How can I measure a housekeeper’s performance?
Establishing and measuring performance standards always improves consistency. Click To TweetWhether your housekeeper works in a domestic household or boutique hotel setting there are some fairly simple ways to measure performance so established standards can be met. These include a supervisor’s evaluation, a guest or principal’s rating of a room’s cleanliness, use of an objective but in direct measure of cleanliness.
Before we dive down into the nitty gritty of how you may apply the above. There is another method which you may use to measure performance. A quantitive measures of cleanliness. Whilst a valid method this requires samples and swabs to be taken and sent away for testing in a lab. Whilst highly accurate, the method is time consuming and costly.
If you have never experienced the 5* standard how can you know what it is?
Training of housekeeping staff is always key, everyone likes to be in a clean and fresh environment. Guest or principal experience is always paramount, so consistency is key. Showing your housekeeper what you expect and how they should approach a situation will ensure you get the best out of your housekeeper. Standards are very subjective and one person’s adequate may be another’s amazing. So showing your housekeeper in training what the 5* standard is that you want them to hit is critical.
Your housekeeper has been trained so they know what is expected. So how do you ensure their consistency and that they continue to hit the 5* standard you expect?
Supervisor evaluation is a great way of measuring performance. A head housekeeper, house manager can evaluate the work that has been done. This should hit on the key areas the housekeeper has been trained in.
A supervisor may work alongside the staff member to ensure they are hitting the standards they expect, assessing as they go to begin with. As the staff member becomes more experienced so this support can be reduced and an evaluation of the room or rooms be carried out after the work has been completed. It is important to let your staff member know this is how they will be assessed regularly from the begin. You don’t need to say when but they should be aware of the method and that it could be at any time. That way they will not feel like they are being checked up on.
To carry out a supervisor evaluation of a completed room it may be helpful to draw up a list of the areas you want to look at. Some suggested areas are – Moving furniture to ensure it has been cleaned beneath in line with the cleaning schedule that should be followed. Checking skirting boards have been cleaned. Water marks removed on shower screens. Legs of dining chairs have been dusted.
You might choose to verbally discuss the areas with the staff member or use a marking scheme so that they can see any drop or improvement in performance. If using a mark scheme ensure you develop a consistent approach so that improvements can be noted as well any areas which need work. This is also very important if you are assessing a number of housekeepers, this will ensure there is a standard which is being worked against by all.
A Guest or Principal’s Rating of a Room’s Cleanliness
Hotel’s in particular can grow or crumble based on guest’s reviews. The perception of an incorrectly cleaned room will have a significant impact on the overall guest experience. It is also important to remember that an adequate experience is highly unlikely to be ever spoken about. A poor experience a guest is extremely likely to talk about and only a small number of people will speak about a great experience. So being top of your game is extremely important to ensure you receive those all important recommendations. A principal’s home is really no different they are your “guest” and their view will probably be different to a supervisors.
It is important to remember that a guest or principal will be spending much more time in a room than a supervisor so may well notice different things. The guest or principal is always your prime consideration, as previously noted standards will differ from person to person. Aiming to reach a 10 out of 10 for a principal is realistic once you have a clear view of their expectations. You might not reach it every single time, but the majority of 10 out of 10, if not speak to your principal to work out how it can be improved. For a guest you should be looking to reach a score of 9 or 10 out of 10 to ensure they go away and recommend you. As a word of mouth recommendation is extremely powerful.
Objective but Indirect Measure of Cleanliness
So you know the room looks clean but how can you tell it really is clean? If your housekeeper is cleaning as you expect using the products they have been trained to use in the approximate quantities you expect. The level of the products or chemicals being used should be consistently dropping.
Measurement of chemical or products can be done quite precisely, measuring the volume in the bottle each time used. Marking level lines on bottles to track usage. A slightly easier way is to look at how frequently the products are being reordered in and what quantities. If looking at the frequency and product level ordered in, ensure you take in to account the products currently in storage. As the aim is to access the total amount of chemical used over time, this should be fairly constant. But take into account any bulk purchases which may have been made as more cost effective. It is also important to ensure the chemicals and products are actually being used and not just repeatedly ordered, due to habit rather than need.
In a housekeeping department if you are using the measurement of the products and chemicals as an individual’s performance indicator, each housekeepers own set of products or chemicals need to be assigned. This ensures a fair measurement, it may be useful to ask them to sign for a replacement product to ensure you can keep track of an individual’s usage. A book noting when new products have been issued and signed for is also a good way to track usage over time, although the number of rooms cleaned should also be tracked too. A staff member cleaning 10 rooms a day compared to 20 should be using approximately half the total amount of chemicals in comparison.
There are always going to be slight variations in the quantities used. A very wet day outside, lots of guests walking through, or muddy children and dogs walking across a kitchen floor. These situations are realistically going to take more cleaning product than a sunny dry day or a week where the family are away.
How Can I Maintain a Housekeeper’s Performance?
How ever you choose to measure your housekeeper’s performance it is important to support them with suitable training. Ensuring your staff understand the standards they need to meet and how is important when they first begin. I can’t stress how important it is for a housekeeper to be shown the standard they need to hit and how to get there. Remember standards are subjective and if you have never experienced it how can you know what you are aiming for.
Refresher training will also help ensure everyone is up to speed and working to the same level. This is especially important if you change a technique, alter a product or chemical in use as everyone should be clear on it’s safe use or quantities to use. Training is also a great way to support those whose performance may have dropped.
Polo & Tweed offer housekeeper training for private homes and boutique hotels. We are able to design tailor made training to suit your own personal situation to ensure your staff have the skills and knowledge they need to reach 5* standard. For further information on the training we can offer, contact us, or please call +44(0)203 858 0233 to speak with a consultant who can help work out the best way to help.