No matter what type of lodging operation you run, beds need to be changed, countertops need to be scrubbed, and linens need to be washed. Housekeeping has always been a cornerstone of the hospitality business, and with a renewed global interest in sanitization and cleanliness, that’s never been truer.
As local travel begins to bounce back from COVID shutdowns, and you start preparing for a return to more regular occupancy, you’ll want to take a look at your housekeeping strategies to ensure they are as productive and efficient as possible; the demands on this department will be at an all-time high. Here are a few necessities for managing an effective housekeeping team.
Well-trained and motivated staff
Turning over rooms before check-in (especially when you’re at high occupancy) is a big task. There’s a lot to do in a short amount of time, so your housekeeping staff need to be competent and motivated. That starts, or course, with hiring the right people, but goes well beyond that. Employees need to be set up for success with sufficient training and opportunities for professional development. Not only will this give them the skills they need to do their job well, but employees who feel supported will be happier and will stick around longer.
As for keeping your staff motivated, fostering a team-centered environment goes a long way. Share company goals and open up the floor to employee input and feedback. Being included in brainstorming, decision-making, and celebration will give your staff a sense of responsibility (and therefore commitment) to the success of the team.
Housekeeping has always been a demanding job, but in the wake of COVID there are even more duties that your staff will have to do (and track) as they turn over a room. Like any new hurdle, a little creative problem-solving can go a long way. A color-coded cleaning system⏤which uses color to identify products and supplies for specific tasks or areas⏤has been used to great advantage in many professional cleaning settings. Adopting this type of system can reduce cross-contamination, improve efficiency, and simplify employee training.
Considering both the heightened demands on housekeeping and new public interest in reducing person-to-person contact, there has never been a better time to consider implementing opt-out programs for guests. Allowing guests to forego daily housekeeping during their stay was already gaining popularity pre-COVID as a way to cut costs and go green, but there is even more incentive now. In addition to alleviating the workload of your housekeeping staff, this type of program will allow your guests the peace of mind that comes from reducing touchpoints in their personal space.
You can have the best housekeeping staff in the world, but without proper technology the department will never be able to realize its maximum potential. There’s just too much to keep track of. Finding a property management system with a powerful housekeeping component allows your staff to improve efficiency and reduce paperwork. An interactive housekeeping report that can be used to assign tasks to staff, reference guest requests and maintenance notes on the go, and track task completion helps to avoid duplicated or missed duties. Not to mention the front-desk staff can remain informed about every room’s status in real time.
There has been a significant lull in tourism for the last few months, but travel is going to slowly bounce back. When it does, some aspects of operations are going to look a little different. Your housekeeping team will have more responsibilities and their ongoing efforts will likely need to be made more visible to guests. Make sure your property is prepared by doing what you can now to create a strong and effective housekeeping department.