Managers and supervisors are likely the most critical employees in your cleaning company. They are the primary link between the customer and your company, the glue that keeps the relationship together. They organize the work, oversee cleaners, monitor customer satisfaction, ensure profitability, and so much more. As a janitorial business owner, I know this to be true from experience. However, as a full-time consultant in the industry, hiring and training managers is a “top 3” question I receive regularly. How do we train and equip these managers to excel at their jobs?
Succeeding at any job first starts with the expectations of that role. Your job as the leader is to clearly communicate those expectations. You must define success for them, then describe what activities are necessary for success. Let me suggest three components for success – you could think of them as priorities.
The first priority is customer satisfaction. Without customers, there is no business. Satisfied customers, however, produce profitable businesses. Managers must know their customers, understand their expectations, be aware of the contract specifications, and ensure delivery of those commitments. This priority requires a solid relationship with the customer. Top ten customers should receive in-person communication at least once per month. You can be profitable and provide excellent cleaning, but if the customer relationship isn’t strong, your contract could still be in jeopardy.
Leader of Cleaners
Next to serving customers, janitorial managers must lead a team of people to successfully care for those customers. This is more challenging than it may seem at first glance. Managers have men and women of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds under their leadership, doing a job many wouldn’t want to do, for pay that many consider low. They must figure out how to train, motivate, coordinate, and utilize this team of people to meet customer needs. To effectively lead a team to meet customer needs, managers must be about more than finding warm bodies to fill a shift.
If you have an amazing team and a satisfied customer, but the account is not profitable, you have still failed. Without profit, a company will not remain in existence for long. While profit cannot be the only aim of managers and business owners, it nonetheless is critical. Managers must ensure every account is achieving an adequate profit margin each month. They must monitor labor, look for efficiencies, control supplies expense, find extra revenue, and more.
If you are looking to hire and train a new cleaning manager, or perhaps you have a manager that needs new direction, these priorities are the place to start. When we give these three overarching priorities, and clearly communicate them, we set the manager up for success