Ask a House Cleaner, Incompatible Coworker, Savvy Cleaner

How to Deal With Incompatible Coworkers

How do you deal with incompatible coworkers when you are house cleaning? Incompatible coworkers who don’t get along or have a lousy work ethic bring the company down. 

We Ask a House Cleaner tips for incompatible coworkers, catfights, different work systems and more.

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru includes in her house cleaner training ways to inspire coworkers. Set an example for annoying coworkers cleaning in the same space. 

Today’s sponsors are (where you can list your maid service and find customers.) Savvy Perks (Employee perks for the small business owner or maid.) My Cleaning Connection (resources for cleaning, cleaning associations, best products and more.)

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: How to Deal With Incompatible Coworkers

Incompatible coworkers, Women DisagreeingIncompatible coworkers. Oh, I hate the topic, but we’re going to talk about it today.

“Hi, Angela. It’s Yvonne here. I live in Scotland. It’s myself and another lady that I work with. Although she’s a good worker, we are quite incompatible. I’m quite organized and she is not.

She’s always keen to get the job done on time. But it’s the amount of stuff that she wants to take into every house. Rather than sorting it out in the car, in the van, whatever, before we go into the house. She takes everything in. All the bags, all the rubbish, and sometimes even dirty cloths from the last house in another bag. How do I help sort that without it becoming an issue? Thank you.”

All right, Yvonne, this is a sticky situation. But let’s go ahead and talk about incompatible coworkers. 

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Answer: Set Boundaries from Day One

Incompatible coworkers, Women CleaningIf you hire an employee or even if you’re traveling with a new coworker, boundaries are the key to success. You don’t want to get stuck with a coworker you can’t stand.

Agree to disagree on the big things, but the little things like routines and systems – you’ve got to be on the same page.

In my company, I give them my “I’m running a business, not a battlefield” speech. Everybody knows up front it’s okay to disagree. We all don’t even have to like each other. But we have to respect each other and we have to work well in front of the customers. 

If we don’t like each other, that’s fine. The world is full of people. If one person doesn’t like you, no love lost. We’re going to move on, we’re going to both do our jobs, everything’s good.

No Cat Fights with Incompatible Coworkers

Incompatible coworkers, Women and Man Chatting and Drinking CoffeeBut if there are catfights, if people start nitpicking with each other, your business falls apart.

And if people start backstabbing and they’re gossiping behind each other’s backs, you got to take it outside. 

“Go outside and figure out between the two of you or the two of us who gets to stay, because only one of you is coming back.  If you can work it out between you, both of you can return. But if both of you cannot return, and there are these weird feelings and catfights and all this stuff, we’re not going to deal with that. One of you has to leave. I don’t care which one of you it is, you figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, one of you leave. Go find a new job. Those are my rules.”

Incompatible Coworkers Need Automated Systems

Incompatible coworkers, Woman With Arms Full of Cleaning SuppliesNow that you’ve agreed to disagree – you need to automate your systems. This creates a default behavior that keeps the best interest of the customer and company in mind. 

Bringing in rubbish, soiled cloths and half-empty containers to a customer’s house makes your company look bad. It makes you look disorganized and frazzled. You’re bringing solutions to homes, not bringing chaos.

  • Protect your brand.  Do inventory each night when you return from a job for the next day. Pack your cleaning caddies and lay out all your tools. 
  • Protect the customer by not cross-contaminating. 

Do Inventory the Night Before Each Job

Incompatible coworkers, Cardboard Box of Cleaning SuppliesNow, what I recommend is that the night before your cleaning, you know what houses you have to go clean. If you have five houses between the two of you, you need five kits for that next day. 

In each of those kits, there need to be sponges, and cloths, and cleaning supplies. Mop heads, and all the different things that you need for each individual house. 

Now, you may only have one cleaning caddy. But you can get five cardboard boxes or five plastic bins. And you can stack each of the supplies that you need for that day inside those bins. Then you can remove the stuff from this one and restock your caddy in the trunk of your car. 

Better yet, have five cleaning caddies and just put one in, take the next one out. Because the more organized you are, the more time you’re going to save when you get to a customer’s house.

Doing Inventory on the Go Wastes Company Time

Incompatible Workers, Women Cleaning a HouseIf you are the employer and this girl works for you she’s wasting your company time. Carrying in extra stuff to a job you don’t need wastes time. Sorting through it, refilling spray bottles – it wastes company time. 

Save that for evening inventory when you remove all towels and mop heads from the day and do laundry.

You have to go through your entire kit every single day and figure out what you used and what you need to do tomorrow’s job.

The inventory part you can include as part of the job or you can hire your teenager to do it each night as a side job to earn an allowance.

Shuffling Supplies into Various Homes Causes Mistakes

Incompatible Workers, Dog With Toy and Cleaning CaddyWhile you’re taking everything out of your cleaning caddy, it’s a great time to wipe out the bottom of it. Make sure that there are no crumbs, and dust, and gunk, and things. And you don’t want to do this at another customers house.

And when you take everything out of your caddy at the end of every day, that’s when you find things you weren’t expecting. Like a missing vacuum attachment that you accidentally brought home with you. 

By keeping your supplies separate – you know which house to return them to. 

Stuff makes its way into your cleaning caddy. It’s not an ideal situation when it happens but it does happen from time to time. Something will drop in there. Or the dog will bring and drop something in your bucket, not realizing that you’ve taken it home.

But if you’re in someone’s house when you find a missing item – you’ll never know to whom it belongs.

Protect Your Brand – Your Company Image

Incompatible Workers, Women Meeting at CafeIf a customer sees you taking out rags and cloths, and stuff from the last person’s house, they might fire you. Because that is unsanitary and that’s gross. Always protect your brand.

It’s not just that incompatible coworkers are disorganized, it’s that they don’t have any systems in place. And there is a difference between personality conflicts and not knowing how to do your job.

Even if you are just the coworker, you need to go back to your employer and say, “Hey, we need some new systems in place.” Then, as a team, you get to create those systems. Maybe you could bring her in to the process. Because if you get her involved in the process, that’s her data. Now she might agree to that and she might be more easygoing and help you make that happen. 

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

The Coward’s Guide to Conflict: Empowering Solutions for Those Who Would Rather Run Than Fight –

Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to Bring Out the Best in People at Their Worst –

Nasty People –

Biff: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns –

Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself –

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