FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Training is the Key
I read an interesting blog the other day, someone was saying they do not invest in much advanced training for their employees, because “we invest the time and money to train them and they leave.” The response post was, “what happens if you don’t train them and they stay?”
New surfaces, new methods, new products, our industry is not just a mop and a bucket anymore. It hasn’t been for quite a while. If we expect consumers to look at us as professionals, then we need to act like it. Are you putting “the cleaning lady” out in the field? Or are you sending out a professional cleaning technician, who is a trusted resource with the training and skills to meet the challenges of the market place?
We are always ready to invest in new technology to improve our operations and efficiency and we should. But we also need to invest in our frontline employees to make sure they have the latest and most up to date information available to improve their on the job knowledge and skills. Over 400 professionals have completed the House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification program since it was launched. Quite frankly, that is a drop in the bucket (no pun intended). It should be 2,000 by now and grow incrementally each year. There are serious economic reasons to invest in certification as well. If one of your cleaners damages one of the new exotic surfaces or floors because they were not sure what they were dealing with or used the wrong product or cleaning tool, when you get the bill to replace it, the cost of getting them certified will seem like a real bargain.
HCT is an intensive two-day program that is very technical in nature, but will provide your cleaners with the skills they need to make your company standout when it comes to industry knowledge. Visit the ARCSI website for the schedule of 2017 HCT class.
You will all be receiving your new ISSA.com log in and password soon. Because of our merger, there will now be a vast array of additional videos, whitepapers, and other information available to you. ISSA has over 2,500 short video clips on a variety of topics including green cleaning, finance, management, cleaning tips and much more. We will be working with the ISSA education team to develop even more “residential” oriented content for the site. The long-term plan is to move all of the information in the current Alison Palmer Resource Library to the ISSA website.
So remember they are experienced, trusted, and professional cleaning technicians. Provide them the training they need.
See you in Las Vegas in September!
SURVEY SAYS . . .
The Impact of the Recent Minimum Wage Hikes
Do you think the recent minimum wage hikes will have a significant impact on your business? Members say:
Describe your ARCSI membership!
What do you like most about your membership?What do you think of when you think about ARCSI? Tell us in a few words how you would describe your ARCSI membership.
The HCT Certification sets you and your company apart. It differentiates you from other residential cleaning companies in your market as professional and knowledgeable.
"I took the HCT Class at the ARCSI Convention. I was sure I was only going
to learn a few things. I figured that after cleaning for over 20 years I knew
most of what would be taught. Boy, was I wrong! I was so impressed with
the vast amount of information presented and its value to me as an owner."
-- Eugena Bring, Owner, Carnation Home Cleaning, Mesa, AZ
The House Cleaning Technician (HCT) certification program teaches cleaning technicians how to go about doing just that. Becoming certified gives you the knowledge to be the best cleaner possible. Certified House Cleaning Techs understand all the surfaces they will find in clients' homes, how to clean them and (almost more importantly) how NOT to clean them.
Offered by the IICRC accredited school, the Institute for Service Excellence, the course is taught by Bruce Vance, ISE.
UPCOMING HCT CLASSES
||The Experience Conference & Exhibition
|| April 24-26
The Experience Conference and Exhibition provides one of the premier expos for cleaning and restoration equipment and quality classroom education for the cleaning industry. And this year, the event returns to Florida!
The 2017 Experience Conference and Exhibition is at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida. This a great opportunity to see, try out and learn about all of the latest and most advanced equipment, tools and procedures available in our industry today. You’ll discover new research, the most up-to-date information and useful tools to help distance your company from the competition and provide you with the education and opportunities you need to grow your business. Plus you will have ample time to network with your peers and other service providers in the residential cleaning industry.
The event also includes:
- High-quality classroom education
- Live hands-on demonstrations
- World's best exhibition for cleaning and restoration equipment, tools, and products
Speaking at this year’s conference are ARCSI’s own Ernie Hartong with ISSA past Executive Director John Garfinkel.
Introducing the ISSA
Wednesday, April 26 | 9:30 – 10:30 am
John Garfinkel, ISSA Past Executive Director and
Ernie Hartong, ARCSI Executive Director
ISSA is expanding reach into cross markets and The EXPERIENCE Events is collaborating with them in Las Vegas in September. Come meet John and Ernie and hear about their vision for the future of the industries they represent.
Visit the Experience website for complete conference agenda and registration details.
February 28, 2017
Hot Topic Tuesday: Resolving Family Conflict in a Family Business
April 6-7, 2017
Carpet Cleaning Technician Certification Class (CCT)
Raleigh, North Carolina
By Sharon Tinberg
The first week of February took me to Seattle, Washington. What a GREAT city, even if it did snow three inches my first night there. It is a city full of success stories generating hope and excitement, which was also true of the office I visited. The owners were excited from the remarkable growth they achieved in 2016 and were filled with hope that increased growth could also be accomplished in 2017, but this year with the added benefit of fewer operational challenges.
This is one more common theme I have heard in the 18 offices I have visited in the past 1 ½ years. Owners everywhere are hoping for shorter work days and less stress from their business. I have yet to meet an owner who does not dream of managing their business from a remote location – like an island somewhere. There is the paradox. You can lead a service industry from a remote location but you cannot manage it from afar. The actual management of cleaners requires on site presence from a person of influence. With our tight margins, how can owners afford a person of influence in every home? Promote one of the cleaning partners to the position of supervisor and then teach them how to become a person of influence with their partners, that’s how.
"You can lead a service industry from a remote location
but you cannot manage it from afar."
I have witnessed two types of cleaning teams while observing cleaners in the field cleaning homes.
- One type of team has co-team leaders where all team members are responsible for organizing the team and insuring the home is left spotless.
- The second cleaning team is one with no designated leaders/managers where the team is instructed to just work together as a team and look out for one another’s errors.
I always ask owners who work under either of these models “When a key is lost who is ultimately responsible for that lost key?” I can ask the same question regarding the quality of the cleaning. “Who is ultimately responsible for walking the home at the end and insuring all fringes on carpets are straightened, no cleaning clothes have been left behind and the alarm was actually set?” If you have not delegated this responsibility to a sole person on a team then you end up dealing with the issues when the client calls complaining about the fringe not being straight and the cleaning cloth left lying on the sofa. I ask the key question instead of the quality question because it is more finite and does not lend as well to the answer “Well they all watch out for one another.” Either question leaves the same results, something left not perfect because no one felt ultimately responsible for leaving it perfect.
New cleaning partners feel more assured when they have confidence in the knowledge and skill level of the supervisor they are working with on their team.
Clients will also have more confidence with discussing their cleaning concerns with a eam supervisor if they are clearly the “person in charge.” This one change alone will stop your phone from ringing. After all, it is the cleaning team that needs to fix the problem, and they can on the spot, rather than the client having to look at it until they call the office and you get someone out there to fix the cleaning.
Many of the offices I visit do not have team supervisors because all of the team members say they cannot speak English so the client could not communicate with them. First, never put a cleaning team in a home where at least one person on the team is not at least 40% bilingual and then get them to 90% bilingual within a year. When I visit offices and ask team members if they speak English and they say “pequito.” I start talking in English. You would be surprised how much English these cleaners actually speak. Have team supervisors start learning a minimum of 10 English words per week and partners a minimum of 5 English words per week. All of my cleaners who came to me without speaking a word of English were at least 60% bilingual within 2 years. And really, owners, this is where you gain the greatest satisfaction from your career. You have changed a person’s life, and the lives of their family members, forever, when you teach them to speak English. Mothers can now go to their children’s parent/teacher conferences and actually engage in their child’s education. What other paid job results in so much personal satisfaction?
Owners are only one being and cannot be everywhere all of the time. In order to grow you need to stop checking every house that is cleaned. When we cleaned 95 homes per day it was simply impossible to check them all. If you can’t check them all then you need to think of a different way to ensure quality in each and every home. My working team supervisors were my alternative to checking each home. Did it work? My company had 754 repeat clients and we never quality checked a home from an office perspective. Our working team supervisors were ultimately responsible for that task.
When you have key supervisors in place, you have started the ground work for a tiered-organizational chart which makes growth manageable and almost easy. When you have enough teams and supervisors you simply add a field operations manager and you are ready to lead your company remotely.
In my next article I will cover the field operations manager position that has been my main focus of training in the past 4 offices I have visited and will be my main focus for the next 10 days when I reach Annapolis in two hours. What an amazing and small world we live in!
Sharon Tinberg is a national residential cleaning service coach who has worked with cleaning companies across North America.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is visiting a sample of residential cleaning companies to update the basket of transactions comprising the Producer Price Index (PPI) for janitorial services.
The PPI will use price information collected from the sampled companies to calculate price indexes for the janitorial services industry. ARCSI, A Division of ISSA encourages your participation in the PPI if your company is selected as part of the sample.
The PPI measures the change over time in the prices received by domestic producers for goods and services. It is our nation’s primary inflation indicator for the business sector of the economy. Continued success of the index depends on voluntary industry participation. Firms selected for participation in the index will only be asked to contribute a few minutes per month and provide pricing information on a small selection of transactions. All data collected will be used in an aggregated format and for statistical purposes only. All individual firm data will be kept strictly confidential.
The BLS wants your experience as a survey respondent to be a valuable one. You will be assigned an economist who can assist you not only with reporting prices but also by answering your questions about PPI data. The PPI program tracks prices for most goods and services produced in the United States and all indexes are available for free online at www.bls.gov/ppi. PPI data for the janitorial services industry have been published monthly since 1994.
With the cooperation of sampled firms, the PPI for janitorial services will continue to be a useful measure of monthly price change for both public and private data users.
by Mel Kleiman, CSP
If you follow these commandments and remain focused, dedicated and committed to hiring the best and giving them an outstanding on-boarding process that builds lasting relationships, your organization becomes just that – the best.
I. BEFORE YOU HIRE ANYONE, THOU SHALT TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT THE JOB
You will tell every promising job applicant not only what’s wonderful about the job and the company, but also about what is not so wonderful. This is the only way to ensure that what new employees think they are getting into is what they are actually getting into. (They shall find out the truth anyway and then either leave you high and dry or figure they don’t owe you an honest day’s work because you weren’t honest with them.)
II. THOU SHALT CHANGE THE FOCUS OF ON-BOARDING FROM OPERATIONS TO HR
First impressions are lasting. To build a great relationship and get the greatest return on your investment in every new hire, minimize the paperwork, policies and procedures, and rules and regulations. Focus instead on the person and build a relationship between yourself, the new hire, the job, and the company.
III. THOU SHALT TAKE THE TIME TO PREPARE SO, WHEN THEY SHOW UP THE FIRST DAY, THEY CAN GET TO WORK
The time to make sure the new person has a uniform, desk, phone, computer, badge, etc., is before they first report. What does it say about you and your organization if you’re too disorganized to have everything ready to go? How important would you feel you and your job are if no one had taken the time to make sure everything you need is available?
IV. THOU SHALT MAKE ORIENTATION NOT ONLY ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED, BUT, MORE IMPORTANTLY, ABOUT WHAT’S IN IT FOR THEM
Nothing turns a new hire off more quickly than reams of boring paperwork, impersonal training videos, and reading policies and procedures. Have an executive or manager who worked his or her way up welcome new hires and share a little about his or her success. Fill them in on opportunities for advancement and all job perks.
V. THOU SHALT MAKE THE FIRST HOUR AND THE FIRST DAY ON THE JOB THE BEST THEY WILL HAVE ON ANY JOB EVER
This is your one and only chance to make a great first impression. Use it to make them feel “chosen” (not just hired). Tell them why their job is important and how it fits in to the big picture. Make them feel welcome; introduce them to their co-workers, and give them a tour and overview of the whole facility.
VI. THOU SHALT BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND STANDARDS
Thou shalt tell new hires how you want them to communicate with you and how they will be graded (evaluated). Thou shalt spell out your expectations.
VII. THOU SHALT ASSIGN A BUDDY
No one wants to eat or take breaks alone – especially on the very first day. Make a buddy available not only for this, but to also help new hires get the lay of the land and to answer any questions when you’re not available.
VIII. THOU SHALT FIND OUT WHY YOUR NEW HIRE LEFT HIS OR HER LAST JOB
You don’t want to unwittingly create the same situation again. Ask who the best boss they ever had was and why they think so. This is a great way to find out how they like to be managed, communicated with, and what motivates them. Since this person was frustrated enough to change employment, thou shalt also ask if they think anyone at his or her old job might be a good fit with your company.
IX. THOU SHALT NEVER LET THE NEW EMPLOYEE GO HOME FRUSTRATED, ESPECIALLY DURING THE FIRST WEEK ON THE JOB
This is the #1 reason to check back with them regularly during the first week. Ask how it’s going and what could be improved in order to let them know that they and their feedback are appreciated. Your goal is to make sure that, when anyone asks them how they like their new job, the answer is: “Great. Fantastic. Couldn’t be better.” (This will be a boon to your future recruiting efforts as well.)
X. THOU SHALT THINK BEYOND THE FIRST DAY AND WEEK, BUT ALSO ABOUT THE FIRST PAYCHECK, THE END OF THE FIRST MONTH, THE FIRST REVIEW AND THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY
After the first week, use every occasion you can think of to reinforce the great relationship you’ve built. Use these times to give them feedback on their performance and ask for their ideas and concerns.
Certified Speaking Professional Mel Kleiman is an internationally recognized consultant, author, and speaker on strategies for hiring and retaining the best hourly employees. He is the president of Humetrics, a leading developer of systems, training processes, and tools for recruiting, selecting, and retaining an hourly workforce. To read an excerpt and order copies of his latest book, The Five Firsts: A Simple System to On-board, Engage and Retain Top Talent, visit: www.the5firsts.com. For more information, call (713) 771-4401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Derek Christian, Cleaning Business Today
For a company to be truly successful in this business, or probably any business, there needs to be a series of systems in place for all of the keys tasks.
In am fortunate in that, due to all of my consulting, I get to see how many different cleaning businesses work. At this very moment I am working on merging two smaller companies into one new larger company. As we are completing this project we have a check list of systems that we need to have in place. It is interesting to me that while the details of the systems vary from company to company, these processes tend to be the same. For a company to be truly successful in this business, or probably any business, there needs to be a series of systems in place for all of the keys tasks. We break them down into three categories.
Read more at CleaningBusinessToday.com.
An exceptional ISSA benefit is the free PR ISSA offers members. All you have to do is send your news — awards, new hires, expansions, products, etc. — to Lisa Veeck at email@example.com and she will get your news everywhere it needs to go. This includes:
- In the ISSA daily news posted on the ISSA.com website, which receives an average of 55,000 unique users and up to 240,000 page view a month.
- Via RSS feed to ISSA news subscribers and its social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
- E-mailed directly to the inboxes of nearly 13,000 subscribers of our recently acquired CMM daily newsletters and is posted on the CMM website that attracts an average of 26,000 unique users and 67,000 page views per month.
But that is not all!
Space permitting, your news is also published in CMM magazine, the digital edition posted on the website, and the print edition, which reaches an estimated 33,000 building service contractors and in house service professionals. Similarly, space permitting, it appears in ISSA Today's print edition, which goes to all segments of the ISSA membership, as well as its digital edition, which has a worldwide following and receives up to 190,000 page views per issue.
It's a lot of numbers, but the bottom line is it IS a lot of numbers! You can't buy this kind of coverage! In fact many members join just for this reason! And by the way, don't worry if it is not an "official release." You can send the news in an email. All we need is the basic who, what, and where.
ARCSI Shoutout to My Amazing Maid for being featured in StreetFightMag.com case study!
In an industry where traditional word of mouth is paramount, Royce Ard has figured out a way to use technology to his advantage. The owner of My Amazing Maid, a cleaning service he opened his with his wife Tamara in 2013, Ard says marketing costs are one of the largest expenses on his financial statements, just behind labor.
Read the full article.
- Laura Barnard, Grakei Maids, Madison, Wisconsin
- Vicki Bates, Maid in America – Georgia, Acworth, Georgia
- Ivonne Benavides, Ivonne’s Cleaning Services, Ashburn, Virginia
- David Bracy, J’s Cleaning Service, Portsmouth, Virginia
- Matt Burgess, NCS Property Group, Kincumber, New South Wales
- Yvonne Burks, Five Diamond Services, Tallahassee, Florida
- Heather Channing, One Organized Mom, Jupiter, Florida
- Monika Christensen, Housekeeping Maid Easy, Fishers, Indiana
- Monique Cohen, Cleaning for Seniors, Niceville, Florida
- Wayne Crockett, Crockett Cleaning Service, Prairieville, Louisiana
- Joyce Darden, Joyce Darden Cleaning Service, Houston, Texas
- Samet Degismen, Sparkle and Shine Cleaning Services, Gainesville, Virginia
- Sherri Dyck, Make it Shine Cleaning, Oregon City, Oregon
- Mona Gatens, Windsor Maid Service, Dallas, Texas
- Barbara Gini, Eclectic Domestics, Sellersville, Pennsylvania
- Krystal Jarrett, Premiere Cleaning, Louisville, Kentucky
- Ashley Kosharek, AMK Cleaning Services, Eau Claire, Wisconsin
- Beth Lack, Popins of Arizona, Peoria, Arizona
- Cintia Leone, House Bliss Cleaning, Stoneham, Massachusetts
- Doreen Marsh, JD Custom Cleaning, Clover, South Carolina
- Hector Monzon, Kelly Green Club, Baltimore, Maryland
- Scott Mumma, Superior Cleaning, O’Fallon, Missouri
- Brittney Niquette, Completely Cleaned, Saint Cloud, Florida
- Angela Petkovic, Natural Maidens, San Francisco, California
- Schinita Rogers, Forever Cleaning, Lansing, Michigan
- Tracy Schnorr, Maid for You, Naples, Florida
- Dean Spasser, Heavenly Scent Cleaning Service, Saint Louis, Missouri
- Amber Stone, That’s What Gloves Are For, Claremore, Oklahoma
- Jessica Wilfong, Petal Sweet Cleaning, Medina, Ohio
- Ashley Williams, Her Majesty Services, Maitland, Florida
IN THIS ISSUE
FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Training is the Key
SURVEY SAYS . . .
Minimum Wage Hike
Upcoming HCT Class in Georgia in March
The Experience Conference & Exhibition Offers Premier Cleaning Expo in a Beach Setting
More Upcoming Events
Empowered Cleaning Supervisors Free Emancipate Owners from Having to Micromanage
by Sharon Tinberg
Bureau of Labor Sampling Residential Cleaning Companies to Determine Jan-San Price Index
The 10 Commandments of Employee On-Boarding
by Mel Kleiman, CSP
3 Systems You Need to Run a Successful Business
Get Your Name in the News
Residential Member My Amazing Maid Featured in a Recent Case Study
Welcome to New ISSA Residential Members