Ethics for House Cleaners

Ethics for House Cleaners Edition
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Ethics: How Do You Handle Broken Items While House Cleaning? (Your Answers)

Broken pot with coins - ethics for house cleanersYou can’t ignore it when you break something that doesn’t belong to you. You have to tell the customer and offer to pay for it.

If you carry a general liability insurance policy, and the item is expensive, you’ll be covered if you have to replace it. If the item is not expensive, offer to pay for it out of pocket.

At the least, apologize for breaking the item. NOTE: Apologies in person or via phone are always better than text.

Try to fix the broken item with Super Glue. Then tell the client what happened and offer to replace it. Trying to fix it shows your willingness to make it right.

If my employees break something at a client’s house they are expected to call me at the office and then I call the customer and handle it through the business. Accidents happen.

If I find out an employee broke something and didn’t report it, they get written up and the money to fix or buy a new item comes out of their pay.

 #WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of Next Week & Next Weeks Newsletter Topic:

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Your turn, share your tips in the comment section below. You can also tweet me @SavvyCleaner

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Ask a House Cleaner – Code of Ethics for House Cleaners

Hands search www ethics for house cleanersDo you have a code of ethics for house cleaners in your business? It may be a question you’ve never even asked. But did you know when a prospect searches your website they are not just looking for the cleaning services you offer? They are vetting you to see if your ethics meet their expectations.

They want to learn a little about you. About your team and how you operate? A code of ethics for house cleaners in your team will spell out what you believe.  It says “These are our rules. This is how we behave. Here is what you can expect from our cleaning company when you hire us.”

What it tells your prospect is that you’ve thought through the possible scenarios. You are aware of bad things that can happen when you own a cleaning business. And you have systems in place to deal with those unfortunate moments.

When a prospect hires you for house cleaning, they are inviting a perfect stranger into their home. For most people, their home is their most valuable possession. They want to know that they can trust you. 

Saying “Sure, I’m an honest person” isn’t enough. Honesty is subjective. You can rationalize just about anything. And it is usually your word against theirs. 

So having a code of ethics for house cleaners you dispatch builds confidence that you’ve got that area of your business covered. 

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Ethics for House Cleaners on Social Media

Ethics for House Cleaners and Social MediaDoes your code of ethics for house cleaners include social media? When your employee’s pin, post, snap, tweet, chat and go live – they are representing your brand.

Do they know the rules?

Here are some for starters.

  • Keep all social media G-rated and family friendly.
  • No cursing allowed in any social media posts including posts to personal accounts.
  • No bullying, blaming, knocking or judging others in any public format.
  • Avoid emotionally charged debates (religion, politics, prejudice).
  • Refrain from posting, reposting or sharing offensive images. These include memes that are insulting or make fun of others.
  • Avoid public cat fights. This includes someone knocking you, and you being defensive in your response. Take those conversations offline in direct messages, private messages, instant messages etc. Nobody wins from a public dramatic spat.

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Ethics for House Cleaners – Time-Saving Training Hack

Woman hits her forehead as in ah shucksHouse cleaners ask me all the time about best training techniques for new hires. Here’s a time-saving hack that will save you a headache up front. 

In your pre-hire interview, address your code of ethics for house cleaners. Offer a troublesome scenario and let the new hire tell you how they would handle this situation. 

Have them read and sign your ethics policy. If a new hire can’t or won’t agree to obedience to your rules and regulations – the time to find that out is before you hire them. 

Keep the signed copy of your ethics policy in the new employee file. If you ever have a problem with them, they can’t come back and say they didn’t know your rules. 

If you have to enforce punishment, you have signed documentation to support your discipline. This is important for legal reasons.

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Ethics for House Cleaners – What Should You Include?

Core Values Ethics for House Cleaners

One of the best places to start if you don’t know where to start is by looking at other house cleaning companies. 

I’d like to give a shout-out to a handful of companies who have taken the time to list their company core values. Look over these lists for ideas to trigger ideas. Don’t copy their ideas verbatim.  Instead use these as inspiration to create your own code of conduct.

ARCSI  (The Association of Residential Cleaning Services International) – A Division of ISSA

Boardwalk Cleaning

Long Island Maids

Maid in the Mountains – Holistic House Cleaning

Maids By Trade

My Obsession Cleaning

Savvy Cleaner (House Cleaner Training & Certification)

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 What’s going on with Angela? – Panic Control

Woman chewing on her nails in panicAt Savvy Cleaner, we train house cleaners how to manage and grow their business. This past week there seemed to be a common thread among clients. Panic.

The reasons for the panic varied from client to client but their response to the panic was the same. I asked them each one unusual question. “When was the last time you ate?” 

The answers ranged from 6 to 13 hours. 

Guess what? That’s too long to go without food. Your blood sugar dips and that messes with your brain, your energy, your senses and your ability to solve problems.

Signs of low blood sugar include:

  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Foggy Thinking
  • Sudden Mood Changes
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nervousness
  • Shaking
  • Panic
  • Sweating
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Dizziness

So this is a back to basics business reminder that you need to eat regularly. If you are on a marathon clean – take protein smoothies with you and sip on them throughout the day. It’s best if you make your own smoothies to avoid processed sugars.  And please don’t try to make hiring, firing, and quitting cleaning account decisions when you are hungry. Those decisions are not likely to be wise.

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Confidentiality: When House Cleaners Gossip @SavvyCleaner

Confidentiality Edition

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Confidentiality: How Much Should You Tell? – Your Answers

 How much should you share, Savvy Cleaner

#WorkSmartNotHard Quiz of the Week:

How much should you share with your clients?

A. Be transparent – show them everything

B. Share with them enough to close the sale.

C. Keep them in the loop with updates and changes.

D. Keep them on a need to know basis.


#WorkSmartNotHard, Safety Rule, Savvy Cleaner

Leave me your best tips or hacks in the review section below. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Tips Savvy Savvy CleanerConfidentiality in a transparent world

confidentiality destroyed by falling blocks that spell trust, Savvy Cleaner   

Expectations of Confidentiality

Confidentiality for doctors and mental health professional is protected by state laws. Other organizations like banks and lending companies generally agree not to reveal identifying information about their clients as well. But what about house cleaners?

You pay a person to enter your home on a regular basis to clean and organize your personal belongs but are they bound by the same expectations of not sharing your personal information with neighbors and other cleaning clients?

Where do you draw the line?


confidentiality agreement, Savvy Cleaner  

Confidentiality – Manners

House cleaners are not bound by any laws to keep your personal information confidential.  But it should be common sense that sharing private stories and anecdotes about your other clients – even if it’s not defamatory about another client could cause a cleaning client to lose trust in you.

In a recent survey by Savvy Cleaner (a company that offers training and certification for house cleaners) 98% of customers surveyed said client confidentiality was important to them.


It's Not Your Story, Angela Brown Oberer  

Confidentiality – Golden Rule

If it’s not your story…don’t share it.


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Ask a House Cleaner – The Peer Pressure to Fit In

Confidentiality broken by two friends whispering, Savvy Cleaner

“You’re not going to believe what happened while I was cleaning today at your next door neighbors house?”

“Really? What happened?”

“And just when they thought they’d hidden all of it, I opened a cabinet and you know what I found?”

“No way, they had that in their cupboards”

“I know right!”


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Confidentiality and Social Media

Confidentiality ruined by social media, Savvy CleanerIt’s easy to jump on any social media platform these days and blab to your friends and followers about your day. But when you are a house cleaner and you spend your day working in other people’s homes – tread with caution.  Here are some basics that will keep you out of trouble:

  • No cussing.
  • No dissing clients – or belittling their lifestyle on social media.
  • Don’t use names of people, families or neighborhoods.
  • Don’t post embarrassing photos of your clients homes. Exception to this rule is if you post a before and after picture of an item or room you cleaned. Get permission from your clients for these photos.
  • Remove identifying objects or blur them from your posts (family photos etc.)
  • Think before you post. You get your income from the families you work for. If you talk smack about them how does reflect on you? Could it change how other possible clients feel about you?
  • When in doubt – don’t post it.

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Time Saving Hack of the Week – Don’t Be Your Client’s Therapist

confidentiality blasted with blah, Savvy CleanerSome people who hire house cleaners work from home. And they should be working while you are there – and so should you.

If you get a Chatty Cathy who yacks while you’re cleaning, be firm and polite. Smile and say something like “When I’m chatting, I’m not working.” If they don’t get the hint, you can be more direct. “Hey, I’d love to chat, and maybe one day we can grab coffee sometime. But I want to do a great job cleaning your house, and I can’t concentrate on cleaning while we’re hanging out.”

You are not your client’s therapist. They hired you to clean their house. That’s your job and your obligation. Having boundaries in place can save you gobs of time and emotional energy.

And there’s less risk you’ll blab about their stories to someone else if you don’t listen in the first place.

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 What’s going on with Angela? Live Streaming

The Gear Changers Virtual Boot Camp for house cleaners is under way at Savvy Cleaner with two weeks to go before we wrap up for the holiday break. It’s been a bit of a challenge with the live streaming. We started out on Google Hangouts using WebinarJam as a wrapper to deliver the online training to house cleaners from around the world. Then Google Hangouts dismantled as it merged with YouTube Live and we’ve had some major glitches in software, streaming, uploading, and  processing times etc.

Most of the kinks have been worked out by the folks at YouTube and WebinarJam and training should flow more smoothly by the second week of November.

The technology changes and updates are really exciting – even though glitchy at times. We used to have to do live training by having house cleaners book airline tickets and hotel rooms, take time off work and fly across the country for the training we can now offer online while you’re at home in your pajamas eating pizza. Glitchy? Yeah, at times.

Worth it? Without a doubt. And it’s only getting better.

Thanks for your patience and support while we grow.

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