Cleanliness – it’s one of the most researched items when consumers are exploring where to stay for business or leisure. It builds customer loyalty, generates positive praise (via word of mouth and social media) and drives hotel profitability. Regardless of property size, brand affiliation or location, cleanliness is an unwavering top priority for hotel guests.
Since cleanliness is so firmly tied to financial success, it is imperative for hoteliers to implement a smart strategy for bolstering their housekeeping operation. Ensuring the department operates at the highest possible standards without straining budgets can be achieved when the right measures are in place.
Expect the scrutiny of the “white glove test” in every corner of a property when guests arrive – no space is off limits. Here are five key tips for improving your housekeeping operation.
#1 – Invest in Training = Invest in Employees
Staff training is crucial to improving housekeeping job performance. Hotels are increasingly tapping the services of outsourcing agencies specializing in commercial cleaning to instruct in-house housekeeping staff on how to implement safe and hygienic sanitization practices as well as provide personalized service to guests. It is also imperative for the housekeeping staff to understand the key role they play in a hotel’s profitability by providing clean spaces for valued guests to conduct their business and leisure activities.
An impeccable cleaning process is complex, so aligning with experts such as Jani-King provides a cost-effective way to triumph with housekeeping education and procedures. An investment with cleaning specialists is an investment in the employees themselves who are responsible for helping shape the highest levels of guest satisfaction.
Here’s another bonus to aligning with an outsourcing company – it can diminish a hotel’s number of workman’s compensation claims because the outsourcing agency takes over the responsibility of such issues. And, uniting with a sub-contractor for housekeeping services means hotels can reduce the benefits they are required to carry under the Affordable Care Act. It’s about cutting labor costs without sacrificing room cleanliness.
#2 – Know Your Laundry Equipment
Efficient, powerful laundry equipment is one of the pillars of a high-functioning housekeeping department. When the equipment’s performance slacks, housekeeping is unable to execute job responsibilities, and that trickle-down effect can negatively impact the guest experience. Delays for clean bedding. Delays for spa and pool towels. Delays for napkins and tablecloths in restaurants.
To strengthen operations, it’s vital to care for laundry equipment with proactive maintenance. Producing a checklist of important procedures for the team to follow (in how to care for washers and dryers) provides essential guidance and creates accountability. The goal is to avoid costly repairs and equipment downtime. Knowing when to replace equipment is also key – meaning when it’s at the end of its life but before it breaks. Money spent on purchasing new washers and dryers pays for itself with utility savings and enhanced staff productivity.
When laundry machinery is working at full capacity, housekeeping team members can deliver towels and linens without delay.
#3 – Say Good-Bye to Food Germs & Hello to Profits
Hotel restaurants that exhibit a ring of filth and germs make customers wonder about the rest of the hotel – and steadily erodes profitability and reputation in the process.
Cleansing and sanitizing a restaurant requires the capabilities of a team specifically trained to adhere to EPA standards, and this is where the expertise of a specialist outsourcing company is invaluable. They possess knowledge of how to effectively disinfect commercial appliances, the proper techniques for sterilizing food-preparation surfaces and utensils, and executing a rigorous checklist of sweeping floors, washing windows and scouring restrooms. Confidently aligning with an outsourcing company such as Jani-King where attention to detail throughout the space is paramount doesn’t need to strain budgets either.
With an improved process for cleansing hotel restaurants in place, chefs and the entire kitchen team can focus on delivering the dream diners crave – an impeccably prepared meal that inspires the palate.
#4 – Think Creatively for Enhanced Cleanliness
It’s necessary to have housekeeping procedures in place, but it’s equally imperative to be open to improving operations. Think out of the box and be creative with housekeeping solutions to maximize efficiency and successfully manage budgets. Wash laundry at night since electricity is typically less expensive during non-peak hours, operate washers at full capacity (no half-empty loads), examine workflow layout, and employ smart folding strategies so staff can work more diligently.
Often, those team members working in housekeeping day after day come up with great ideas for heightening their productivity. Incentivize housekeeping members to present potentially proficient solutions to management – and then reward those employees and implement new procedures accordingly. This is a powerful job-performance motivator in one of a hotel’s most physically demanding departments.
#5 – Embrace Technology to Drive Efficiency
Hotel technology has successfully streamlined operations, improved communication and bolstered business intelligence in many departments – and the same can be applied to housekeeping. Adopting effective housekeeping technology solutions empowers staff to make smart in-the-moment job decisions, increases employee productivity, and allows hotels to optimize room inventory – ultimately raising guest satisfaction scores.
Maintaining information about the real-time status of rooms is key because the goal is to reduce the time guests must wait before entering their accommodations. Housekeeping must determine what rooms are to be cleaned in priority order, while accounting for guests checking out late and accommodations that are large or more challenging to get in order. And, this information must be communicated in real-time to the front desk team so they can manage check-in and expectations about when customers will gain access to their rooms.
The right technology solution ensures enhanced communication between housekeeping and the front desk (and less confusion about what rooms are ready when), and that accurate information is seen and then shared all around so job responsibilities are flawlessly executed. Technology encourages a quick turn-around of room cleaning without sacrificing quality. This isn’t just for an in-house operation – hotels that implement a housekeeping technology solution continue to work with outsourcing cleaning companies because the systems are often simple to learn and easy to use.
Improving housekeeping operations makes “cents” and sense because it is an undeniable path to increasing profits and generating higher guest satisfaction. Providing members of the housekeeping team with the tools they need to thrive – whether it’s the assistance of an outsourcing agency specializing in cleansing hotels, proactive maintenance on laundry equipment, smarter and more time-saving procedures, or technology solutions that boost efficiency – makes a tremendous difference in a world where the importance of hotel cleanliness is dominant.