Empower your cleaning teams to do great work

Read Time

4 minutes


Kim Oswalt


Sep 22, 2021

Empower your cleaning teams to do great work

Do your cleaning teams regularly provide the kind of service clients rave about? Or do you sometimes struggle to maintain consistent levels of high-quality work?

This can be a challenging area for any janitorial business. When issues arise, they may be straightforward enough to address, but lingering consequences hold you back from the growth you want to see. Setting your teams up for success can dramatically improve your quality control program, resulting in higher levels of customer satisfaction and employee engagement.

Empowering team members to do their best work is a vital goal for any growth-minded business.

But what does that look like? First, empowered employees are confident in their ability to succeed. They’re able to work independently, believe they play a valuable role in the company’s future, and take initiative in sharing ideas and questions.

If this sounds like the workforce you want, here’s how to get there.

Provide adequate training

To do a job well, it helps to be trained. While most commercial cleaning companies provide some level of training for new hires, the content and format of those trainings varies. When employees “graduate” without a clear idea of their role or the part they play in your company, they’re not in a good place to become high performers.

Consider reevaluating your onboarding and training processes. Talk about your mission and values—and explain how each employee’s work contributes to the overall success of the business. Focus on the “why” and not just the “how.” Don’t just say it’s important to do everything on the day’s checklist; share stories about how excellent service has made a difference for customers in the past, improving their experience and contributing to the company’s profitability through retention.

It’s easy to see employee training as a chore to be checked off as quickly as possible, but guarding against this attitude can help new team members start off on the right foot. And if they end up staying with the business longer because of it, you won’t have to hire as many people—or do nearly as many trainings!

Communicate value

When employees feel engaged at work, they’re more likely to stay—even without higher pay.

Improving engagement starts with making sure your team members understand how much you value them. After all, most of us want to feel that our efforts are seen and appreciated in both our personal and professional lives.

To communicate value to your staff, pay attention to things like birthdays, anniversaries, and major life events (weddings, new babies, graduations, etc.). You don’t have to spend lots of time and money on parties. A simple card or public mention can be extremely meaningful. It’s also important to solicit (and listen to) feedback, make it easy to access support, and provide recognition. With a good quality control program, you can even monitor team members’ performance, identifying opportunities for growth or highlighting areas where service was exceptional.

Even though you know how critical your teams are to the company’s success, you may not always communicate that as effectively as you’d like. Thankfully, things like special celebrations and employee recognition programs can go a long way toward helping staff feel more connected to your janitorial business.

Equip teams with the resources they need

One of the most important ways to empower your teams is to provide them with the tools and resources they need to be effective.

Imagine being hired to transport a package from one location to another, but the car you’re given doesn’t have enough gas and no one provides you with a map. At first, you might attempt to be as resourceful as possible, walking to a nearby gas station or asking passersby for directions. You might be able to deliver the package eventually, but you’ll be exhausted from working 10 times harder to get there. Now imagine you have to do it all over again tomorrow… yikes.

That’s what it’s like for cleaning teams who don’t always have access to the supplies, directions, or systems needed to do their jobs well. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it seems impossible to organize all the moving pieces required to keep your business running and your teams supported. That’s where end-to-end business management software like Aspire comes in. With Aspire, you can manage every single aspect of your operations from sales, estimating, and scheduling to job costing, reporting, invoicing, and more—all in one centralized platform.

To help your teams succeed, make sure they have access to everything they need, from cleaning supplies and efficient equipment to thorough checklists and inspection tools.

Maintain healthy client relationships

Your teams probably spend more time onsite than you do, so the effort you put into maintaining good relationships with clients can improve their daily work environment.

When customers feel you’re responsive to their needs—or even proactive about finding and addressing gaps in service—their attitude toward your company will be more positive. If they have a bad experience with an account manager, feel ignored, or see problems in the quality of service, they may take it out on the people they see regularly: your staff. Working to build healthy levels of trust and communication between your company and your clients can help prevent the possibility for these types of negative interactions.

The reverse is also true, of course. Since customers are more familiar with the faces they see in the building every day, your staff has a serious impact on your company’s reputation. (Reminding employees of their “ambassadorship” can be another good way to reinforce value and help them feel like a part of something larger.)

Conduct regular check-ins

Finally, it’s a good idea to schedule regular check-ins between staff members and their supervisors. The frequency of these meetings can depend on what makes sense for your organization, but they should happen at regular intervals so supervisors and direct reports can both be prepared.

These one-on-one conversations give team members an opportunity to talk about what’s going well, where they’ve run into problems, and how the company can improve its approach. It’s important for managers to convey a genuine desire for feedback—and interest in what’s said—to help staff feel comfortable and appreciated.

In addition to increasing employees’ sense of connection to your company, these meetings provide a source of valuable inside knowledge for managers and can help identify solutions to improve customer satisfaction and retention.


Most of these strategies can’t be implemented overnight, and they all require buy-in from people across the company. If you want to see major growth, though, it’s worth investing in organization-wide changes to help you get there.

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