Meet Maurice Claybrook: Jidan Cleaning’s Chief Operating Officer

Meet Maurice Claybrook: Jidan Cleaning’s Chief Operating Officer

Patricia Claybrook founded Jidan Cleaning in 2005 with her husband Maurice’s support and encouragement. Maurice became more involved with Jidan Cleaning in 2010 when Patricia left her full-time role and was selected for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.

Before the cleaning side-hustle turned into the successful company it is today, both Patricia and Maurice had solo careers of their own. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how Maurice’s experience and core values continue to further the brand.

Q: What was your career like before Jidan Cleaning?

A: In my previous life, I was in sales. I often worked with international customers, so I didn’t have the opportunity to always see them face-to-face. As many people are learning now, it requires a certain amount of communication skills to be able to get your point across on the phone or now with zoom.

Q: What did you take from that experience that has stayed with you?

A: That experience, talking to clients, finding the right person to talk to, being persistent, all of that prepared me for my role here. That’s what I do all day long, I talk to the team that reports to me, and I talk to my clients as the go-between. Unfortunately, to my detriment, some clients have become so comfortable talking to me that they bypass talking to their direct account manager. But that’s where I learned about communicating clearly and effectively.

Other skills and values Maurice takes from his early career – adaptability and work ethic. For example, when Jidan Cleaning was in its initial development, Maurice would work until 2:00 a.m. only to have to report to his day jobs a few hours later.

Q: What was your life like as you were getting a new business up and running?

A: I think about those days driving in the car with the back seat full of buckets and mops. That was 10+ years ago, but I can remember clearly like it wasn’t that long ago. Then one thing led to another, and word of mouth spread, now here we are!

Today, Jidan Cleaning employs nearly 100 men and women with a broad range of backgrounds and experiences, and each one participates in a thorough interview process and a wide range of training once hired.

Q: Talk about that individual investment you feel for your staff?

A: I get the greatest satisfaction from seeing people we bring in really blossom and grow. One of the missions of Jidan Cleaning is to provide opportunities for those who may not always have had them. We’ve been able to work with some folks who’ve grown into positions of authority, whether as a team leader or a supervisor. And for a lot of employees, this is their first chance to really grow with a company and not just take a job. They start to see their work as a career.

Q: How do you apply that individualized approach to the workload?

A: Just recently, we responded to an RFP, and one of the things that we pride ourselves on is that we hire from within the client’s community. So, we could guarantee that a large percentage of the employees we would hire and utilize for the work would come from that city or county. Folks love that, and we love that, and in this case, we won the contract.

Jidan Cleaning clients range from school districts to individual office spaces to healthcare, and each of them is prioritized according to their specific needs and concerns. Unfortunately, sometimes those concerns come at a moment’s notice or when employees have personal demands or conflicts. 

Q: How do you handle day-to-day operations logistics that, as with any business, can go awry?

A: I don’t have any managers or supervisors who sit and don’t work. All my managers are active. I mean, they have their primary responsibility, but even today, someone called out sick, and it’s too late for me to get somebody to fill in. So, the supervisor is expected to go in and do what needed to be done. No success that we have as a company gets done by just one person because we are all working together.

Q: What about conflict resolution and dealing with employees who fall short?

A: Sometimes, I have hard conversations – it’s not always easy. But it’s better for me to have those conversations with them upfront and let them know where you stand. I tell my team and the supervisors, if you see issues, discuss them with that person. Let them know. I don’t argue with anybody. If we have a conversation and you don’t agree, you don’t agree. But I’ll treat you like an adult the way I want you to treat me. If we can do that, more times than not, we’ll have a successful relationship.

From the mops in the backseat to the largely successful company Jidan Cleaning is today, the values of human decency, work ethic, adaptability, and growth have stayed with him. But, in the end, Maurice believes that running a business comes down to quality communication and respect.

Q: What matters most to you when it comes to the company you’ve helped to build?

A: We consider ourselves a positive company, a forward-thinking company, a company that has our employees’ best interests at heart. And we care about everyone who joins our team; they become important members. They take care of us, and we try to take care of them.