Whether you see them actively working or not, the housekeeping staff at hotels at other accommodations are responsible for much of what translates into guest satisfaction. Cleanliness of guest rooms, bathrooms, lobby areas, and other facilities is crucial in ensuring that guests enjoy their stay. Depending on the size of the location, housekeeping teams can range from a single person to teams of 50 (or even more). No matter the size of the team, it’s important for housekeeping managers to effectively lead their staff – from recruiting to training and overall support, good management will help find and retain quality housekeeping staff. That maintenance of high-quality housekeeping staff members will directly translate into how guests feel when arriving at the establishment.
Hiring Qualified Housekeeping Staff
Before you can manage an effective staff, it’s important to fill your team with the right employees. When recruiting new staff members to a housekeeping team, previous experience in the industry and/or role is a great sign. Each hotel differs in processes and amenities, but any experience in a similar role should be highly desired by managers as they search for staff. Because training in the area of housekeeping can be time-consuming (and therefore, costly), any time savings that can be achieved through hiring experienced employees is a great idea.
However, great housekeepers don’t necessarily have to come with this experience. Some certain general qualities and skills likely translate to being able to successfully serve in a housekeeping role. When looking at and interviewing applicants, seek out those who show enthusiasm for creating a great guest experience. Also, those who articulate enjoying contributing to a team will likely be willing to jump into duties as needed for the good of the team. This is crucial for housekeeping staff. Ultimately, all roles in hospitality come down to customer service. So, previous successful experience in other customer-facing roles is something to look for as well.
Managing Housekeeping Staffs – Both Big and Small
From small local motels to boutique BnBs to large hotel and resort chains, proper management of the housekeeping staff is essential to achieve a high level of guest satisfaction. It is one thing to hire qualified and enthusiastic individuals. It is another to create a working environment that incentives them to stick around for the long haul. Doing so will not only save you time and money continuously training staff due to high turnover. It will also ensure they always perform their job duties at a high level.
Effective management is not simply giving out orders. There are several things to remember when trying to lead a winning team.
Above all, successful team leadership in any industry is dependent on effective communication. In terms of responsibilities, you should provide team members with clear explanations of your expectations of them in their roles. This includes instructions on how to perform each duty and any deadlines or time requirements. Additionally, should there be any issues with job performance, it’s important to communicate where expectations are not being met (in detail) and how to rectify it – not simply disciplinary action.
The line of communication should also be kept open in both directions. Great managers will be receptive to feedback, questions, and concerns from their team. Often, it’s the case that those performing the work discover a better way of doing things. So, listening to the housekeeping staff may lead to a more streamlined way of operating, saving time and money, and increasing job performance.
In addition to strong communication, managers must be willing to provide support for their team when needed. This may mean coordinating additional staff members to aid in a busy time. Or, support can come in the form of necessary tools and equipment that helps the staff perform their responsibilities at a higher level.
Lastly, it’s vital to also support employees in their professional goals and development. Housekeeping staff who are aided in creating and reaching goals and rewarded accordingly (either through pay raises, promotions, or simply recognition with the team) are more likely to feel empowered coming to work and will often remain on staff for longer.
While members of the housekeeping staff are company employees, they are first and foremost people. Great managers realize this and do their best to understand any issues arising in their personal lives and work around them. This may mean altering a schedule if needed to accommodate a last-minute request off. Or, it may simply involve remembering to check in on employees who are experiencing a difficult time. Empathy and generally showing you care are crucial for employee satisfaction on the job and, ultimately, staff retention.
Housekeeping Management Positions
Housekeeping managers can make anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000 annually, depending on the size and quality of the establishment. Some of the most successful managers started as general cleaning staff and gained years of experience before taking on managerial duties. If you are looking to step into a management-level position in the future, a smart first step is to gather the skills and knowledge from working on a housekeeping staff. Seek out housekeeping positions that allow you to absorb the ins and outs of how hotels operate and how the housekeeping staff plays a role in success. From there, and with dedication and initiative, the possibility to advance is high. It all begins with submitting an application and getting started.