applications and resumes, have hired hundreds of people and have parted ways with most. Through this journey we have learned what type of people work well within our organization and what type do not.

Unfortunately, finding the right employee is like finding a needle in a haystack. There is a huge population of unemployed persons that are all applying for the same jobs. So how do we find the right people within this mountain of applications and resumes? My partner and I have developed a hiring system that includes a series of steps, which we will discuss in a series of blog posts, that give us an insight as to which applicants are worth knowing more about.

Step One: Develop Your 'Perfect Employee'

Define your Company's Culture-

The first thing you must do, before developing your 'Perfect Employee' is understand your company's culture. What's a company's culture? It's the personality of your business which is defined by the personalities of its management and staff members. It's very important to understand the culture of your cleaning business, especially given that it is a service based business, where staff members are working in conjunction with each other, to complete jobs. Therefore, your teams must be able to get along and work well with each other.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 
What type of person are you looking for? 
What types of people "fit in" with your staff? 
If you were to create a perfect employee, what would that look like? 

List of Attributes-

The best way to answer these questions is to make a list of the best attributes that your current and most successful staff members have. Keep in mind that this list should contain more than just cleaning skills. Include attributes about their lifestyles, family life, personalities, and even what they do in there free time. By creating this list of attributes for your 'Perfect Employee', you will have a list of desirable qualities that you can compare your applicants to.

Classes of Employees-

In any business there are two classes of employees -those that lead, and those that follow. Therefore you should develop a list of attributes for both classes as you will need to hire different types of people for these different classes of employees. If you're looking for a leader, then you need people who are more assertive & motivated. However, if you are looking to hire a follower then putting an assertive type person in that position may cause problems within that team and eventually that person will become frustrated with their position and will not stay with your company because you are not offering them what they need to be happy.

Anyways, I think this is a great start to developing a system for hiring in your cleaning service business. It has taken my partner and I many years to develop our system and we hope it will help you to avoid some pitfalls along your way.

In our next issue, we will discuss your responsibilities, as an employer, to your staff. Until then just remember, without happy staff, you will never have happy customers. 

Best Wishes, Erica Jensen President of Clean Right Co. -Spokane, WA

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rehab your water from boring to fabulous!

About a month ago I went to the doctor for a check-up. My blood work came back showing a decline in my kidney function. This was strange and alarming! Strange because my husband and I live a fairly healthy lifestyle. We work out 5+ time a week & eat healthy (usually) so I didn't expect any abnormalities. Scary, of course, because you never want to hear that any of your organs are not functioning properly.

Thankfully, the diagnosis was something that was easily treated.
What was the diagnosis?

It was Chronic Dehydration. 

At first I found that hard to believe because I had myself convinced that I was healthy but, after further consideration, it made sense. My past drinking habit was to gravitate to coffee because.... well... because I love coffee alright! I only drank water when I was at the gym which was only serving to replenish the water I sweat out and did nothing to add hydration beyond that. So I pulled up my boot straps and made a resolution to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day. How did I do it? Well I'm glad you asked because, in the beginning, it wasn't easy. Water is just plain .... well plain! While adding, almost anything, to your water simply adds calories that are unnecessary and, usually, unhealthy (sodium, sugar, sugar substitutes, caffeine, etc.).

I happened across a pin on Pinterest (my new-found love!) about creating your own Spa Water by infusing it with fruit and herbs. I've been to a few spas in my day and I have had the pleasure to have a flavored spa water. They are always so refreshing and delicious so I decided to give it a try and now I do it daily!!! Here is what I've done to make it simple to enjoy infused spa water on a daily basis:

  • I went to Walmart and purchased two 32 ounce sipper water bottles that I planned to drink daily.  (2 x 32 = 64 ounces) 
  • I also purchased oranges and strawberries.
  • Cut the oranges into half slices and drop two into each bottle. Take a strawberry and slice almost all the way through, so the nob of it holds the strawberry together but the cuts expose the flesh of the strawberry, and drop one into each of the bottles as well. (Of course you can do just orange, just strawberry or any other combination. The pin I originally followed, linked here, has some great recipes.)
  • Fill the bottles with water and refrigerate or drink! The longer the fruit stays in the bottle the better the infusion but, at least with orange, the essence is there immediately. 

I now drink at least 64 ounces of water each day and am very excited to try some other combinations. I am planning on doing cucumber next and definitely going to try some herbs as well.

What flavor combinations have you tried or are going to try? I'd love to hear how they worked!

Cheers! Erica Jensen, President and Co-Owner of Clean Right Co.