By Javier del Sol, Program Manager and Lecturer in Revenue Management and Rooms Division Management at Les Roches (adapted from article published in Hospitality News Middle East, July 2015).
- In a busy hotel environment, can sustainable housekeeping practices be combined successfully with efficiency?
Yes, with limitations. Research shows that environmentally sustainable measures, though still underdeveloped, have the potential to improve housekeeping performance, whilst creating a significant reduction in energy and water consumption and waste generation. These actions need to be supported by the implementation of an environmental plan including appropriate guidelines, policies and training established by the hotel’s management
- What technology and housekeeping solutions can we expect to see in the future?
Currently, rather than the emergence of new products we are seeing further development and redesign of existing products. The traditional housekeeping carts are still being improved in terms of usability and safety; washing and drying machines process heavier loads whilst using less water and energy. There is increasing use of mobile and tablet solutions specifically developed for housekeeping purposes
- Notorious for high staff turnover, how can the industry increase the retention of housekeepers?
One way of improving staff retention is ensuring the quality of supervision by managing staff members more positively: instead of looking for mistakes, supervisors should focus on constant improvement and support.
Last year, Marriot International joined ‘The Envelope Please’ initiative, designed to encourage and enable hotel guests to express their gratitude by leaving tips and notes of thanks in the designated envelopes provided within their rooms for hotel room attendants
- How important is on-going training?
Further education is crucial. Attending professional training allows staff members to refresh their knowledge and improve their performance. It is a tool to motivate staff, reduce absenteeism and accidents, generate more contact and communication within and across departments and increase staff involvement and participation when working together to improve standards.