Everything You Need To Know About Hiring, Managing, and Training Laundry Staff

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May 3, 2024


training and managing laundry staff

Training your laundry staff involves more than just teaching them how to operate washers and dryers. It is more about making sure they can provide quality service that meets the high standards your customers expect.

With a well-trained staff, your laundry business can handle a variety of fabrics and stains, use resources efficiently, and maintain a level of professionalism that sets you apart from competitors.

To achieve this, you need a structured training plan that is tailored to the unique challenges of the Philippine laundry service market.

Key Takeaways

  • Training your staff properly equips them with the skills required to handle various laundry services professionally.
  • A structured training program boosts staff confidence and service consistency.
  • For small scale, residential laundry shops, training your staff on your own may be good enough.

Why Should You Train Your Laundry Staff?

It sounds like a no-brainer to train your staff, right?

Unfortunately, many unknowing laundry shop owners prefer to hire “experienced” laundry staff (i.e., those who have worked with other shops) only to realize that they don’t know how to treat customers AND clothes properly!

This is why you need to train your staff to your quality standards.

Efficient training for your laundry staff involves clear communication of job responsibilities, hands-on practice, and continuous assessment.

This will allow your staff to learn the nuances of fabric care, optimal use of laundry chemicals, and effective customer service skills.

The benefits of doing so are manifold; it guarantees superior service quality (yes, even better than your competitors), fosters employee confidence, and ultimately, contributes to the growth and success of your laundry business.

Whether you're hiring new employees or looking to improve the skills of your existing team, the right approach to their training can make or break your business.

Should Your Staff Undergo an Official Training Program or Course?

Some would think that spending a couple of weeks training is a waste of time and would rather have their staff learn the ropes by experimenting on their clients’ clothes!

While I 100% agree that training your staff is a must, you have to note that there are two kinds of laundry staff training: an official training program and training provided by yourself

Which one fits your case the best? Let’s take a look.

If You’re Own A Commercial Laundry and Have the Budget, Yes

If you operate a commercial laundry with sufficient financial resources, investing in a training program is a smart move.

High-end machines and efficiency expectations necessitate properly trained staff who are knowledgeable about the latest laundry technologies and standards.

Such training ensures that your employees are competent and your operations remain at peak performance.

If You’re a Franchisee and Need to Standardize Your Services, Yes

For franchised laundromats, consistency is key.

You can guarantee that every location delivers the same high-quality service by providing your staff with a standardized training course.

This uniformity in operation builds trust and reliability in your brand, which can be pivotal for customer retention and franchise growth.

How much do official training programs cost?

If You’re a Relatively Small Shop Serving Residential Clients, No

However, if you’re running a small, local laundromat mostly serving residential clients (e.g., families and students), formal training programs might not be necessary.

Hands-on experience and informal on-the-job training may suffice.

Focus on basic customer interaction skills and simple machine operations to maintain a friendly and effective service without the added expense of formal courses.

Hiring Your Staff

When you're ready to expand your laundry business in the Philippines, choosing the right team is crucial. Your staff will interact directly with your customers and will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of your business.

How Many Should I Hire?

The number of laundry staff you should hire depends on various factors like:

  • The size of your laundry shop (i.e., the number of machines)
  • The range of services you offer (do you offer dry cleaning services? Shoe cleaning? That might require an additional staff)
  • Volume of business you expect (how many kilos of laundry do you process per day?)
  • Level of customer service you want to provide

For example, if you are including a wash, dry, and fold service with five pairs of washers and dryers, you might need at least two employees for optimal efficiency. One person can handle the front desk, customer service, and help with the folding, while the other can manage the main laundering tasks.

In general, a two-person team should suffice for small-scale or residential operations.

TIP: Track your business's peak hours, the average time it takes to process a load of laundry, and other operational details to determine the precise staffing requirements for your laundry shop.

Laundry Attendant Job Description

A Laundry Attendant is responsible for providing excellent laundry services, ensuring that all laundry is processed in a timely manner and meets quality standards.

Your job posting should mention specific duties such as operating washers and dryers, folding clothes and linens, and potentially delivering laundry to clients.

Look for candidates who are detail-oriented, have good organizational skills, and can work efficiently on their feet for extended periods.

The last one is important because people with sciatica, for example, might not be able to perform the necessary duties required like standing for prolonged periods or lifting loads.

Here’s a quick list of an laundry attendant’s job description:

  1. Sorting items like linens, towels, and clothing according to material, color, and size for proper washing and handling. The attendant should also be able mindful enough to avoid mixing of clothes from different owners (a common issue with local shops)
  2. Loading and unloading washing machines and dryers, monitoring cycles, and ensuring the proper operation of laundry equipment.
  3. Ironing, pressing, folding, and packing cleaned laundry items neatly and efficiently
  4. Maintaining cleanliness and organization in the work area, including sweeping, mopping floors, and emptying trash cans.
  5. Keeping accurate records and inventory of laundry items, supplies, and chemicals.
  6. Ensuring proper handling and storage of clean and soiled linens, following safety protocols and using appropriate protective equipment

How Much Should You Pay Your Staff?

Salaries for laundry staff in the Philippines can vary depending on the region, the level of experience, and the complexity of the job tasks.

As an employer, it's important (and ethical) that you provide a competitive wage that reflects the local living standards and the skill set required.

Here’s a table for the minimum wage on some locations:

Location

Minimum Wage

Monthly Wage

Metro Manila

₱610/day

₱12,200

Laguna (Calabarzon)

₱520/day

₱10,400

Cebu City (Region 7, Central Visayas)

₱468/day

₱9,360

Davao City

₱462/day

₱9,240

It’s important to comply with the prevailing minimum wage regulations.

Now are these rates “livable”? That’s something for you to decide.

Where to Post Your Job Listing

For small scale laundry shops, you can find qualified candidates by doing the following:

  • Posting on your FB profile to ask for referrals.
  • Posting on Facebook marketplace
  • LGUs will often hold job fairs during the summer months (March - May). Try to see if you can find potential candidates there.

Just make sure your advertisement is clear and outlines the requirements and qualifications needed for the role.

The Interview Process

The interview process is absolutely critical in selecting capable laundry staff. Interviewing applicants properly ensures that you identify candidates who are not only skilled but also a good fit for your business' culture and service standards.

Before The Interview

Manage Your Expectations

Understand that experience levels will vary, and you might encounter applicants with differing skill sets.

Here are some types of applicants you may encounter:

  • Some applicants will come from other laundry shops who are looking for greener pastures.
  • Others will be “career-shifters” like store clerks or housekeepers who want a change of pace.
  • There will also be a portion of applicants who come from unemployment or from being stay-at-home parents.

Requirements You Should Ask For

You should ask for the following documents:

  • Resume or Biodata. A biodata is still used by the informal economy so don’t hesitate to accept it, as long as there is sufficient information provided.
  • NBI Clearance. This ensures that the applicant does not have a “hit” (i.e., a committed crime) in the NBI’s database. It’s up to your discretion to hire former felons.
  • Identify essential skills that you require for the position and differentiate them from skills that can be developed on the job.

Don’t hesitate to offer a trial period. There are diamonds in the rough who just don’t know how to apply to a job properly. There was once an applicant who filled out the following information on her biodata:

  • Father’s Name: None
  • Occupation: Dead

This detail on her biodata was out of left field. Nevertheless, we gave her a chance despite this and she turned out to be a good employee.

During Interview: Questions to Ask

Prepare a set of questions that cover operational knowledge, such as laundry techniques and types of textiles.

Ask about previous work experiences and scenarios to gauge their problem-solving abilities. Here are some questions to guide you:

Skill-based questions:

  • What is your method for removing tough stains?
  • How do you wash sensitive fabrics like lace?

Situational questions:

  • How would you handle a high volume of laundry promptly?
  • How would you handle a customer complaint?
  • What would you do if you weren’t able to complete an order in time?

Additionally, discuss your job requirements clearly:

  • Shifts and hours of work
  • Physical demands, like lifting heavy loads
  • Customer service expectations

Should you ask personal questions?


Not a question per se, but I would personally let them know of a policy about not having their romantic partners loiter in the laundry premises. We’ve had experience with some laundry staff where jealous and overprotective boyfriends or husbands would loiter near or around the laundry premises, often bringing their arguments or petty fights inside the business. We let our staff know about this policy before we go further into the hiring process

After Interview: Review and Background Check

Once interviews are concluded, it's time to review your notes and consider which candidates are most suitable.

Conduct a background check to verify employment history and any other checks required by local laws in the Philippines.

Training Your Laundry Staff

Effective laundry staff training is critical to ensure operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Your staff should be well-versed in the essentials of their roles, from handling different fabrics to dealing with customer inquiries.

Your Attendant’s First Day

Plan for a structured first day that acquaints your new laundry attendant with their coworkers, workstations, and the tasks at hand.

Outline clear job responsibilities and offer a training plan to set them up for success.

What to Train Your Staff On

Processes and Handling:

  • Teach them the different washing and drying cycles.
  • Fabric Care: Knowledge of fabric types and the corresponding care instructions.
  • Stain Removal Techniques: Best practices for treating various stains.
  • Ironing and Folding Methods: Tips for wrinkle-free clothes and presentation.

Machinery Usage:

  • How to safely operate laundry equipment.
  • Regular maintenance procedures for machines to prevent breakdowns.

Customer Service Skills:

  • Communication techniques for interacting with customers effectively.
  • Handling special requests and complaints gracefully.

Health and Safety Protocols:

  • Proper use of cleaning chemicals to avoid damage to garments and health risks.
  • Emergency procedures for accidents or equipment malfunctions.

Efficiency and Time Management:

  • Prioritizing tasks to keep operations running smoothly.
  • Strategies for managing peak laundry periods.

Managing

Effective staff management is important for maintaining a productive and reliable laundry service. It guarantees that operations run smoothly and that staff are clear about their daily responsibilities.

Daily Attendant Management

As a manager, it's your job to oversee daily operations and ensure your attendants are performing their duties efficiently.

A structured checklist can be instrumental in tracking tasks such as sorting laundry, operating machines, and assisting customers.

Tip: Create a list of tasks for store opening and closing.

Should You Be in the Shop All the Time?

No, you shouldn't. Your presence is important, but so is empowering your employees.
Make periodic checks to ensure standards are being met, but allow your staff autonomy to foster a sense of responsibility and ownership over their work.

Sometimes it’s good to keep your employees on their toes. If you visit the shop on a fixed schedule, they might only do their best work during that time and take it easy when you leave. Try to visit the premises at random times so they don’t get too complacent.

How Long Should You Be in the Shop?

You should be in the shop enough to supervise effectively and less frequently if you have a trusted manager.

Aim to spend at least 1-2 hours daily on-site to monitor operations, handle complex customer service issues, and provide guidance.

Security, Theft, and Fraud Measures

Implementing security protocols is paramount. You can utilize CCTVs and perform random cash drawer audits.

If budget allows, an online POS system like Utak.ph’s can deter theft and false reporting.

Train your staff to recognize and report suspicious activities. This will help minimize the risks of theft and fraud within your business.

Empower Your Staff To Grow Your Laundry Shop

Training your staff about laundry operations shouldn't be an afterthought - it has to be a priority especially if you're on the early stages of your laundry business.

First impressions last and this stands true for laundry shops as well. Training your staff so they can provide the best quality service is putting your best foot forward and will benefit your shop for months or years in the future.

About the author 

Yesh Quijano

Yesh Quijano is an entrepreneur and digital marketer who's been in the game for over 11 years. He started several businesses and helped countless others reach new heights. His goal is to make digital marketing for SMEs simple, accessible, and effective. When he's not working, you can find him cuddling with his two cats.

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