Many residential cleaning companies start out as a one-person operation. But as your cleaning company grows and you add employees you will soon face the problem of whether you should send in a single person to clean a home or if you should send in a team. Some cleaners may prefer to work alone, but is that in the best interest of your cleaning company?
A single cleaner does all the tasks and does not have to negotiate with anyone about who will do what task or how things will get done. One person can generally clean two to three houses a day – but they may only be able to clean just one home if it is large and there’s a long drive to get to it. Teams will consist of two to four people, who are all cross-trained. Teams can clean from two to seven houses a day, which can triple the number a lone person can clean.
No matter if you pay for mileage or if you provide a company car, you will spend more money if you have single cleaners going out on jobs rather than teams. When you use teams they can pair up in a vehicle, cutting down on the cost of mileage to and from each job.
What can be a large drawback of using single cleaners is the risk that they can steal from your customers. Also, a single cleaner works directly with a customer and may have opportunities to talk to that customer alone. The customer may approach the cleaner about cutting out the middle person or the cleaner may decide there is more money to be made going at this on her own.
There are a couple of ways to get around this. One is to have your employees sign a noncompete agreement. Second, you can send teams of at least two cleaners to each home. In addition, if a single cleaner is out for the day, you may have to reschedule or have someone clean the home who is not familiar with it. In team cleaning there are several individuals who know the home and can cover the tasks of someone who is out for the day.
With team cleaning, all members of the team have specific cleaning assignments. There is also a team leader that may have added duties, such as inspecting the work and communicating with the home owner. Team members are cross-trained and tasks are rotated to cut down on employee burnout and reduce the boredom that can happen when someone is doing the same job all day long.
Another advantage of team cleaning is that your employees have others to interact with during breaks, lunch and drive time. This allows employees to get to know each other and builds team morale.
What size of team should you use? Most residential team cleaning crews consist of two people. However, some cleaners have found that three person teams are more effective if they are cleaning larger homes.
How do you break down team tasks? This will depend on the size of your team. If you have a two-person team, the work is generally divided between wet and dry work. Wet work refers to procedures used in bathrooms, kitchens and utility areas, using cleaning chemicals. Dry work includes emptying trash, dusting, and vacuuming. The person assigned to the dry work will start in the back of the house (second floor if there is one) and work their way forward towards the front door. Or, if there is a downstairs, they will work their way up to the front door.
If you have a larger team there can be more variation in the way the tasks are broken down. With a three-person team, one person can start on wet work, another does dusting and the third does trashing and vacuuming. Another way of breaking it down between three people is to have one person start on the kitchen, one in the bathrooms and the third does the dry work.
The added advantages of team cleaning include:
– Higher productivity as cleaners are focused on fewer tasks at a time and are not concerned with the whole house.
– Less time is wasted changing tools and equipment.
– Employees can help each other when there are tough or unusual cleaning situations, or if one finishes their tasks before another member of the team is finished.
– Your cleaning customers want to see the same faces in their home every visit. Having a dedicated team of two to three people means that even if someone is out for the day, there will still be a familiar face in your customer’s home.
– Team cleaning can lead to higher productivity, more trained employees in each home, and less downtime because of the driving distances between customers.
All of this means you’ll have a more efficient team of employees, which leads to higher profit for your cleaning company.
Copyright (c) 2007 The Janitorial Store