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Interview Questions – English & Spanish

INTERVIEWING THE APPLICANT
WHO HAS CONTROL OF THE INTERVIEW?

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A STANDARD SET OF APPLICANT QUESTIONS
WILL KEEP YOU IN CONTROL OF THE INTERVIEW

KEY FACTOR:

You ‘set the stage’ for how an employee will follow your direction as a leader when you interview the applicant. You have set a professional stage with your refined application so you will want to continue this level o f professionalism throughout your interview process with well thought out and organized questions. This will encourage the applicant to want to work for you. If you just let them ramble on about whatever they want to tell you, they are controlling the interview and not you (and will most likely try to be in control the entire time they work for you). They will tell you what they think you want to hear and they will ask you what is important to them, not to your company or to you.

ACTION ITEM:

Prepare a set of questions that you will use in every interview. This will keep you consistent in your hiring practices and help you to uncover possible problem areas with an applicant. Asking questions about their flexibility, their reactions to specific situations and what they are looking for in a job will tell you a lot about a person and how they would fit into your company culture.

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS:

Put together a list of questions to use after you have reviewed their application. First, go through the application looking for any areas that were not completed. If an applicant does not fill out the application completely it indicates two things: they do not pay attention to detail and/or they did not come to the interview prepared with phone numbers, addresses, previous dates of employment, etc. Begin the interview with the applicant for any missing information on the application. You fill it in as they give it to you. Never put the application back in the applicant’s hands again. Look for gaps in previous employment and ask what they were doing during that time (they might have been in jail for theft). After reviewing their application proceed to your interviewing questions. Take good notes when they are answering and do not answer the questions for them, even if they are struggling for answers. Pause, restate the question in a different way but do not let them control your interview. Create your own list of questions or use the questions I used when I had a staff of 56 cleaners, some of which were there for 18 years.

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Job Description – Supplies Person – English & Spanish

WHEN IN DOUBT, MUMBLE, WHEN IN TROUBLE, DELEGATE, WHEN IN CHARGE, PONDER

…JOHN H BOREN

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE IF YOU CAN DELEGATE EFFECTIVELY

KEY FACTOR:

Eventually, there will be, or there is now, more work than one owner can accomplish. When it comes to delegating some of the administrative/non-income earning jobs to someone else there are multiple decisions you can make. I have always operated under the premise that you get rid of the cheapest and easiest jobs first. The cheapest because it won’t cost you much to hire them done and if they cost the least to hire done, they are the least valuable of your skills as an owner. The easiest because it will be easy to train someone else to do them and one thing we are really short on, when we are hiring our first internal person, is time. For this reason I would recommend your first internal person is a supplies person. This person can also be promoted from within which is a huge moral booster and motivator for your current staff.

ACTION ITEM:

Put together a job description listing the duties and responsibilities that you envision for a Supplies Person position. Some, but certainly not all of the duties and responsibilities that you can place on a supplies person are:

  • First relief person in field when cleaner(s) absent
  • Restock shelves with appropriate cleaning supplies
  • Order more cleaning supplies when necessary
  • Take bank deposit to bank on Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Wash and dry long dusters and feather dusters
  • Repair vacuum cleaners
  • Fill gallon jugs with diluted concentrates of appropriate cleaners
  • Clean office weekly
  • Pull and dismantle files for canceled clients
  • Pull client keys and files on check out days
  • Make client confirmation calls
  • And much more

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS:

After you have completed the job description run an ad, if necessary, or post the job internally. Interview any internal applicants and, if possible, promote from within. If you hire from outside your company make it very clear to the outside applicants, as well as any internal applicants, that the first priority on their job description is as a relief person. When someone is not able to work on a given day the supplies person will go out and clean. This is another huge benefit of adding this position first. After you hire the right person for this position go over every aspect of the new supplies person’s job description with them. Train them how to do each new duty and responsibility and then help them to prioritize the jobs.

Ashley Windsor Testimonial – CleanSpace –


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Request for Time Off-English & Spanish

REQUEST FOR TIME OFF
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KEY FACTOR:

Our cleaning employees are generally intelligent, resourceful, agreeable people who really want to do the right thing. They are also generally intimidated, uneducated in good business practices and a bit “me” focused. Successful cleaning company owners need to respond proactively to all of the above factors when managing their cleaners.

ACTION ITEM:

Have a form available for your employees for any area that needs to be managed in your company. Employee absenteeism management is one of the most challenging in this industry. Any advance notice of need for time off helps so much with scheduling both clients and staff. Make the reporting of a requested day off as easy as possible for the employee and make it documented so nothing is misunderstood.

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS:

Have blank requests for time off forms in the same location you are keeping your cash advance forms. They should be in English and Spanish and cover dates the employee wants off, full or half day, etc. Make your own or purchase ours below. Be sure to put the forms someplace with easy access for the employee. Do not make them ask you for one because that is the same as asking for time off. If they do not need to confront anyone for anything they are more likely to give you notice. They will go to the drawer, fill out the form and put it in your in box when you’re not in your office. That’s OK. You have notice to fix the problem.

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Seminar Recording: 7 Habits of Highly Successful Home Cleaning Employees-English & Spanish

WE ARE WHAT WE REPEATEDLY DO. EXCELLENCE, THEN, IS NOT AN ACT BUT A HABIT

ARISTOTLE

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WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS, FOR THEY BECOME WORDS.

WATCH YOUR WORDS, FOR THEY BECOME ACTIONS.

WATCH YOUR ACTIONS, FOR THEY BECOME HABITS.

WATCH YOUR HABITS, FOR THEY BECOME CHARACTER.

WATCH YOUR CHARACTER, FOR IT BECOMES YOUR DESTINY.

UNKNOWN

KEY FACTOR:

There is a vast difference between training and developmental ongoing training. Training involves an expert (possibly you) working with cleaners to transfer to them certain areas of knowledge or skills to do the job they were hired to do. Developmental ongoing training is a broad, ongoing multi-faceted set of topics and/or activities designed to bring someone or an organization up to another threshold of performance, often to perform some job or new role in the future. Key Factor here is that your company will not reach new thresholds if you do not actively participate in providing developmental ongoing training to your cleaners.

Many of our cleaners were not blessed with the backgrounds many of us had. No one was there to guide them into good habits or give them the courage to try and develop new habits. Teaching them how to develop new habits could change their lives not only at work but also in their homes. These employees will be indebted to you forever if you also lift their personal lives to a new threshold. Our habits do determine the quality of our lives, both at work and at home.

ACTION ITEM:

Put together a 30 minute meeting where you start to cover the topic of habits. The internet can provide you with a plethora of information regarding habits or you can go to the tried and true expert on habits, Stephen Covey and his book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Cleaners. This is the book that I used to guide me when putting these seminars together. Talk about the different personalities our cleaners work with each day and how those people’s habits make up their personalities. Talk to them about what type of people they want to be and what habits will require that result. If you work on teams, talk to them about the value of team work and how much easier and more fun work is when they are all working in sync. Anything doubled or tripled is always stronger.

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS:

Prepare presentations on the topic of successful habits or use the videos from Rags to Riches and present your presentations or the videos at meetings until you feel that you have covered the topic sufficiently for your cleaners to start working on new habits. Talk to them frequently about what habits they are developing and encourage and recognize positive behavior. If it is extremely difficult or impossible to find the time to have meetings that pertain to anything other than cleaning business then send the http for the videos home with your employees and pay them when they successfully return the test back to you. After you pay them be sure to follow the same behavior as above by keeping the topic of habits fresh in your office.

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Performance Appraisal – Partners – English & Spanish

Multi faceted tool to evaluate Partners annually on a scale of 0 (Unacceptable) to 5 (Outstanding) for Meeting Major Responsibilities, Meeting Objectives/Projects for the Year, Knowledge of Work, Applying Skills of Management, Quality of Work, Communications and Human Relations, Category Rankings and an Overall Ranking for the Review Period

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Performance Appraisal – Team Leader – English

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Seminar Recording: Habit #1 Being Proactive-English & Spanish

YOU CAN DEVELOP PROACTIVE SYNERGY DRIVEN TEAMS

KEY FACTOR:

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There is a vast difference between training and developmental, ongoing training. Training involves an expert working with cleaners to transfer to them certain areas of knowledge or skills to do the job they were hired to do. Developmental, ongoing training is a broad, ongoing multi-faceted set of topics and/or activities designed to bring someone or an organization up to another threshold of performance, often to perform some job or new role in the future. Key Factor is that your company will not reach new thresholds if you do not actively participate in providing developmental, ongoing training to your cleaners.

Many of our daily problems come from our cleaners not being proactive in managing their work or personal lives. Many times cleaners will wait for the day of their appointment to tell us they have an appointment at 10:00 am so they can’t come in until the afternoon or at all that day. They have known this for two weeks but never told us. Correcting this type of behavior requires developing a new habit, Being Proactive, which is the first and most basic habit. This habit is driven by a person’s realization that they are responsible for their lives. This type of proactive behavior can be learned.

ACTION ITEM:

Think of real work situation examples that will reinforce the impact of an employee not taking proactive responsibility. One example could be the employee we discussed in the Key Factor, who did not notify you of their need to be off in the morning until the day they needed off. If you had known they needed off in the morning you would have moved their favorite client to the afternoon. Instead, the team was short handed and arrived at the favorite, high tipping client late. The client was furious the team was so late, not to mention the fact that they came without the client’s ‘favorite’ cleaner. The consequence was that the client canceled their repeat service and went to another company. This is a loss of a great client to both the company and the cleaning team, not to mention the loss of great tips. All of this could have easily been avoided if the cleaner just would have given the office sufficient notice of their need to be off in the morning. Do not think that your employees have thought about this before or are able to connect the dots without your showing them how to connect them. Believe me, the next time a cleaner needs to be off they will tell you because now being proactive makes common sense to them.

IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS:

Have a meeting where you present the advantages of being proactive. Present examples of how the employee is responsible for their actions and the consequences of their actions. Prepare a presentation of the proactive topic or show the Rags to Riches video entitled Habit #1 Being Proactive. Be sure to discuss the video with your employees, continually praise them when they demonstrate proactive activities and point out the instances where they had an opportunity to be proactive and they were not. Also point out the consequences of both behaviors in both situations. Use the new terminology of being proactive in your conversations with your employees so that they are continually driven back to the discussions they had on developing Habit #1 Being Proactive. This will turn a negative conversation about something they did wrong into a positive, learning and growing conversation about how they can apply what they learned to their everyday lives.

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