Beginning a Professional Cleaning Career
The cleaning industry attracts employees from a diverse array of backgrounds. Some people come through our doors with expert cleaning skills and little education or life experience. Others come with great work ethic and no experience of what it means to be a professional cleaner, aside from the picture in the job post and a vague concept of a “maid” provided by stereotypical Hollywood portrayals. Some employees are seeking a career they can commit to and grow in. Others are looking for a place where they can experience support and belonging while they work to move on to the next stage in their journey. All are welcome at Clean & Simple. All we ask is that they are ready to work hard.
Each person who walks through the doors of Clean & Simple is given an opportunity. An opportunity to build a schedule that works for their lives. An opportunity to meet a variety of people and work in some spectacular homes (and some not so clean homes!). Professional cleaning can be overwhelming for anyone new to the industry. So can starting a new job with a new company.
That’s why we start each employee in a comprehensive, fully paid training program, regardless of their experience level. Our training program is based on mentorship and employee advocacy. Each new employee is a member of the team, with something to contribute right off the bat—even if they’ve never cleaned professionally before. Everyone is starting from the same place as far as learning the Clean & Simple method and style. This article is meant to give you an idea of what your first few weeks at Clean & Simple look like.
The Clean & Simple Family
The term “work family” has received some negative press in recent years. However, to us at Clean & Simple, work family just means two things: 1) that management’s number one role is supporting our employees and enabling each employee’s success and 2) that work can and should be fun! Does this mean you’ll have fun at your cleaning job every second of every day? Of course not. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have fun a lot of the time.
First, you get to spend each day traveling to different places and seeing different homes and people. You’ll meet all sorts of different pets. If you’re an animal lover, it is a special treat to be greeted by a customer’s enthusiastic dogs, or to play with a cat who is fascinated by your dusting cloth. Many of our cleaners develop meaningful relationships with their long-term customers and become an important part of that customer’s week or month. Each day brings a new adventure—you’re not just sitting behind a desk making phone calls or staring at a screen. You get to be active and dynamic while creating a wonderful professional cleaning experience for the clients whose homes you service.
Second, you’ll build professional and friendly relationships with wonderful coworkers. While some of our cleaners work primarily or exclusively solo, many jobs require a team effort. Working in a team makes the day go by even faster. While you won’t spend much time chatting with your coworker while on the job, our cleaners still enjoy the opportunity to interact with another cleaner throughout their day. An old trainer of mine would keep things interesting by initiating mini floor-cleaning competitions, in which we would start at opposites ends of the room and see who could reach the middle first, without missing any stray debris on the way (I always lost, but it was also always a good time, especially when I was lagging towards the end of a long day).
Finally, management at Clean & Simple amplifies the fun with regular quarterly competitions, light-hearted weekly meetings, end of month parties, and lots of opportunities to win prizes outside of the merit-based bonus structure. At weekly meetings and end of month parties we select employees who have gone above and beyond in some way that week or month (helping a coworker, receiving glowing praise from a customer, giving a new employee a hand) and they get a chance to spin a wheel to win a prize. We frequently provide a free breakfast or other treats at end of month parties, and frequently play games and icebreakers to give everyone a chance to relax and interact with each other. We also love to provide optional out of work activities for employees to participate in, such as bowling nights, picnics in the summer, and holiday parties.
“Clean & Simple is family” means management and your coworkers have your back. It means this is a place where you will be supported as you learn and grow. And it means that work is what we make of it—and we choose to make it something we enjoy.
Starting your journey with Clean & Simple Cleaning
We want to start off new employees, no matter their experience level, on the best foot possible. This requires an intensive, nearly three-week training period. During a new technician’s training, you will receive close one-on-one attention both from office staff guiding you through policies and procedures, as well as one or more of our friendly trainers who will work with you in the field and show you the ropes of professional cleaning.
Your onboarding journey with our company begins with an orientation. Orientations usually take 2-4 hours. You are introduced to the basics of professional cleaning through industry training videos. You will also receive a one-on-one explanation of policies and procedures and some basic guidelines to what to expect from the job from a dedicated office staff member.
Orientation is the foundational moment of a new employee’s experience, and everything you learn from that point forward will be built on this foundation. This is a great time to ask questions about the job, company culture, and expectations of employees. We’re a small company with a small office staff, which gives us an opportunity to form personal relationships with each of our cleaning technicians. No anonymous corporate bosses at Clean & Simple. You’ll meet the whole company within a few weeks of starting.
Training in the field
The bulk of the training process is hands-on training in the field with one of our experienced trainers. Our trainers are specially chosen for their experience, skill, and dedication. In-field, supervised training usually takes place over a two-week period, though in some cases new technicians find they benefit from additional time in training. Intensive training is so important because professional cleaning is challenging—this is no cakewalk!
Getting prepared for a physically demanding job
We’re transparent about the work we do. We’re not looking to paint a pretty picture. Cleaning professionally is labor-intensive. Professional cleaning is hard work! It’s not like cleaning your own home—there are rigorous quality standards to maintain, and our technicians often tackle 3-4 different jobs every day. We want you to be mentally prepared to tackle your training period like you might train for a marathon. You’re getting your body in shape to handle a physically demanding and repetitive task.
The first week is truly a test. It’s like going to the gym without having worked out in a year and getting on the treadmill to try to sprint out a 5K or 10K and not lose your breath! It takes time in training to learn the job and the routines while adapting to the fitness level of cleaning over eight thousand square feet of houses on any given route. One of the most important parts of the first week of your training is giving you the tools to build up your cleaning “muscles” so that you can work safely and efficiently later.
Learning how to provide excellent customer service
In your first week, you’re also learning how to take equipment and supplies in and out of the vehicles, meet and greet customers and pets, and navigate between jobs.
Your trainer will show you how to read and follow a work order, how to enter and lock up a home or office, how to interact with customers, and how to create a consistently excellent customer experience in every single one of our clients’ unique homes.
You’ll find that every home or office you service presents unique demands and requirements. Some of those will be readily noticeable in the work order, but some may be a function of the home’s layout, or the way in which the family uses the space. At some jobs you will find yourself working around the whole family as they go about their days working and studying. Other times, you might go to the same home many times and never once meet the customers themselves. You might exchange regular notes with a customer or communicate rarely if ever. Certain customers might follow you around the house to chat, while others might shut themselves in their office and avoid you while you work. At first, you’ll have to follow your trainer’s cue to know how to interact with a customer. However, you’ll find you quickly pick up on a customer’s expectations, even if you’ve never been to a home before, just based on the first five minutes of your initial interaction.
One of the reasons professional house cleaning is such a demanding job is because cleaning technicians are expected to perform a detailed and physically intensive task while simultaneously exhibiting superb customer service skills. Most other physically demanding work doesn’t come with a strong customer service component. As a professional house cleaner, you’ll learn how to interact with customers in a way that makes them feel cared for, while at the same time ensuring you are completing the tasks assigned and not going beyond the scope of what the company has been hired to do.
Learning and growing with coworkers
An important component of your first few weeks at Clean & Simple Cleaning is woven throughout your experience—meeting and spending time with your new coworkers! One of your most valuable resources as you learn about professional house cleaning is your fellow cleaning technicians. Aside from regular staff meetings, you’ll also have opportunities to interact with coworkers in the mornings when you come to the office to pick up supplies. While your trainer or an office manager should be your primary source if you have questions about the job, all your coworkers are happy to help show you around the office or assist with basic questions about equipment and supplies.
While our team of house cleaners enjoys friendly competition, at the end of the day we all know that the company is only as strong as our weakest cleaner. Therefore, we all like to work together to put our best foot forward. There is no point in hoarding cleaning tips or advice, because the better the whole team is, the better the company does overall.
At Clean & Simple, you might be assigned a few regular customers. However, most of your daily assigned jobs will be shared with other technicians. Part of creating a positive experience for all your customers includes helping your coworkers to be just as good as you are. This is what we mean when we talk about and Clean & Simple “family”—that we’re all in this together, working towards the same goal.
Professional cleaning as a career
Finally, Clean & Simple designed the cleaning technician entry-level position to meet a variety of employee needs, from those looking for temporary, part-time work while attending school, to those who are looking for a long-term career, and many paths in between. To this end, Clean & Simple offers flexible scheduling, job growth and advancement opportunities, on the job training in a variety of different office responsibilities, and more.
Cleaning technicians grow into trainers, field managers, and office managers. Cleaning technicians have used their job to support passions in art or music. From their positions as house cleaners, employees have gone on to start their own businesses, to complete college degrees, to attend graduate and law schools, and more. A cleaning technician job is a starting point to many paths; an opportunity to grow and learn and to support yourself doing work that makes a measurable difference in people’s lives.
Want to learn more? You can apply through our employment application page. You can also call us at (425)673-4733 if you have questions or are interested in a career in professional cleaning. We look forward to hearing from you.