Panic! at the Hotel. How to avoid chaos in your housekeeping department

Panic! at the Hotel. How to avoid chaos in your housekeeping department

Housekeeping and everyday work of the cleaning staff is like behind the scenes of the hotel life. Hoteliers don't usually pay much attention to it - but we wish they do. In this article, we gathered the most important information about housekeeping in the hospitality industry, some efficient and useful tips for improving the work of your cleaning crew and optimizing the whole department workflow.

housekeeping in hotels tips

Housekeeping is quite a tough job!

Housekeeping means several working processes united by one aim - to ensure positive impression about the hotel and establish a reputation for the quality of cleanliness. And working in this field means working under extreme time pressure, delivering the highest possible quality, and needless to say that it is a hard physical work.

Approximately 300,000 room maids and room boys are currently employed at German hotels. They are undertaking various activities to maintain cleanliness - such as routine and preventive maintenance activities, general upkeep of the property, making sure everything is in working order. On top of that, the main priority for the cleaning staff is to ensure the comfort of guest, so that they will come again next time.

Not a piece of cake, right?

Everyday work routine of the cleaning staff

On average, cleaning staff has between 20 and 30 minutes to prepare a room for a new guest. However, only 15 minutes are spent in occupied rooms. A cleaning job in hotels is underappreciated, and often by the hoteliers themselves, not to mention further education or training. This results in overworking, high staff turnover and even maybe damaged hotel property caused by improper handling.

And this whole situation is not helping the hotel business, in the worst case, it entails dissatisfied and grumpy guests.

The standard check-in time for many hotels is 2 pm, so the cleaning work is in full swing every day, and so a person should clean approximately 20 rooms in 5 hours (depending on the hotel size and the number of the rooms).

At the same time, employees should adhere to strict regulations. Many factors should be considered: the right knocking on the door, the right placement of the pillowcases (facing the window), there is a strict rag separation, the toilet paper should be regularly replaced as well as soaps and shampoos should be refilled, and much more. The quality of the cleaning should be also checked, so there are more people involved, and it is hard to achieve a high level of service if nobody cares about the real-time management.

So we asked ourselves:

How can we improve the workflow of the housekeeping department?

The organization forms the basis. A reasonable structure provides better optimization of the working process. The most common thing eating into cleaning time is reporting and problem fixing, keeping the room and housekeeping status information up-to-date and actually organizing the working schedule. When the system is out of order, there is much more time pressure, it affects the mood of the whole staff and their working ability. And as a consequence - the appearance of the guest rooms.

Guest rooms are the main sales contributor!

Guest rooms can score with the nice facilities without question, but it doesn’t save the situation when everything is gross and dirty. That's why, as a hotelier, you should pay more attention to the results of housekeeping staff work. Cleanliness is at the top of the visitor’s list, and it is the main factor of their satisfaction. It leads to positive reviews and further recommendations.

Sometimes a problem arises because the staff cannot cope with the time pressure, and at the end, the cleaning isn’t done as it should be. And this problem only gets worse over time: hard water stains or even mold are a consequence of the constant improper cleaning, and when it happens, it’s all the more difficult to get back to a high level.

We will give you our TOP tips and tricks to solve this problem, so your cleaning personnel will be definitely motivated and satisfied, what will result in a notable progress, as well as the higher standard of cleanliness.

Besides:

90%

of all guests’ decision to tip is based on the cleanliness of the hotel

Housekeeping tips in hospitality:

Try to minimize the time pressure: Often dirty spots are overlooked or there’s not enough time for the stuff to clean everything before the guest checks in. It can be avoided if the weight of time pressure will be taken off their shoulders. The realistic and clear schedule will improve the situation

Offer training sessions and further education: Invest in your personal, so that your hotel could function properly. Communicate the performance standards through ongoing training programs and revise those standards at least once a year

The organization is a key

🔷 Adapt work schedules to the occupancy schedule

🔷 Do not forget to give feedback

🔷 Be open to feedback, wishes, and problems yourself

🔷 Create a checklist for the cleaning staff

🔷 Improve the relationship between housekeeping and maintenance staff - teamwork will boost the general work efficiency

🔷  Carefully think over: deep cleaning and maintenance department’s extensive repair work in guest rooms should coincide with low occupancy periods

🔷 Don’t bail on cleaning inspections and cleaning quality check - one small thing left unnoticed can cause lots of troubles. Besides, it lowers standards of cleanliness

🔷 Balance performance standards with productivity standards

Tips for hotel housekeeping staff:

🔷 Professional cleaning and care not only makes the guests feel better but also extend the life of the hotel furniture.

🔷 It is better to recognize and address guestroom deficiency or malfunction before they lead to guest dissatisfaction.

🔷 Keep track of supplies amounts in housekeeping inventories and report if something is out.

So, what to do?...

It is essential to provide top service. It means not only smiley receptionists and polite porters, but also intangible things such as thoroughly cleaned carpet or absence of fingerprints on the mirrors. The appearance of employees plays the major role - if they are always in hurry, cannot provide service on time and look messy, then spotless and squeaky clean floors won’t do any good.

In this situation, the life-saving work order schedule and checklist will come in handy. It will allow to optimize all working processes and figure out, what should be changed or improved. In this situation, you can turn to modern technologies that will offer you the way out of any situation. Nowadays many gadgets allow managing of all the process taking place in the hotel - from checking-in to updating room status. When all the reports are computerized, it provides easier access to the hotel information, and the staff can focus on cleaning rather than keeping all the needed information in mind.

Which room should be cleaned now? Which rooms are available? How to keep track of all orders, so anything will be forgotten or lost? How to get fast access to the room status? How to optimize the reporting process and make it maximally easy for the employees?

Some of the hoteliers still have to do a lot of paperwork due to their conformism. They prefer to rely on good old pencil and notebook because this modern digitized world scares them. But in fact they are just delaying the inevitable - sooner or later they will realize that modern technologies facilitate and simplify work processes. Do not live in the past century, become updated!

And HotelFriend will help you!

Our software offers a perfect possibility to optimize work organization and schedule everyday tasks of cleaning staff.

Our benefits:

🔷 real-time room status display;

🔷 prioritization of guest rooms by the status and cleaning urgency;

🔷 easy organization and management of housekeeping processes;

🔷 daily reports on the room status changes.

We gave you only a little insight into the possibilities that HotelFriend offers. If you want to learn more, click here.

Public relations: Stephanie Moench

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