When you first start your cleaning business you are taking on a real whirlwind of roles, one of which will be building the right team to help you to build and grow your business.
Your team will be an integral part of how well and quickly your business will grow so you need to make sure that they and you can work as well as possible to achieve that.
These are a few things we have learnt from many years of recruiting and building teams within the housekeeping sector.
To begin with your business will consist primarily of yourself and a small group of your housekeepers. With a franchise business, your induction will cover how to look for and find the people you need and one of the key elements of that is that you need to be confident that they are a great fit for your business. If they have held a cleaning role before, great but housekeeping details and processes can all be taught. Sometimes it’s even better if they haven’t been shown how to do things in a way that might not be to your liking!
Building the perfect team will ultimately affect and influence how they undertake their roles and how committed they are to helping you to create a respected business that clients will come back to year after year. Again, a good franchisor will equip you with training manuals and procedures to ensure you can hit the ground running but it’s also down to you to put your personal stamp on the way you like to do things. While you are following the franchise blueprint, you can also implement the training in a way to fits your personality – introducing anything from incentives to feedback sessions. Your team should never stop learning so you need to make sure that they are able to take guidance and even criticism if that means making the business run better.
As your business grows you may well need to recruit more senior people to help you run and manage the clients. Be clear on who you need to support you and in identifying any gaps there may be in either yours or your team’s skills. To achieve success for your future, don’t just think about an immediate need for a cleaner. Think about when you might aim to recruit an operations manager for example; someone who can bring their own expertise to compliment your own.
Build an organizational chart of the team and identify what responsibilities they have, who they report to or manage and how you would like them to evolve. This will also give you an opportunity to look at who might be able to be trained up or promoted to more senior positions. As you grow, you will need to delegate more of the day to day tasks, so you need to be clear on what you are best equipped to carry on doing – client liaison and new business for example – and what you’d like someone else to take on, perhaps taking responsibility for your social media presence.
Can you start to train anyone currently within the team to trial their ability or willingness to take on more responsibility? Many of the team leaders within our franchises started with us as housekeepers but showed an initiative and eagerness to progress that the franchisees were keen to pick up on and nurture. If people are good at their job, it might be tempting to keep them right there, doing a great job. But you also then run the risk of losing them to another housekeeping firm that also recognizes their talents.
When it comes to thinking about recruiting new housekeepers, try to think about where they might be and go there! Social media is a fantastic – and free! – way to advertise new jobs and allows you to show potential team members exactly what your brand is all about. Even if you’re not ready to hire new people yet, why not get an idea of a post ready to go for when you are? Putting some time and thought into it now is better than rushing to get something out there when you’re in a hurry to recruit. Think about the more organic ways to recruit also – ask your current team if anyone they know would be interested in a similar role; mention the job opportunities to friends, networking groups or fellow parents at the school gates.
The beauty of housekeeping roles is that they very often offer the flexibility that people are looking for in a new role which is a great thing to promote when you’re recruiting. But be clear that flexible also means committing to the job as much as a full time role; being trustworthy, responsible and dedicated to becoming part of your team.
Ask your current housekeeper to name the other great things about their job – from being proud to be part of a strong brand to the camaraderie of working in a team – and make sure those USPs come over clearly when you’re advertising or interviewing.
The beauty of being part of a franchise is that not only will the franchisor have a full suite of processes to help you recruit and train your team, but your fellow franchisees will also have a wealth of insight and experience to share with you. Nothing beats a bit of ‘been there, done that’ advice so do open up and share any issues or decisions with your franchise network.
However you choose to recruit your team, they are the building blocks on which your business is based. No matter how ambitious and organised a boss you are, if your housekeeping team isn’t supporting you in delivering your cleaning and housekeeping services to your standard then something has gone wrong. Finding the right personality fit, implementing thorough and ongoing training and making your team a part of the company’s long term future will all ensure that you and your team work towards a happy and prosperous future,