1. The management of household affairs.
• Money set aside or given for the management of household affairs.
• A department within a hotel or other residential facility that oversees the cleaning of rooms and the provision of necessities such as towels and glassware.
2. Operations such as record-keeping or maintenance in an organization or a computer that make work possible but do not directly constitute its performance.
In many of the Superior Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel the owner/ manager becomes the Director of Housekeeping at their Hotel/ Motel through default or financially they just have to. Some have a head housekeeper which checks there own rooms and other housekeepers rooms or owners/ managers tell me they check there own rooms at Hotel/ Motel
after the housekeeper cleans the room. The definition above is “the management of household affairs”. Many of today’s celebrities have professional housekeeping manager and like “Gone with the Wind” the book and move so did they all those years ago. This profession has been round since the dawn of time and many times this department plays the biggest role of all, like in the above definition “Operations such as record-keeping or maintenance”. For a Superior
Small Lodging owners/ managers the housekeeping department is the largest labor department in the hotel. A average housekeeping should take 20 to 30 minutes to clean a guest room in most Hotels / Motels. So if you have 21 rooms in your Superior Small Lodging and you have sold all 21 room it should take one associate in housekeeping department 630 minutes (10 and a half hours) to clean all 21 rooms right but with two 315 minutes (5 and a half hours)? Sure in a perfect world that is correct but we know that this is not correct because they need to get into the rooms make sure they have proper supplies and get the job done. The big issue is they are also running supplies to guest requests, most of the time running laundry or fixing a broken something. What I have found is the good housekeepers are doing this while others are watching their favorite soap operas on TV or these days watching judge Judi on TV in the guests rooms. How do I know that, turn on the TV after the housekeeper has left the room. Is the volume low or high on the TV and is it on a normal station a guest would watch? Or you could just walk into a room on an inspection and see it for yourself. Many times if they lock the door it is a sure sign. The good housekeeping departments are with in the 30 minutes a room and have very little guest complaints on Trip Advisor and other sites. Also the department will get great guests review to the owner/ manager or letter to these owners/ manager at check-out. Many of the top housekeepers will get a $5.00 or $20.00 tip. If you are an owner or manager and you check a room before the housekeeper gets to the room and see a tip/ gratuity you have a good housekeeper and do not touch her or his money, they worked her for that and deserve every penny. Housekeeping is one of the headrest working departments in a Hotel/ Motel, do not believe me try cleaning rooms for a day and then send me a e-mail how it went. When I we consult for Superior Small Lodging owner or manager and they say Steve my housekeeping department is terrible or in shambles, I say are you ready to clean some rooms with me for three days? They say that is why you are here, I say to them let’s see what I see together. They roll up there selves and realize it is themselves that are making the department terrible or in shambles many times. You ask how can that be? Well when you do not appreciate the associate, do the job to understand it or do not know what to look for, that is a big problem. Many owners/ managers say I know a clean room when I see it. Really, then why am I here?
Here are a few pointer when it comes down to housekeeping departments and how to go from bad, to great, to incredible.
1. If you do not like to make your bed in the morning or find other things to do then clean your house, you do not belong overseeing housekeeping. When interviewing a housekeeper or a housekeeping lead supervisor ask them questions like; do you make your bed every day? If you had a choice of cleaning rooms or working the front desk which would you prefer? Tell me a time when you saw a dirty room and what did you started on first in the room. Bring that person you
are interviewing in a room you know has flaws (dirty but not to blatant) or you have planted something dirty (yellow sticker on top of picture frame) and ask them what about this rooms is unclean or where would you look for dirt? The purpose is to see if they know where to look and find that yell sticker. The person or people you hire for this job should not be a warm body or someone that has been in housekeeping for 20 out of the 30 hotels/ motels in your area. So many times we as owners/ manager just need quick help and hire without real knowing the person and there background.
2. If you are hiring housekeepers or housekeeping lead supervisors always do a background check and call past employer to verify, verify and verify. If you like your insurance on the property to stay the same and you do not want a
lawsuit from a guest, make sure to do a background check. So many Superior Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel the owner/ manager hire and then find out the housekeeper or housekeeping lead supervisor is stealing from the Hotel/ Motel or its guests.
-Example; in the FL Keys we had two hotels and after taking over the ownership decide to renovate the first of the two resorts. We move a houseman everyone told us at the first resort was “an incredible associate” and “we could not live without” (superstar status). Two weeks later I went to resort second where he was working and spoke with my General Manager at the resort. I said “how is our houseman superstar doing”? I follow up my statement with “He must be moving the needle on housekeeping in room time right”? The General Manager looks at me and said “I had to fire him for stealing from you and the owners Steve”. I was shocked and like any normal person ask how and why. The General Manager said to me “look at these pictures of the back of his friends truck I took”. The pictures showed boxes of toilet paper, boxes of trash bags and boxes of towels. I left the GM and the second resort, went to the Housekeeping Manager and General Manager of the first property where he had come from and asked “is your product count on toilet paper and trash bags high”? The Housekeeping Manager said “funny you should ask I could never have enough in stock”. We order enough for the month and would always come up short. Well we found out why the superstar was stealing from you I said.
Also the last thing you want is a guest coming to you and saying things are missing in the room. Yes, some guests forgot where they placed it but others are on point. Many times in my career I have had to look at film and read locks to see who went in rooms and est. In many Superior Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel they use hard keys not electric keys and have little video on file. Many of these housekeepers know that and take advantage of this. Protect yourself, employees and business. My father always said “smells like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck,
it is a duck. Use your instincts when hiring so you will not have to be firing.
3. Clean is clean and dirty is dirty there is no in-between. I love when Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel the owner/ manager say to me my rooms are dated or not in the style for the customers online customers that is why I get bad reviews online or what they are staying is not true or even the rooms are not dirty, I checked them myself. My grandmother past away at 98 years old and up to 95 years of age she lived in the same house and had the same furniture from when my father was a kid and when I was a kid. When I would walk into her house I knew the surrounding where dated but she kept a “CLEAN” and maintained house. When you walked into Ida Donahue’s house you could see it was clean and well-kept and you could sell it was well taken care of. The cleanliness off set the dated furniture and surrounding and make it feel charming and home like. I was a manager many years ago for a 854 room Marriott in Fort Lauderdale. Mr. Bill Marriott would walk through the hotel very year around Christmas time on his family vacation at Harbor Beach Resort. Very year he would walk in and he knew that the hotel had not seen a renovation in 15 years. The hotel had a change in housekeeping management and in operations manager. Mr. Marriott walked into our rooms as he did every year and knew what to expect (a dated hotel room). He walked over to a bedside lamp at ran his hands over the lamp and it produced a ton of dust. Then he went to the drapes at the sliding glass door and shook them and the drapes produced bust and then went to the top of the closest and found an old room key sitting on top of the shelf. He then asked all manager to meeting in a meeting room. At the age of 75 years old Mr. Marriott went on to tell us “we have the worst cleanliness of all the hotels in Florida”. He said to us “we know your hotel is dated but there is NO excuses for a dirty room, dirty is dirty and it up to all of you to make sure these rooms are clean”. He handed us clip boards with room numbers and a checklist to do room inspections daily. The managers and staff realized we needed to make sure the rooms where clean no matter what the rooms look like, the “customer” wants a clean rooms. Walt Disney employees know the slogan “No chipped paint. All horses jump.” If you Google this slogan you will hear the story of Walt Disney and his experience with housekeeping and engineer as a child that motivated him to start his own theme park. Take a minute and as a Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel the owner/manager evaluate your Hotel/ Motel rooms with new eyes. Lesion to your guests and do not block them out, if they say your hotel is dirty start in the bathroom and work your way to the door. Fix what is broken so the housekeeping department takes pride in your business.
4. Housekeeping is the toughest department so celebrate them and show them you care about them. When I consult for Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel the owner/ manager I ask them when is the last time you bought your housekeeping department lunch? When is the last time you went out of your way to do something nice for them? Many look at me and say all kinds of excesses or I do it when they do something to deserve it. I say to Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel the owner/ manager through them a pizza lunch today and have cake for them, also with congratulation written on it. When they do so many of the housekeepers get excited and look at the cake and say “why does it say congratulations”? I say “tell me one thing you did this week or today to help a guest feel great about their stay”. The associate tells me what they did to help the guest and I say “congratulations” and then hand them a piece of cake and then the next housekeeper and so on. Positive reinforcement works and taking pride in your work with acknowledgement from your boss is a big motivation. Many companies have employees of the month. Having a Small Lodging Hotel/ Motel with limited staff it is hard to do this but I say how about of the quarter. Four times a year you give out a congrats or some small token to your associates, trust me it is a good thing. Once a month you by a $18.00 pizza or $30.00 hot lunch and you get back pride and excitement from your housekeeping associates.
I hope this helped you…and your guests
Oigidecht Hotels and Resorts
Below is from a top notch Superior Small Lodging owners this department is the heart of the house