How long do you give a newbie?

Hi WCR fans,
How long do you give an unskilled new hire to get the basics down? We had a big house job cancel for today, she got bad news from her doctor. So instead of booking a few smaller jobs, we declared a train Wayne day for our 2 day new hire.
I called a local diner with about 12 windows (from 3 feet at base to nine feet high) and told them we would clean the outside for free if we could train our new guy as well. After half an hour and repeated coaching the newbie was still not absorbing the concept. I was thinking, was I this green when I started.
Then a waitress came outside and said "can I try that ?"
So her first try without instruction was not great but it was better than our newbie with 20 or 30 re-soaps. I showed her what to do once and she showed a big improvement!
[B]How long do I give a newbie to catch on?[/B]
I’m wondering if I should hire the waitress as well.

I think some people just do not naturally follow instructions well or pay attention to detail. I have hired several completely green employees and they usually start getting it down by the end of the first house. I’m not saying they are going to be Yoda with a squeegee, but they significantly increase in speed after the first 10 windows or so. They are usually pretty much up to speed within a week or two at the most of daily work. This is residential of course I’m talking about. On the other hand, if you haven’t hired many employees and do not have anything to judge it by, you may want to give him some time. You usually can tell pretty quickly if someone is going to be able to get it or not. Usually, if I start to have a bad feeling about an employee, that feeling most often doesn’t go away.

It can be difficult to accept you pay employees to think… at times.

Hire the waitress instead…

Salary would be based on uniform

what was it exactly that he was having trouble grasping? Were you trying to teach him how to fan windows? Straight pulls by hand? Pole work?

good lord, with the “uniform” you rock in your pics, how the heck do YOU get $37/window? lol

good thing it’s not ALL based on uniform…

The helper I use now (just for bigger jobs) had a heck of a time just trying to straight pull the first day I used him. He just couldn’t get it down at all, even after repeatedly showing him. So the next time we went out on a job (a couple of weeks later) I met him a 45 minutes before the job and decided to skip the straight pulling and go straight to fanning. Surprisingly he picked up the fanning quickly. Halfway through the day, he was doing some pretty good fanning. I guess people have different learning styles. It took me awhile to learn how to fan, I had to straight pull exclusively for a long time. But then again I taught myself.

I guess the morale of the story is that sometimes you gotta just skip the training wheels and go straight to the real deal.

Thats the same thing I was thinking. Some people are really slow learners and others can pick it up pretty fast. And then you have those that are really book smart but try to teach them how to just hold a squeege and they give you that “I’m lost” look.

The good people are very worried on their first day or even their first 2weeks. i would give most people 2weeks to get their act together-as long as they have a pleasant personality and turn up on time on the dot .
Straight pulls for the first few weeks is how i teach my lads /lasses and it takes longer than 2 weeks to get an good eye for the detailing ,maybe 2months

[QUOTE=Kurt;144289]I think some people just do not naturally follow instructions well or pay attention to detail. QUOTE]

Some newbies try to pay too close attention to detail as well. That makes them equally as slow. I was dissappointed with my work for about 6 months when I first started.

I showed him the 7 method which is an improved version of straight pull downs, he got that concept and with practice I think he will be fine on that one. Where he was having trouble was with squeegee in hand trying to do the swirl. He would twist on the glass instead of wide forward turns, and when we pointed out the problem with twisting that it backs up half of the rubber leaving water he would still continue the same error. He also has trouble realizing that he cut short on the top of the water line leaving corners and water untouched near the sides of the glass. My concern was that he was showing no sign of improvement after specific how to fix it instructions.
We thought we were making him nervous, so we told him pretend you are alone and self employed. We went around the side of the building and said clean the window how ever you can and come get us when done.
About 7 minutes later he got us. He had a little trim out missed and a dried out 3 inch triangle of soap about eye high near the frame.
We thought that was not bad. He did admit it took him a lot of towel work to get it though.
So, maybe I just need to be patient. He did request taking equipment home to practice with, so he got extra points in my book for suggesting that!

Just start out training him on the wfp. Let him get the understanding of what you are doing. It is much easier to train someone to use a wfp than a squeegee. Keep him on the outside work for a few weeks. I do not let new people go inside on jobs till I am comfortable with their work. I know you do some route work so just let him use the wfp and do outsides. With you setup it will be faster than him trying to squeegee and detail

Hey John Lee,
The first job we took him on was a house, we cleaned rain gutters and did out only with WFP, plus screens.
He cleaned the screens and then we had a window on a flat roof that had to ladder up and he did the WFP first time as I talked him through it from the ground. He had watched me do about 8 lower ones first and I explained why I did it that way.
His glass had a little 2 inch or so run that spotted, but the rest looked great, he did good.
On our commercial we are still doing most of them traditional as a lot of them are smaller & only take us 10 to 15 minutes.
Come Monday we may have him soap ahead of us and on some have him take on a single window while we do the rest to meet him.
We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully he doesn’t have any more waitresses come outside and show him up again!

Hey Matt,
Sounds like you have money to burn!

Hey Matt,
When I did training for the big carpet cleaning company we knew how things were going to end the first day out. Some people have it and some people don’t. That waitress you mentioned has it. She would be a keeper.

With your setup it should be just as fast to pull the hose and quick connect the pole. If not I can help you change a few things. Then you can wfp all your route work.

When I first started, a friend was training me and I rode with him for free ( he bought lunch). I remember a few weeks into it I was still struggling with my work. He started me with a 24" Sorbo and the swirl method. At that point he told me, “maybe this isn’t for you”. That made me more determined to get it down, I had a family to feed and no other offers. In a few days I was able to reduce my errors to acceptable and then soon, he quit checking my windows. I still went through more Huck towels than he did, but he had 20 plus years of experience.
Should I shake the guy up, or maybe try out another applicant at the same time and make it a compete for job security thing?
I’m not sure what to do and the longer it takes the newbie the more it cost me with no ROI!
What do ya think?

I wouldn’t train a new guy with anything bigger than a 12 channel. I would wait until they were cleaning, fanning, like a real pro until they got anything bigger.

Trust your gut and have the courage to go with it.