If you have employees, you will need an employee contract. So, where do you start? What do you need to include? And how can you draw up a contract that would do the job?
This will help you understand what you need to put into your contracts to really make sure that your business is protected and that your employees understand what they can and cannot do. This is part one of a four-part video series that covers all the basics that you need in your employment contract.
If you've never heard of me, I'm Ilze Whiteman, The Cleaning Coach, and this show was sponsored by the Customer Magnet System.
1. Probation Period
The first thing that you will need to cover in your contracts for employees is the probation period so that your staff are aware of what will happen in their first few months working with your company and what your expectations of them are. If you aren’t aware what a probation period is, it is simply a period of time that your employee will be working for your company before they officially become a full-time staff member.
The period of time can be a month, three months or six months, this is up to you, but it allows you a period of time for you to assess them and decide whether they are a good fit for your company. You must ensure you tell them about their probationary period and how long it is and what will happen during this time and once it has finished.
You will want to cover how your training works during this time, how they will be introduced to customers, what is expected of them and basically what the next few weeks/months will look like for them.
You need to inform them how much notice is required on both sides, so you to them and them to you, during their probationary period. If the probationary period is only a month then the notice period would probably be quite short, no more than a week, however if the probationary period was longer, such as 6 months you might require more notice.
You then need to discuss what will happen once the probationary period is up – which should involve you calling them in for a meeting to discuss how their work has been so far and whether you think they are a good fit for the company moving forward and if they are this is when you will confirm their employment.
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2. Job Title and Job Description
When your employee initially starts they should have the title ‘cleaner’, however I think it is important to make it clear that once they have completed their training they will then become a technician, because they will then be fully qualified.
Lots of people say to me, “but how can a cleaner be qualified?”
My response to this is that they will be trained, which improves them and therefore makes them a better cleaner, so they are therefore no longer just a ‘cleaner’. Some employees do prefer to be called a cleaning technician or a technician rather than just a ‘cleaner’ – it’s like promoting people in a job role, it gives them a sense of self-worth and encourages them and rewards them for their hard work.
When your employee comes in for their probationary period review ensure that you add their job title onto their contract and keep updating this as they grow and learn with the company.
For instance, when they join your company you will pay them a little bit less to start with, but you make it very clear to them that if they work out and they work really hard for you then you will review their salary and put it up accordingly. This means that you are able to upgrade their job title as their salary increases and you are allowing them to climb the ladder and are rewarding them for a job well done. This will only help encourage them to keep working hard for you and want them to keep doing better and better!
Along with their job title, you should also include a job description. It isn’t as simple as you have to go and clean a customer’s house, there is a lot more to it. They have to take responsibility, they have to be on time, they have to behave in a certain way. They have to look after the equipment, not waste products etc. By setting a proper job description for them this will ensure that they know exactly what the job entails and can’t say at a later date, well I didn’t know that! They will have to sign the contract, therefore confirming that they agree to follow all aspects of the job description and your company rules.
You need to ensure that the job description includes EVERYTHING that they need to do on a daily basis. So, if they need to fill out a checklist for each job then this needs to be in the job description in their contract. That way they will understand that if they have an hour for a job that also includes filling in the checklist and if they don’t do this then they haven’t completed the job.
Don’t worry to keep the job description short, just ensure that it includes everything and exactly what you expect of them and what you feel a good employee looks like to you and your business.
What training do you offer your employees? What can they expect during the training period? Who will be training them? How will it be done? And what is expected of them once the training is done?
You must remember to go through every aspect of their training and what they can expect from day 1, day 2, etc. They need to know what they are going to be doing and also what you will be expecting from them, this will enable them to perform to the best of their ability.
Their contract will need to state what their salary is and when they get paid.
So, they will generally have a rate per hour that they will get paid and you will no doubt tell them the number of hours they will be employed to work.
They may well start off as part-time and eventually take on more hours and become full-time. You might want to agree to a minimum number of hours and offer the option to do more or if it is becoming a regular thing that they take on more hours you will most likely want to update their contract accordingly.
Please try not to do what a lot of other companies are doing and give your staff zero hours contracts. This essentially means you are not guaranteeing them any work, which whilst there are benefits to you, means they have no reason to stay with your company, it won’t encourage loyalty from your staff. They will just go and work for another cleaning company that actually gives them guaranteed work.
You also need to state what day they will be paid, whether it’s the 30th of the month or the last Friday of the month, just something to allow continuity and for them to know when they will be paid to ensure they can pay their own bills. You don’t want them texting and calling all the time to find out when they are going to be paid or chasing payment. It saves you having to keep answering the same questions and you can always just tell them to refer to their contract. You also need to ensure they understand how payment in lieu works.
Next week I'll be covering part two of ‘what you need to include in your employee contract’, which will include holiday and sickness cover, working hours, and notification for sickness.
Also, if you want to write to review or write your own domestic customer contract, remember to check out last week's two videos, part one and part two cover what you should include in your domestic customer contract.
That's it for this week guys, I'll see you next week, same place, same time!