When I accepted the position for the Alliance, I had a long talk with the HCA staff about “agenda.”We all harmonized on this: Raise the level of awareness that house cleaning .keeping .is, indeed, a profession, and its potentials will grow remarkably through commitments to professionalism.

These concepts have launched for me many hours of reflection, and I’d like to share with you some of what has come out of it. Perhaps a good place to start is the dictionary:

pro·fes·sion n.

  1. An occupation or career.
  2. An occupation that requires considerable training and specialized study.
  3. The body of qualified persons in an occupation or field.

pro·fes·sion·al·ism n.

  1. Professional status, methods, character, or standards.

These definitions tell us some important things: A career; training; being qualified; and, deploying methods and standards. Certainly, all of these characteristics can be, and should be, applied to our industry. Let’s explore them.

How do you see your role in the industry? Is it “just a job and paycheck,”or a very valuable service that positively effects people’s lives?

Where can this business take you? Do you see it as a temporary involvement until “something better comes along,”or as a career that can provide steady employment, growth in personal income, and endless opportunities to improve yourself?

Is cleaning no more than grabbing a mop and swishing it around some floors, or rather, a very technical art and science with much to be learned and applied about procedures, equipment, products, and management?

If your view is that it’s “just a job,”then you may find little interest in a discussion about profession and professionalism. But if you see career potentials .growth potentials .and making-lives-better potentials .then such a discussion will be meaningful to you.

On my end, it’s my career .my profession. I love it, and I went to school for it. I grow daily from what I learn, and it has provided me a very nice standard of life. With now some 25 years in the industry, as both an employee and an employer, I constantly see those that excel commit to the following:

Good personal grooming. Clean body and clothes, and wearing something that has a “uniform”look to it.

What goes on in the car is one thing, but no foul language or gossip when in a client’s home.

No smoking, and of course, alcohol or illegal drugs, when engaged by a client.

Treat company equipment as if it were your own, doing all you can to keep it clean and in good repair. Immediately advise managers of problems with equipment and products.

Treat the client’s properties as if they were priceless pieces of art.

Study the business. Learn about innovative procedures, products, and equipment. Know their risks and limitations, as well as their facilities.

If “in doubt,”don’t do it. Get advice. Better a frustrated client than a permanently stained countertop.

Be flawlessly honest about time spent, problems, and breakage.

Show up! (If I remember right, Woody Allen said, “90% of success in any industry is just showing up.”) Summarily, do what you say you’re going to do, and do it the very best you’re able. You can trust clients and employers do recognize and appreciate this.

Well, enough for now. We’ll pick up on this theme in my next letter. Any thoughts you have about professionalism in our industry will be greatly appreciated. Please E-mail them to me at:

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