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Housekeeping departments play a critical role in your property’s success.

I’m going to show you how to recognize the importance of your housekeepers so they will want to enhance your guest experience.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Introduction

When visiting any property, at the absolute minimum I expect two things:

  • A comfortable bed and

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  • A clean building

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Nothing sends a stronger message than a spotless property and the general condition of guestrooms. This can be a highly significant factor in customer experience and the tipping point of whether they say for the night or not.

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Housekeeping teams are normally the largest on a property and quite often guests will interact with them at some point during their stay making them arguably, a crucial element in any visitor’s experience.

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This makes them very important, as with any service, the more you are able to meet the consumer’s wants and needs, the easier it is to generate repeat business.

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Housekeeping in any hospitality property is a very physically challenging job that includes many, different duties. On the average property, a housekeeper can be responsible for cleaning up to 16 rooms per shift (this number may vary based on the size of the property, the room and the number of beds). And a housekeeper, to do a thorough job, could take up to thirty minutes to do one room carrying out the following tasks:

  • making beds

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  • tidying rooms

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  • cleaning and polishing toilets, taps, sinks, bathtubs and mirrors

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  • washing floors

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  • removing stains

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  • vacuuming

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The housekeeper should also look out for items the guest may have left behind and take them to the lost and found desk where it will be returned to the owner.

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They should also observe the condition of the room they are cleaning to be sure everything is okay in the room, including the light bulbs or if there is furniture in need of repair.

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Aside from the rooms, hotel housekeeping may also entail making the general hotel environment appealing and comfortable to guests. This may involve keeping conference rooms, lobby, hallways, and the carpets found in the stairs clean by vacuuming them. It may also involve cleaning the furniture and windows.

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Housekeepers may also work in a property’s laundry department where they wash and dry linens like towels and sheets and restock linen carts in addition to their cleaning duties.

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Housekeeping – It's Crucial to Your Property | Ep. #221

Books with Tips & Strategies for

Your Hotel, Resort, Inn,

Bed and Breakfast Housekeeping – It's Crucial to Your Property | Ep. #221

 

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.This constant repetition makes housekeepers are more susceptible to injury

  • heavy physical workload and excessive bodily motions which are a high risk of back injuries

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  • forceful upper limb motions in awkward positions which are a high risk for neck or shoulder and arm injuries

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Limited space requires workers to use many uncomfortable postures.

Such as:

  • standing or walking

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  • stooping

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  • squatting

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  • kneeling

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  • stretching

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  • reaching

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  • bending

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  • twisting

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  • crouching

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In addition, forceful movements while using awkward body positions include lifting mattresses, cleaning tiles, and vacuuming every shift.

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Housekeeping is a physically demanding and very tiring job

It’s easy to overlook the challenges that the housekeepers and their managers face. It takes a highly organized and dedicated team player to oversee a department, and the ability to manage people plays a huge role. With time-pressured daily targets, motivating and retaining great employees, the pressures can be difficult.

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Employee turnover can be high and seasonal so navigating new staff through training is also very taxing, but that being said, with a structured organizational system in place, the training does not have to be an uphill battle.

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It is imperative you have and implement a full organizational system in place that includes:

Training

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Policies

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Checklists

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Communication

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If your system is working, you can not only give your housekeeping staff the tools they require for a professional job onsite but the opportunity to go above and beyond for guests, from organizing dry cleaning and shoe polishing to being an ambassador for your property.

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It’s the little elements that housekeeping can capitalize on, turning your hospitality property into an experience rather than just a place with a bed to sleep.

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Does this make sense? Let me know in the comments.

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Your housekeeping team represents your brand, and exceptional performance in this department can provide a competitive advantage.

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Housekeeping is no longer just about cleaning and maintaining various surfaces in a hospitality property. If a property utilizes housekeeping departments in an effective and organized manner, it is guaranteed to lead to the hospitality property’s growth and profitability and satisfied guests.

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Sexual Harassment

In a recent survey, 49 percent of hotel workers said they had experienced a guest answering the door naked or otherwise exposing themselves.

Hospitality property workers are susceptible to such harassment, their place of work and the environment can be a vehicle for some improper events and behaviour.

 

For many in the past, some of this sort of harassing behaviour both verbal and physical may have been believed as “part of the job”, but that philosophy is quickly changing.

 

The hospitality property industry must ensure that it is in sync with the public opinion and that this conduct wherever and whenever found is totally intolerable.

 

Today, more in the industry realize they are responsible for the care of everybody who walks through their doors, whether they are guests or employees.

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So what can we do?

“The customer is not always right but we must make them feel like they are … except when it comes to harassment”.

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I have a couple of thoughts.

You need to have a zero-tolerance policy regarding harassment of guests or employees.

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This means hospitality properties develop a sexual harassment policy that shows workers how to report incidents and provide them with time to file complaints with the police.

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In Conclusion

The tasks performed by housekeeping departments are pivotal to the daily operation and success of any hospitality property.

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If you recognize the importance of your housekeeping department and have designed your team to be an effective ambassador for your property, you are setting yourself up as an industry leader. If not, be prepared to slip behind your competition.

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If you have any stories about your housekeeping? I’d love to see them. Leave them in the comments.

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You will have access to this post for six weeks before it gets locked in the “vault” for Hospitality Property School Group members only. When you see that we have something new, don’t mark it “Unread” or file it away in the belief you’ll read it later because you might miss your chance.

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To see all the other valuable material you’d have access to as a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, check out the short video in the episode post-show notes.

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.Housekeeping – It's Crucial to Your Property | Ep. #221

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In the next episode, I will talk about property environmental policies.

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That’s it for today’s episode,

Until next time, have a fun day.

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PS. Did you see the latest INNsider Tips? You can find the link in the show notes.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT:

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