Advice on Training Current & New Cleaners
Advice on rolling out your new training program to CURRENT cleaners
Unless you are a startup maid service with no cleaners, Maid Training Academy is going to represent a change, to some degree, for your current cleaners. Here is some advice for a successful conversion to the cleaning instructions of Maid Training Academy.
Print this document and use it as a checklist to make sure you complete all the recommended steps to get the most out of your program.
Get buy-in from key employees first
Get one or two cleaners who are considered key employees to take the classes first. Get their feedback before rolling it out to all employees/cleaners. Typical responses range from acceptance to excitement.
Experienced cleaners often comment that they learned new techniques and insight that makes the certification process a positive experience. It is easier to roll out a new program if key employees and cleaners can endorse the program from the personal experience of taking the classes.
And if you or your key employees have any concerns, it’s best to discuss that with a few key employees before rolling it out to everyone.
You do not have to adopt 100% of the instructions in Maid Training Academy
Every maid company is a little different. Throughout the certification classes, we stress that some cleaning companies may do it differently, so we set the stage for having different instructions. If you have any changes in instructions, then you need to write those instructions down and use that handout with all current and new employees on the unique instructions that are specific to your company.
Tell your cleaners about the advantages of adding a structured training program
The primary reason is “Getting everyone on the same page on how to clean a home.” Everyone understands the importance of having standards and getting everyone to clean the same way, but you still need to tell them about all the advantages for them personally.
New cleaners get better faster with structured training
This reduces the burden of working with new cleaners. No one likes to work with a new cleaner because they are slower and make more mistakes. Our structured training program will dramatically increase the speed at which a cleaner gets up to acceptable speed and quality.
Employee turnover will improve
Cleaners who are better prepared are less likely to leave if they have clear instructions on what they are expected to do. A common complaint from cleaners is the burden of high turnover. It’s a burden to work with new employees, but it can be a nightmare working with new employees all the time. Lower Turnover = Lower Problems
You can work with any cleaner because you all clean the same way
Cleaners are often required to work with different cleaners not assigned to their normal team. This can be a burden and headache if everyone is cleaning a different way. Cleaning will be more consistent regardless of who cleans the home resulting in fewer customer complaints. Fewer Complaints = Fewer Cancelations = More Work/Money
Your customers will be happier and happy customers tip more
With everyone cleaning the same way and at established quality standards your customers will see the difference and may be happier with the overall quality of your cleaning. Customers who are happy tip more and more often. No kidding other corporate members have seen increases in customer satisfaction and tipping. In addition to tipping, customers will also stay longer with consistent quality cleaning and that means you can make more money.
Getting everyone on the same page is not saying what they did before was wrong
Stressing this point during the conversion process is important. You don’t want to give the impression that how they used to clean was wrong. This is about getting everyone on the same page.
Remind your cleaners that Maid Training Academy is the oldest and largest in the world
Maid Training Academy is used by hundreds of maid companies and independent cleaners all over the world. As the oldest and largest training school in the world, these instructions are used and accepted by professional house cleaners all over the world. We have students in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Provide a Bonus or Pay for CURRENT Employees to take the class
We do NOT advocate paying new cleaners for their time to get certified. Many professions require people to get certified on their own time and expense. If you want to become a lifeguard at a pool, you have to pay for your own classes, and you are not paid for your time to take the class. If you are going to be an accountant, your employer is not going to pay for your college to get your degree. The next section of this page goes through more details about new employees and cleaners. Rolling out Maid Training Academy to CURRENT employees and cleaners should be handled differently for several reasons.
Not compensating “active employees” at least minimum wage for their time for required training may be a violation of employment law. Be careful how you handle required training on “active employees.” This is not legal advice and you should always check with your legal counsel. Laws are different by State and Country.
Current employees already have a job with your company or through your company. This creates a unique challenge for active cleaners to find the time to take the classes. Most maid companies will have their current cleaners take the classes during a normal workday and pay them to complete the two required classes. The total time to get certified is approximately 10 – 12 hours at a normal reading level for both classes. (Level-1 = 5 hours and Level-2 is 6 hours)
Some companies who don’t want to pull cleaners off the work schedule for two days will pay their cleaners a bonus equal to 12 hours of time at $10 an hour or $120 to get certified. Most people are open to making EXTRA money so your current cleaners may view this in a positive way. Keep in mind, most people don’t have much spare time outside of work to take the classes. It may take a few weeks to complete both classes if they are doing it on their own time, even if you are paying them for their time. For this reason alone, most new members will take a slow day, we all have them from time to time, and get the cleaner to complete 1 class. This could be a half day, for example, a cleaner cleans one job in the morning and then the rest of the day they take and complete one class.
Avoid group training because reading aloud takes twice as long as reading on your own. Reading comprehension is better than listening.
The initial rollout to current cleaners is a one time expense and then you are done. All future cleaners will take the classes on their own time at no expense to you. With that in mind, it makes paying for current employees a little easier and it may be required by law. And the most important reason to compensate your current cleaners is that the will embrace the program better if they are paid to take the class.
Talk about Maid Training Academy all the time
Although your cleaners will understand the benefits of a structured program, it’s still a challenge to get people to change habits and adopt the instructions within Maid Training Academy. It may take some time for all your current cleaners to adopt the new instructions. It is easy to slide back into old habits.
Talk about Maid Training Academy in your all employee meetings. Take a couple of pages from the training books and have that a part of your weekly or bi-weekly employee meeting agendas. If you do not have periodic meetings with your cleaning staff, you should strongly consider doing so now.
Most successful maid companies pay for 30-minute meetings at $10 - $15 an hour which is $5 - $7 for the 30-minute meeting. It’s not too expensive and the value is huge, not just for training but on many levels. The best time to get everyone together is first thing in the morning before they start their day. Start off with Bi-Weekly meetings and you will see the value across the board on having all employees meetings.
When you get a customer complaint, find out how they cleaned that area, and how that compares to the instructions in the certification classes. You need to have a printed copy on your desk or on your computer desktop so you can quickly access it. Supervisors need to know the books, like the back of their hand. That means they need to read the books several times and refer to it often. Once you get up to speed it will become second nature.
When your supervisor observes cleaners, make sure they are correcting/reminding the cleaners to stay with the method and flow outlined in your training. Your current people will get there as well as new cleaners, but it has to be a constant point of conversation. This is where some corporate members fail. If you are not diligent with staying with the instructions it just won’t work and you will be back to having all your cleaners cleaning differently and inconsistently, resulting in more complaints and higher turnover. It's going to be challenging at first but you will be very happy once you fully adopt Maid Training Academy.
Tell customers that all your cleaners are certified professional cleaners
This is a huge advantage and you want to take full advantage of it. There are several advantages to telling your customers, both current and prospective. Certification demonstrates to current and prospective customers that your cleaners are the best in the industry. Certification provides your customers with a certain level of confidence that your people know how to clean a home in a professional and standardized manner.
When you speak with prospective customers tell them that all your cleaners are certified professional cleaners from the world leader in maid training. Customers will take notice, they will comment and ask questions about that statement. You will close more deals IF you talk about it proactively.
We will provide Maid Training Academy logos you can use on your website and marketing material.
Formal Certificate for display
We will provide you a template for a nicer formal certificate. This optional certificate is nicer than the standard certificate students automatically receive when they pass their Level-2 Final Exam to earn their Professional Cleaner Certification.
We charge $5 for this nicer certificate if the student contacts us directly. You can provide this formal certificate to your students for free. The template is a WORD document, so you can add the student’s name and the date they passed their Level-2 exam. We recommend printing this to pdf, so you can email it to the student as well as printing it for them.
Getting certified is a big deal. Most cleaners will display their new certificate on social media, and at home, for friends and family to see. This may be the only certification your cleaners have ever earned, so it's a big deal. Some companies will present their cleaners with the certificate at the all-employee meetings to recognize the cleaner of their accomplishment. This is a great opportunity to build morale and increase employee retention.
Recommendations for getting NEW cleaners certified
Some maid service companies use their Corporate Membership to screen job applicants and reduce downtime often associated with new employees. If you choose this path, tell applicants you only hire Certified Professional Cleaners and if they don’t already have their certification, you will sponsor them to get their certification.
Included in your welcome email is a sample communication template you can use to communicate this message and to promote the value to applicants for getting this certification whether they work for you or anyone else. Your candidates will think highly of you and your willingness to invest in them even before they come aboard.
All candidates, regardless of previous experience, should be required to get their certification before you hire them. This keeps all your cleaners on the same page when it comes to the techniques to cleaning AND you can test the learning and competency skills of the seasoned veteran at the same time.
This requirement may weed out those candidates looking for a career from those simply looking for a job. This requirement may weed out applicants who may struggle with written instructions and comprehension. Most maid companies need people who can read and comprehend work orders and other instructions for cleaning your customer's home. Not only are you making sure your future employees know the best techniques for cleaning a home but also that they are smart enough to read and comprehend written instructions and guidelines required by your business.
The process used by other companies when hiring NEW cleaners:
1. Tell Applicants that you only hire certified professional cleaners and that if the face to face interview goes well, you will sponsor them to take the classes.
a. Tell them you pay for the classes but not for their time to take the class. All classes are online and can be taken from home, or anywhere using any device that has internet.
b. Inform applicants that you don’t pay for their time to take the class during the phone interview and also have it posted on your website as a requirement. It’s a $100 value (price for an individual student) that they get for free. Be clear because you don’t want applicants to think they have to pay $100.
c. Here is an example from one of our member’s website. This is the last item listed under "Requirements of Employment"
You must be a certified “Professional Cleaner
If you're already certified, great. Simply provide a copy of your certificate. If you are not, no problem, we will pay for your certification classes.
We work with Maid Training Academy, the oldest and largest maid training school in the world. They provide online training courses for Residential Maids. If you are selected, we will purchase your training material and testing, but we do not pay for your time to take the class. It’s a scholarship to learn how professional maids clean. And if you have cleaning experience you will still learn a great deal.
The class costs $100 and we pay for the class. There are two classes. Level-1 takes approximately 5 hours including reading a 77-page book and taking the online Practice Test, a few times. Level-2 is an 88-page manual and takes about 6 hours to complete the course, including taking a few Practice Tests.
d. To put this into perspective, Lifeguards have to pass a 25-hour class (The American Red Cross) before they can be hired. Lifeguards typically pay for their training and are not paid to take the class. This is common in many professions. This is why most maid companies do NOT pay for the applicants time to take the classes. This is not legal advice. Check with your State and Country employment laws and seek legal counsel on all employment matters.
2. Tell them that the Final Exam for both classes is conducted in your office.
a. This is not a requirement but a strong recommendation. Individual students who contact Maid Training Academy directly, take their Final Exams from their home, however, there are several advantages of having them take both exams in your office.
i. They stay on track better if they have a date to come to your office
ii. You may find other advantages of having the applicant in office. You may decide to give them a new employee packet with payroll forms after they pass level-1. This keeps the applicant motivated and it’s a good time to get their background check paperwork started since they can take a few days to get results back.
iii. When they come back to the office for Level-2 exam, they can provide you with the completed paperwork and you can get them prepared to start working
3. It can take a few days or a few weeks to complete the certification process for new cleaners, depending on the situation
a. The shortest amount of time to complete the two classes is two days. It takes 10-12 hours to complete both classes so it is nearly impossible to complete both classes in one day. The goal is for the person to learn and retain the information. It is better for the person to take one class per day so they are not rushed. This would be considered the fastest time table at two days.
b. Some students may need more time than 4-5 hours for the first class. Some people read slower or take longer on Practice Tests. Rushing a person to take both tests in just 2 days may force a good candidate to wash out because you didn't give them enough time to prepare. We have found that giving the applicant 2-3 days per class tends to work the best but always ask the applicant if they think they will have time. Everyone has stuff going on in their lives even if they are unemployed. They may not be able to drop everything to dedicate themselves to 4-5 hours of uninterrupted study time. It can take a long time to find a good candidate so you don't want to lose them because you are forcing them to stop everything to dedicate themselves to a NON-PAID activity. If you give them a few days they can break the class into a few hours each day which most people can find if they are unemployed. If you give them 2 days for each class you can have their certification completed within one week. That usually works for both the applicant and the maid company.
c. If your Applicant is currently working and they have to give a two-week notice, you may want to give them a week to complete each class because they have less free time. They can dedicate an hour a day or complete the class over the weekend. And if they can complete their classes over the two weeks you are losing no time in getting them onboard.
When an applicant takes their Practice (and Final) Test, you will get an email notification and their score
This is a great tool to make sure your Applicant/Student is on track. If you don't see any Practice Tests taken, you can bet they are not showing up at your office to take the Final Exam. On the other hand, if you see that the applicant has taken the Practice Test, you know they are working on it and should stay on track to complete the certification process and your time table to fill a position. You also get all Final Exams.