Proper Housekeeping means proper training! Guests always notice the difference. Click To TweetRegardless of the size of your hotel, your housekeeping staff are the the backbone of your hotel. Without a clean environment for your guests to reside in, the chances of repeat business diminishes and bad reviews loom. Your business will only survive if the cleaning and management of the rooms is at the highest standard.
It doesn’t matter how many stars your hotel has, or how large or small it is, your housekeeping staff should be trained to the highest level of quality and care to achieve the best results. So what standards should you be reaching? What standards should you follow? And what can you include in your housekeeping training?
What are the Standards Your Housekeeping Department Should Reach?
The standards you choose to set depend on the unique selling point of your brand. From a boutique hotel to a small family run hotel, your standards can influence your housekeeping department. There are however some key aspects which your housekeeping department standards should typically have:
- Products/Cleaning Chemicals
- Health and Safety
- Fire Protocol
What are the Standards Your Housekeeping Department Should Follow?
With the established standards that your housekeeping department should have – how should they follow them?
- Uniform – Uniforms achieve two purposes: to protect your staff from the stains and toxins which come from daily cleaning product use, and to give your staff a professional, ‘uniform’ appearance.
- Cleaning Equipment – From the trolley, mops, vacuum, brushes, broom and commercial cleaning equipment, these items should all be used with the correct care and attention to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Failure to do so can affect the job being done and also decrease the lifespan of the product, costing the hotel more due to replacements.
- Products/Cleaning Chemicals – Correct product application and awareness of health and safety both for the staff and the surrounding guests. Product knowledge, like the correct amounts to use, ensures the products are effective, but also that the products don’t damage the surfaces they are being used on.
- Maintenance – Although the housekeeping team might not be actually doing the maintenance, it is their job to report issues to maintenance and monitor their repair. From a broken TV remote, to a faulty light fixture. This awareness will help speed up any required repairs and also reduce the amount of guest complaints!
- Laundry – Depending on the size of the hotel, the housekeeper staff may not have to directly manage the laundry, however if they do, it is wise that they understand the key functions of correct laundry procedures. For in-room service, it’s vital for the housekeeping staff to understand how to fold clothes in the room, make the bed, hang towels, etc at a high standard.
- Communication – This may seem like a given, but without following clear communication, both between housekeeping and between the other departments in the house, the hotel can suffer. From simple requests through to detailed schedule instructions and last minute changes, the communication will help bond the team and ensure the highest level of care and approach is achieved.
- Health and Safety – These days, where legislation is there to protect the workers, the guests and those entering the premise, health and safety is key to a long-standing establishment and its success. It is not something that should be ignored, as both heavy fines and consequences could occur if it’s not taken seriously. Your entire team should be fully up to speed on the latest health and safety protocols.
- Fire Protocols – Similar to health and safety, this is a key aspect the housekeeping team should follow. If a fire does occur, the guests will look to ask for advice and follow the staff themselves, so they should all be clear on the correct procedures. You’d be surprised how many members of staff choose to rescue their mobile phones instead of following the correct fire drills!
What You Should Include in Your Hotel Housekeeper Training?
When devising a training programme for your housekeeping staff, you need to cover a broad spectrum of areas to ensure that continuity and confidence is achieved. It is not an easy task to achieve!
- Cleaning Skills – From the actual techniques to the desired results, during the housekeeping training, we can establish a common ground for the housekeeping team. This doesn’t mean that each housekeeper has to use the same process, but if one process is quicker than another, then we will work to find the most effective way to approach that specific skill. We can continually learn and evolve, and the team can hone their skills during the cleaning skills section of housekeeping training.
- Use of Equipment & Products – Similar to the actual skills and techniques, the actual equipment and products that are being used may not be familiar to the housekeeping staff. Even if they are familiar with the products and equipment, the way they are used can always be improved to ensure that the products and equipment are correctly maintained and have the longest life possible!
- Guest Etiquette & Interaction – Your housekeeping staff will most likely regularly pass guests or interact with them. The way they react and interact with guests are key to guest happiness and their return to your hotel. Poor interactions or lack of etiquette will greatly affect this. During training we can teach your staff how to understand cultural differences, how to make a first impression, and how to approach body language and etiquette. These small and subtle changes will make a major difference to the confidence within the housekeeping team and also how they treat and interact with the guests around them.
- Presentation – Similar to etiquette, the way your housekeeping team present themselves reflects the brand and hotel. From the uniform they wear through to personal hygiene, these will all have an affect on guest reactions and have an impact on your brand image. You need your housekeepers to take pride in their presentation, and they need to know why this is important.
- Communication – All teams no matter how small or large can improve their communication. It may be cultural differences, or it might simply be that the process they follow to communication is different from the other person or team members. By developing and working through staff communication, your housekeeping team will become more effective at their work, and more efficient at getting their jobs done! Staff happiness will also improve, and this will in turn reduce staff turnover.
- Health and Safety & Fire Protocol – This subject can be tedious, but is a vital one, and engaging your housekeeping team during the training sections of this is key to them retaining the information. During training it can be presented in a fun and interactive way, in order for them to absorb the information and not fall asleep! This training can literally save lives, so it’s wise and very important to regularly update and refresh.
The skills your housekeeper team learn and hone can be the difference between success and failure of your hotel. It’s not just about having a clean and tidy room. The finishing touches through to the guest interactions all play a major part. If you are interested in learning more about staff training for your housekeeper team, we would love to hear from you. Drop us a line and one of our experienced consultants will be in touch to discuss the next steps.