News Source: chron.com
Housekeeping Functions in the Hospitality Industry
News Source/Courtesy: chron.com

Courtesy: Karen Famen | News Source: work.chron.com

Excellent housekeeping is essential to the hospitality industry, even though the work is usually considered mundane. In hotels and on cruise ships, for example, strict cleanliness is the expected standard, and only shortcomings attract attention. In addition to the actual physical cleaning, the housekeeping department performs other important functions, such as scheduling and planning. Some housekeeping supervisors eventually advance to hospitality management, especially with college training.

Basic Functions

The primary function of the housekeeping department is keeping the venue clean and sanitary as part of customer service. Maids and cleaners vacuum rugs and furniture in hallways, rooms and public areas. They collect trash and empty wastebaskets, change the sheets and make the beds. The refill soap and toilet paper dispensers in public restrooms and put toiletries and supplies in guest rooms. They dust and polish furniture. In some hotels, they bring requested items, such as infant cribs, to guest rooms. These hands-on tasks fall to the actual cleaning staff.

Supervisory Functions

The work of organizing and coordinating the cleaning falls to the first-line supervisors and housekeeping managers in a hospitality business. They determine which rooms or areas must be cleaned, make the job schedule, assign tasks and check the work. Scheduling often requires coordinating tasks with other hotel departments and activities to avoid disrupting other services. Supervisors also make sure housekeeping equipment, such as vacuum cleaners and floor polishers, is properly maintained. When they receive complaints, they investigate the issues and see that problems are taken care of.

Management Functions

Housekeeping management functions belong to higher-level supervisors or managers, depending on the size of the hotel or operation. Workers fulfilling this role need skills in supervision, procurement, budgeting and problem-solving. For example, managers set the housekeeping standards and oversee the training of new hires. Conducting in-service sessions, they teach company policies and the correct use of equipment. Managers track the inventory of supplies, keep payroll records, maintain the department budget and prepare expense and occupancy reports. They help keep worker morale high and ensure that safety procedures are obeyed.

Job Requirements

Entry-level housekeepers typically learn by helping an experienced worker. Although they need to be in decent physical condition, no formal education is necessary. First-line supervisors usually need at least a high school diploma and experience in housekeeping. At the level of manager, you'll typically need experience as a housekeeping supervisor plus knowledge of office computer software. Although not always required, college training gives you an edge for promotions. Bachelor's degrees in hospitality management are available, and the International Executive Housekeepers Association certifies applicants who meet its education requirements.

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News Source: chron.com

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