Industry  |  21 June 2022  |  Eva Lacalle  |  4 minute read

How to build and manage your hotel housekeeping team

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Building and managing your perfect housekeeping team is no easy task, but when you have clearly defined processes that allow your staff to effectively manage their daily tasks and be more productive, it is without doubt a recipe for success. With a well-organized team, your hotel will flourish no matter the fluctuations in occupancy, and your staff will be happier because they’ll be set up for success no matter the ebbs and flows.

There are many things to keep in mind when building and organizing a housekeeping team, which we’ll discuss in further depth throughout the article. Keep reading to discover seven tips to create a thriving housekeeping staff.

 

Things to keep in mind when building and organizing a housekeeping team

Your housekeeping staff are the hidden secret to your hotel’s success. They might go unperceived, but their work behind the scenes is one of the key elements of guest satisfaction and generating a positive first impression. This is why when it comes time to build and organize your housekeeping team, it’s so crucial that it’s done well. Here are some tricks of the trade that will help modern hoteliers unlock the key to a well-running hotel. 

Filter your staff

Whether you’re building your team from scratch or looking to supplement your team in periods of high demand, having the right filters for your staff is fundamental. Look for some key traits such as ability to work in a team, capacity for problem-solving, attention to detail and prior work experience in hotels of a similar caliber. It’s not the same to hire a housekeeper who previously worked in a 1-star hotel as hiring one who worked at a big resort.

Once you’ve done your filtering, consider setting them up for a trial with your most competent housekeeper. They’ll have a better idea of what it’s like to work with this candidate on the job and just how efficient they are. No filter is stronger than the actual on-the-job trial. Then, check references from past employers to make sure the person’s qualifications are justifiable and that there is not some overarching problem as to why they left their last job. 

Training and upskilling

Once you have your housekeeping team set up, it’s important to invest in their success so they want to stay and grow within your hotel, instead of always investing in training new staff from scratch. Discover how roles are changing within the hospitality industry and adapt to this changing market. A flexible business model allows you to be more agile regarding these changing ways of working.

Set up a regular training schedule, so you can upskill your housekeepers in different elements that will serve to make them better employees, such as job-specific courses in hygiene and natural cleaning techniques as well as generic personal growth courses like how to work better in a team and time management. Your staff will feel more fulfilled in their role, and they will be better employees.

Organization is key

Organization applies to all levels, whether that be organizing your staff’s daily tasks, organizing your team or their cleaning schedule… There are so many things to keep in mind. For starters, make sure there’s a clear plan for each day, as this will ensure that there are no surprises and that should there be any, your staff is prepared to handle them. You can start by having checklists of daily, weekly and monthly cleaning tasks.

Ensure that whether you’re using online or offline tools to keep track of check-ins, arrivals, early check-ins and late check-outs, that what each staff member needs to accomplish for the day is clearly laid out with timelines for doing so. Make sure to encourage your staff to communicate as well, which will avoid any possible misunderstandings about whether tasks were carried out or not.

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Create a clear working schedule

A clear working schedule is not only about ensuring your hotel’s staffing needs are met, but it’s also about ensuring that the tasks they need to take care of on a daily basis are clear. Be sure to set timelines so it’s clear when these tasks need to be done by, and which also allows your housekeepers to be more productive and better manage their time. Once those tasks are completed, make sure it’s clearly communicated with the rest of your team.

Delegate and empower your staff

Delegating is key to managing your team more effectively. Set up responsible parties and department heads that staff can go to when there is a problem. Delegating is also a key tool to empower your staff to make decisions and learn how to problem-solve. The more autonomous your staff feel, the more initiative they will have and the more they will want to prove themselves by doing an exceptional job. 

Recognition is important

You may consider putting a system in place so that housekeepers feel valued. Maybe you can have an employee of the month award when a staff member is rewarded for going above and beyond, or internal kudos amongst employees who want to recognize one another. Set up an internal structure for growth so that they are motivated to be the best employees they can be, which also increases productivity.

Leverage technology

All of the above tips wouldn’t be complete without the right hotel housekeeping software. Leveraging technology to maintain performance is key to operational efficiency and to providing excellent service. Technology like Mews’ housekeeping software allows you to better communicate amongst staff, schedule more efficiently, keep track of pending tasks, and report live on room status and check-ins, so your staff can better prioritize. 

Conclusion

We’ve looked at tips on how to build and organize your hotel housekeeping team, which starts with choosing the right staff, training and upskilling, being organized, creating a clear working schedule, delegating, recognizing your staff and leveraging technology to help your team function better. With these tips in place, you’ll be able to create a team who thrives under pressure and can handle any situation that comes at them, providing the best service possible. 

The hospitality sector is a dynamic industry, and you must create a team that is able to thrive in an ever-changing environment. Your housekeepers are an essential part of your hotel and play a key role in boosting guest satisfaction rates, so help show them that you value them by training them to be the best employees they can be and empowering them to make their own decisions and problem solve.

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Author:

Eva Lacalle | 21 June 2022

Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.

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