Housekeeping is a very essential department in an organization and there are many housekeeping duties that a housekeeping staff needs to perform. The core responsibility of this unit is to maintain high sanitation levels and control any disorder in various facilities such as offices, nursing homes, and more importantly hotels. Generally, housekeeping may involve an in-house unit or an outdoor service. In many cases the cleaning agents working in the evenings or during weekends.
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Housekeeping involves a lot of duties, though the duties and responsibilities vary with facilities the fundamental responsibilities of housekeeping lies with routine cleanings well as daily maintenance. Such duties include cleaning of every room, furniture polishing, emptying of trash cans, cleaning window and walls, and disposal of garbage among others. Evidently, housekeeping involves doing all the tasks related to cleaning, orderliness, and maintaining a facility. In this blog, we will discuss in details the concept of housekeeping and housekeeping duties.
Topics Covered in this Guide
When it comes to hotels, housekeeping means maintaining the hotel in the best way possible. It involves making sure it is clean and in the most desirable state. Generally, there is a huge task for the staff. The housekeeping involves three different the managerial, the supervisory and the operational. We will examine each of these levels in a short while. Let us begin by briefly discussing the goals of hotel Housekeeping.
The Goals of Hotel Housekeeping
- Maintenance of overall cleanliness of the facility at all times
- To carry out cleanliness in the most efficient way.
- To utilize top quality cleaning tools and chemicals
- To maintain the facility with an elegant interior decoration
- To take good care of the furniture and other fixtures
- To effectively control pests
- To efficiently organize laundry and linen
Evidently, a lot is involved in the hotel housekeeping. To get a clearer understanding, it is important now to look at the structure of the staff.
The Executive Housekeeper
This the highest authority in the hotel housekeeping department. Other executives such as the deputy housekeeper along with the assistant manager in the department reports to him. The following are some of his responsibilities:
- Making sure there are overall sanitation and aesthetics of the facility.
- Ensuring general cleanliness, comfort, and mood of the hotel.
- Drafting and formulating standard operating procedures for overall cleaning and decorating.
- One-to-one care of regular inventory of clients’ supplies and lines.
- Asses the performance of workers and dealing with their training, promotions and even transfers.
- Supervising housekeeping paraphernalia as well as the hotel property.
- Inducting and training new employees and motivate the ones already there.
- Organize flower prearrangement for upcoming events.
- Providing an estimate of the needed budget to the Manager of the whole hotel
Incontrovertibly, this a very important person not only on the housekeeping department but also in the entire hotel. He prides over important things in the hotel, most of which has to do with guests directly such as inventory of guests deliveries. What about the supervisors? They are also important executives who help the executive housekeeper in discharging his duties. The following section considers their positions and some of their responsibilities.
Hotel Housekeeping Supervisor
To whom do the supervisors report to? Well, if you think they report to the executive housekeeper you are wrong. They are under the assistant housekeeper and the following are some of their core responsibilities.
- Offer keys to the attendants of the rooms
- Synchronizing floor processes as well as tray clearance with room aides
- Scrutinizing the rooms for readiness as well as reporting the same to the front office
- Supplying VIP facilities and offering special supplies including warm drinking water and babysitting arrangement.
The Public Area Supervisor
- Making sure cleanliness is well maintained at all times within public areas including such areas as seminar hall, the restaurant, the swimming pool and coffee shop among others.
- Making sure the required operating staff is readily available in accordance with the prepared schedule.
- Making sure the banquet is well maintained and ready always.
The Night Supervisor
- Ensuring the availability of guest supplies such as an extra bed, towels, and water among others.
- Making sure all the staff working at night abide by the Standard Operating Procedures
- Monitoring the hotel section at night and ensuring all the parts of the hotel are clean.
The uniform room Supervisor
- Ensuring all the hotel staff are provided with not only clean but also ironed uniforms
- Recommending the procurement of the required uniforms if necessary.
- Checking the linen repaired at the tailor’s room
- Taking note of all the uniforms available as well as their conditions
Linen Room Supervisor
- Reviewing linen and referring them to the laundry
- Inspection of linen from the laundry and directing them for ironing.
- Keeping the register of linen in-flux and out-flux
- Inspecting the repaired linen
- Recommending the replacement of linen where necessary.
Room Attendants/ the Operating Staff
A number of staffs fall in this category. In fact, one of the most important staffs in the hotel housekeeping department. In this section, we are going to discuss their various positions and responsibilities. We begin…
Uniform Room Attendant
Uniform room attendants are tasked with the responsibility of receiving and dispensing clean and ironed uniforms to staff members in the hotel. The uniform room attendant fall under the hotel housekeeping department are required to aide laundry operations and offering such services in order to deliver an exceptional guest service. This contributes significantly to the profitability of the hotel. The following are some of the duties and responsibilities a uniform room attendant is expected to discharge to the maximum standards;
- Take delivery of, record, store and dispense clean and pressed uniforms
- Clean and iron staff uniforms as well as guest uniforms whenever necessary
- Organize dry cleaning and laundry operations
- Offer room attendant duties when needed
- Provide guest needs of towels as well as other miscellaneous items, as required.
- Collecting staffs’ uniforms whenever their shifts end and maintaining them properly for use later.
Linen Room Attendant
A linen room attendant performs the daily assigned duties and responsibilities. The following is a summary of the duties and responsibilities of Linen Room Attendant;
- Separating unclean linens and delivering them to the laundry
- Recording linens before and after cleaning
- Assembling towels, table napkins and other items such as bed sheets and pillowcases to their relevant sections in the shelves.
- Handle clients’ apprehensions and feedback
- Offer other housekeeping related services
- Keep the linen and uniform room organized and maintained
Since one is required to discharge duties regularly and most cases for long hours, it is important to show emotional competence to control him or herself as well as the workplace. Those seeking this position should also be in a position to adjust to workplace adjustments and manifest professional and positive image in order to be considered.
The Guest Room Attendant
A guest attendant is a very important person in a hotel set up. It has often been said that the first impression determines nearly everything when it comes to the success of a hotel. Guest attendant tries hard to ensure that clients get nothing short of the best. The guest room attendants ensure hotel’s visitors get access to clean water and a very comfortable setting to spend their time whether, on vacation, business travels or for any reason. This is a position that demands one to be very attentive to details and display the ability to multi-task in order to be successful. The job may be quite demanding depending on the size of the facility. Guest room attendants are tasked with the responsibility of changing linens, ensuring bathrooms are clean, changing linens and vacuuming among other assigned duties. Some incidentals like a replacement of light bulbs, changing the remote control batteries and stationary is also part of their responsibilities. The following is a summary of the duties and responsibilities of a guest house attendant;
- General cleaning of all the guestrooms. This may include dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the rooms, removal of heavily soiled linens from rooms, and bathroom cleaning among others.
- Daily signing in and signing out of the master keys
- Making sure the superiors clearly specify promptly guests’ requests.
- Report the lost and found items to the superior authorities.
- Channeling complaints by guests to the superior authorities
- Comply with safety as well as healthy requirements of the hotel
- Make beds in the rooms
- Update the floor supervisor on daily happenings.
- Changing of the linens in guest rooms as well as bathrooms.
- Replenishing basic supplies in the guest rooms
- Offering proficient courtesies to hotel’s guests
- Communicating guest room damages to the relevant authorities promptly.
- Ensuring everything is in order in the guest rooms.
- Carry out personal room checks
- Maintain the required standards of operations
- Emptying wastebaskets and disposal of trash
How Much Do Hotel Maids Earn?
Generally, room attendants do not earn too much. Put differently, their pay is relatively lower. This is because the necessary skills are very simple. For instance, you do not specialized skills to empty the trash or to washrooms. In fact, most of the hotel maids have high school certificates only. The starting salary may be too low in comparison with other jobs. Let us break this issue further for a better understanding.
Remunerations and Qualifications
Statistics show that the average starting for hotel housekeepers has been $20,000 since the year 2013, or around $9.62 in an hour. Again, the reason behind this is the fact that no special skills or educational requirements to qualify for the job. In fact, most of the attendants just train at the job. Then only key requirement to the job is careful attention to the details and interactive skills.
The pay may also depend on the regions. For instance, in the Northeast part of the US, the attendants get the greatest wages. Recent statistics show the starting wages in New York is the highest, probably $24,000 while the lowest is in Main, around $17,000 per month. Their counterparts in the west, specifically in Hawaii and California get an average starting salary of around $13,000 to $21,000 respectively. In Louisiana and Washington, DC, the room attendants earn a starting salary of $17000 and $23,000 respectively. These are the highest and lowest beginning pay in the south. The Midwest recorded the lowest beginning salary, ranging from $15,000 in South Dakota along with Nebraska to $21,000 in Illinois, the highest.
Some Determining Factors
The high beginning salaries of room attendants in New York and California is attributed to the fact that the costs of living are quite higher there. For instance, studies that a hotel room attendant with a beginning salary of $20,000 in Columbus, Ohio will require at least $48,000 in the New York in order to retain the same standard of living. However, these figures are based on CNN’s calculator of costs of living.
How to Become a Hotel Room Attendant
As outlined in the preceding section, there is no educational requirement in this occupation. You only need to certify that you completed high school education. Personal qualifications may play significant roles in your success in this occupation. You need to pay attention to details. Use discernment because you will not be told a certain room or section needs cleaning, or rather a certain area is dirty. You need to have good interpersonal skills in order to get along with guests you attend to as well as your supervisors. Being friendly and always being willing to help colleagues are important aspects needed in this occupation. More importantly, you need to be patient and understanding because there are cases where you will be required to discharge duties at irregular hours. Besides, you must be willing to carry out some unpleasant tasks such as emptying trash, cleaning washrooms as well as other messes.
Hotel housekeeping is a very demanding job and consists of various tasks. The housekeeping department is headed by the executive housekeeper and contributes significantly towards profit making. Even though the job is so demanding, the pay relatively low compared to other occupations. This is attributed to the fact that no special skill is required for one to be successful. The wages are not constant but vary with regions.