How to manage cleaning staff


How to Manage Your Cleaning Staff: Tips and Tricks


Most cleaning companies are small. With nine out of ten employing 10 people or less. But even with a small team, learning to manage them properly is crucial.

As a cleaning company’s business owner or manager, you know that your employees are the core of your business. Without them, you can’t provide the quality cleaning services that your clients depend on. 

However, managing cleaning employees presents unique challenges with lots of factors to consider, from scheduling and training to performance evaluations and retention. 

In this blog post, we’ll share tips and best practices for effectively managing cleaning employees. 

We hope you’ll find our insights helpful – Whether you’re just starting your cleaning company or a cleaning veteran looking to improve your existing processes.

How to manage cleaning staff

Understanding the Importance of Managing Cleaning Staff

Your employees are your product and service. They ensure that your customer’s facilities are cleaned while representing you and your brand. Managing your cleaning employees is important for several reasons:

Quality Control

Managing your staff ensures that their cleaning work meets your company’s standards. 


Managing your staff helps you ensure that your resources, including time and equipment, are used efficiently. This can help you to minimize waste and maximize profits.

Customer Satisfaction

Your staff are the face of your business; happy employees give great customer service. 

Staff Retention

Good staff are hard to come by.  And effective management of staff helps retain them. This can help you maintain consistency in your work’s quality and reduce the costs associated with employee turnover.


As an employer, you have a legal obligation to comply with local employment laws. Effective staff management helps your legal obligations and avoid issues.


Create a Cleaning Plan

The first step in managing cleaning staff is to create a cleaning plan. A cleaning plan is a structured approach to cleaning. That outlines the order, frequency and timing of the tasks required for individual cleaning jobs. 


A Great cleaning plan should incorporate these elements:

1.    Cleaning Schedule

A schedule that outlines the cleaning tasks that need to be completed. It should also provide a timeframe for how long tasks will take.

2.    Cleaning Checklist

A list of the tasks that need to be completed for each area being cleaned.

3.    Cleaning Procedures

This section covers the how, covering how each task needs to be done.

4.    Cleaning Supplies

This covers the cleaning products and equipment that is required for each task. (You can add this section to the procedures or checklist section to make it simpler)

5.    Quality Control

In this section, you should include the process of evaluation. How are you evaluating your team members’ performance? 

6.    Health and Safety

It should be your top priority to keep your cleaning staff safe. This section should cover any hazards and safe cleaning products and equipment use. This is especially true for lone working employees! 

What should you have by law if you lone work?


What Supplies Will They Need?

Cleaning staff need a variety of supplies to perform their duties effectively. It is essential to ensure that your cleaning staff can access the supplies they need to perform their duties effectively. You need to make sure you provide good quality supplies and that they know how to use them safely. Here is a list of examples of some typical supplies your cleaning staff may use:

  • Cleaning agents: This includes all-purpose cleaners, disinfectants, glass cleaners, and specialised cleaners such as stainless-steel cleaners, carpet cleaners etc.
  • Cleaning tools: These include microfiber cloths, sponges, scrubbers, mops, buckets, dustpans, brooms, and vacuum cleaners.
  • Protective equipment: Protective equipment includes gloves, goggles, aprons, and face masks to protect cleaning staff from chemicals, dust etc.
  • Restocking supplies: This includes restocking paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap, etc. 
  • Driving policy: If your cleaning company uses a company cleaning vehicle, ensure the right paperwork is in place. See our post on company driving policy here: Driving Company Vehicles Policy 


Challenges of Managing Cleaning Staff

Managing cleaning staff can be challenging, and there are several challenges that you’re likely to run into:

High turnover
Cleaning staff often have high turnover rates. This can lead to a need for a hamster wheel of recruitment and training which becomes a real barrier to growth.

Staff scheduling
Coordinating schedules for a large cleaning staff can be a challenging task. Make sure you frequently revisit your staff’s availability and your client requirements

Quality control
Keeping standards high is critical to keeping your clients.  But managing a large team and ensuring that each person delivers consistent quality can be difficult.

Cleaning staff often work with hazardous chemicals and equipment, which can pose a safety risk. Ensuring your cleaning team are fully trained can become difficult to stay on top of. 

Health and safety cleaning checklist

Regular communication is critical to ensure staff are informed about changes, updates, or new policies.

Employee motivation
Keeping employees motivated and engaged can be a challenge in any industry. This is especially true in the cleaning industry, staff may feel that their work is repetitive or not valued.

Staff retention
Retaining experienced and skilled cleaning staff can be difficult, especially if they feel undervalued or overworked. Implementing a retaining plan is critical.

How Do You Retain Cleaning Staff?

Retaining cleaning staff can be challenging, especially in an industry with high turnover rates. However, there are several things you can do to retain your cleaning staff: 

  1.  Recognise and reward excellent performance.
    Acknowledge your cleaning staff’s hard work and dedication by giving them bonuses, incentives, or promotions.
  2.  Foster a positive and supportive work environment.
    Create a culture of respect, collaboration, and open communication to make your cleaning staff feel valued and appreciated. If your staff have to work in a bad workplace, your employees are much more likely to quit. 
  3.  Provide development opportunities.
    Offer training or educational resources to help your cleaning staff improve their skills and advance their careers.
  4.  Encourage employee feedback and suggestions.
    Give your cleaning staff a voice in how they do their jobs; this will show that you value their input. Employees on the ground floor of any business are often the best at finding improvements.
  5.  Offer competitive compensation and benefits.
    This is perhaps the most important thing of all. Make sure you pay your staff a fair wage and offer benefits where possible. Give proper employee training, allowing them to improve their skills. See our post on training here:

Free training courses for cleaning staff


Dealing with Conflicts and Difficult Situations

Dealing with conflicts and difficult situations is an inevitable part of managing any team. When dealing with conflicts, it is important to remain calm and objective. Although each case will be different, there are some general rules it’s good to follow:

1. Communicate clearly and actively listen

Open and honest communication is vital to resolving conflicts. Listen to your cleaning staff’s concerns and try to understand their perspective. Make sure you communicate your expectations clearly and respectfully.

2. Be proactive

Address conflicts and difficult situations as soon as possible. Minor problems, if left to fester, will become more significant problems unless you act quickly. 

3. Identify the root cause

Try to identify the underlying cause of the conflict or difficult situation. Is it a misunderstanding or a more serious issue?

4. Be respectful

Treat your cleaning staff with respect, even if you disagree with them. When customers mistreat your staff, it can be better to eliminate a toxic customer than a fantastic worker.

5. Document everything

Keep detailed records of the conflict or difficult situation. Including any meetings or conversations that you have with your cleaning staff. This covers you for any unfortunate escalations.

6. Seek outside help if necessary

If you cannot resolve the conflict or difficult situation on your own, consider seeking outside help. This might include HR consultants etc.


Tools and Technology for Cleaning Staff Management

You can now implement many useful tools to help your cleaning business. They can help you simplify and even automate some of your processes. Many even offer free trials and mobile apps here are some of the options available:

1.    Scheduling Software
Scheduling software helps in scheduling staff shifts and managing their work hours, a must-have!
2.    Time and Attendance Tracking Systems
These systems help in tracking the attendance and time of staff members, these systems also help you track overtime.
3.    GPS Tracking
GPS tracking can be used to monitor the location of cleaning staff. Ensuring they are in the right place at the right time.
4.    Inventory Management Software
This software helps in managing cleaning supplies and equipment, ensuring you keep well stocked and don’t over or under-buy.
5.    Communication Tools
 Communication tools such as email, chat, and video conferencing can be used to communicate with cleaning staff and share important information.
6.    Document Managing Tools
There are many different documents to send back and fore to your employees. These include

  • Application forms
  • Offer letters
  • Contract agreements
  • Contracts 
  • Policies 
  • Handbooks 

Managing all these other processes in the paperwork can be a massive time sink. Not to mention the importance of ensuring these important documents are for each employee. 


Tools like DocFlite simplify the documentation processes and provide a professional central space where each of these documents and their status can be found. 


Tips for Effective Cleaning Staff Management

Managing cleaning staff can be challenging, but it can be done effectively with the right strategies and tools. Once you have adequate processes, you can focus less on the admin and more on growing your business. We’ve covered a lot of different tools and tips in today’s post to summarise our top tips:

Setting Clear Expectations and Guidelines – It is important to set clear expectations and guidelines for your cleaning staff. They need to know what is expected of them and what standards they need to meet.

Training and DevelopmentThis is essential for the growth and development of your cleaning staff. Staff that feel they have opportunities work harder and are more likely to stay with you.

Communication and Feedback – Effective communication and feedback are vital for effective cleaning staff management. You should provide regular feedback to your staff, both positive and negative. 

Motivation and Recognition – Motivation and recognition are critical for keeping your cleaning staff motivated and engaged. You should provide regular recognition for a job well done and offer incentives for high-performing staff.


Are you looking to improve your cleaning services management? Contact us today to learn more about our specialised invoicing software designed with cleaning companies in mind.


For more blog posts like this check out:

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