Working in Hotel Housekeeping Management
Working in housekeeping management can provide a unique view into a side of the hotel business that you might never have considered unless you actually worked there. It is a more human, more critical look at the people and processes involved in preparing and maintaining the cleanliness and amenities within the rooms and public spaces of a hotel. While it is impossible to provide every detail, duty, and responsibility required of housekeeping managers, this article is intended to provide a basic overview of the most critical aspects of a housekeeping manager’s overall job description.
Working with Room Attendants
As a housekeeping manager, room attendants can be your biggest asset or greatest liability depending on their dependability, attitude, experience, and work ethic. You’ll likely find that your interaction with room attendant will include hiring, providing training, supervising, inspecting, and in some cases, terminating. These are all part of the housekeeping manager’s responsibilities when it comes to the human aspect of the job. It probably won’t take you long to realize that the room attendants will largely make or break not only your success as a manager, but often the success of the department, and the overall success of the hotel as well. Much of your typical day will be spent working and interacting with the room attendants.
You would be surprised by the number of objects and amenities found in the average hotel room. As a housekeeping manager, part of your job will be to ensure that your employees have the proper inventory levels of supplies needed to main proper cleanliness levels and have room amenities available. From towels, sheets, vacuum cleaners, cleaning supplies, robes, toilet paper, soap, and shampoo, you’ll find there is a huge variety of housekeeping supplies, which in many hotel chains is constantly being changed by the powers that be at the corporate office. You’ll likely find yourself making orders with a list of various suppliers, investigating new or different product options and pricing, as well as monitoring inventory levels.
Working with Other Departments
To some, the housekeeping department might seem very independent of other departments, and in many cases, it is. However, the two departments that often interact most with housekeeping are the front desk and maintenance. The front desk will rely on your department to ‘flip’ dirty rooms to clean for arriving guests in a timely manner and meet special requests for particular room types often on a tight timeframe. Meanwhile, housekeeping will likely have a similar reliance upon the maintenance department to make needed repairs to rooms quickly in order to be able to sell them to incoming guests.
The housekeeping and sales will also be in communication, as the sales department will need to have ‘show rooms’ for client meetings, to illustrate the various room types the hotel has to offer. Sales will also depend on housekeeping to help clean blocks of rooms or particular room types for certain guests or incoming groups that might have early arrivals, late checkouts, and similar needs.
But there is more to running a housekeeping department than just keeping track of your room attendants and taking inventory. You will likely have floor supervisors or managers, possibly public space managers, and if you are in a larger hotel, probably a variety of housepersons, public space and laundry attendants, carpet cleaners, valet laundry employees, and second and third shift staff under your supervision.
Additionally, you’ll probably spend time ensuring special guest or group requests are met regarding cleaning times or methods, looking for lost and found items, budgeting, scheduling, inspecting, and a laundry list of other odds and ends when it comes to meeting guest expectations and running the department.
The work can be difficult, and at times goes unappreciated, but at the end of the day, the pride and accomplishment that comes with knowing you’ve turned hundreds of rooms around for guests to spend their night or occasion in, is something special.
To find out more about an education in housekeeping management, visit the Hospitality Management schools directory.