Housekeeping departments can be the largest team on a property. How can you develop them to enhance a guest experience?
Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.
Today I’m going to look at Hospitality Property Housekeeping Departments.
When visiting any property, at the absolute minimum I expect two things:
A comfortable bed
A clean building
Nothing sends a stronger message than a spotless property and the general condition of guestrooms. This can be a highly significant factor in a customer experience and the tipping point of whether they say for the night or not.
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.
Which 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.
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
- tidying rooms
- cleaning and polishing toilets, taps, sinks, bathtubs and mirrors
- washing floors
- removing stains
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
- forceful upper limb motions in awkward positions which are a high risk for neck or shoulder and arm injuries
Limited space requires workers to use many uncomfortable postures.
- standing or walking
In addition, forceful movements while using awkward body positions include lifting mattresses, cleaning tiles, and vacuuming every shift.
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 organised 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.
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.
It is imperative you have and implement a full organizational system in place that includes:
If your system is working, you can not only give your housekeeping staff the tools they require to 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.
It’s the little elements that housekeeping can capitalise on, turning your hospitality property into an experience rather than a just a place with a bed to sleep.
Your housekeeping team represents your brand, and exceptional performance in this department can provide a competitive advantage.
Housekeeping is no longer just about cleaning and maintaining various surfaces in a hospitality property. If a property utilises housekeeping departments in an effective and organised manner, it is guaranteed to lead to the hospitality properties growth and profitability and satisfied guests.
The tasks performed by housekeeping departments are pivotal to the daily operation and success of any hospitality property.
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.
If you have any stories about your housekeeping departments has changed and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes.
You can find them at:
That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.
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So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.
Until next time, have a fun day.
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“Customer Service for Independent Hotels or Bed & Breakfasts” Studies
Hospitality Property School is a division of Keystone HDC