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Hiring |Training | Developing |

The success of your department depends on your associates. The success of your associates depends on you.

 

Housekeeping job, especially Room Attendant is not only physically demanding but also requires attention to details, dedication, and reliability.

 

It is not always possible to find an employee who has experience, skills and is reliable.

Interviewing and selecting employees with no previous housekeeping experience is time-consuming, but it will pay you in a long run. Often I see that the Room Attendant role is being diminished and anyone is considered a good candidate as long as needs a job. Well, that’s mistake number one. Room Attendant is an extremely important position that requires a lot of different skills. When hiring a new candidate whether with experience or not make sure you have department specific training which is customized to your property and brand.

It all starts with Interviewing

 

Because of the job specifics your interview (especially with no experience) need to focus not only if this candidate will be good for the job, but also if the job is what candidate is expecting. This way, you can ensure employee doesn’t leave you halfway in training, discovering that this is not something he/she expected. Spend enough time on discussing what position entails and what expectations are. If your Company rules permit and when you have a candidate that you really liked, take a tour on the floors. Show everything in action, especially for the candidates without experience. Use a lot of situational questions, describing situation and having candidate explain what actions he/she will take.  This will help you understand thought process and picture what actions candidate will take in certain situations.

 

Training and Development

 

How employee starts will affect how an employee performs later. This is a perfect time to explain all rules, policies and operational standards. It is much easier to set everything the way you want from the beginning rather than changing when bad habits have developed. Make sure employee has a clear understanding of what is expected from him/her.

We all as a human have the same needs. We need to feel special, we need to have goals to achieve, we need to feel that we contribute; we need to feel that we impact. Having a job is not enough for our spiritual fulfillment. Therefore, to have a successful and dedicated team it is necessary to focus on motivational aspects, teambuilding, personal development and not only on technical parts of the job.

Here are few key points when it comes to training and development:

 

  • Develop a training plan. Your training plan should include and cover all areas of the hotel and explain Brand specifics. The most important part is not to develop a plan but consistently check on the plan. It will take you a few minutes to ask an employee. “Where are you at with this?” Small quizzes are extremely effective as they develop motivation and build interest.

 

  • Conduct one on ones. As much as busy your day is, find time to have a few minutes one on one with your associate. Ask how everything is going, share information, share Brand news and updates. Remember, we all want to work towards bigger goals. Use this time to share your hotel performance vs. goal, cleanliness performance and score, department related news and updates. These sessions are extremely effective as they are motivational for employee and uncover the importance of Room Attendants job. On the other hand, ensure to check how an employee is doing, what challenges are there and what can be done to improve. This way, you will learn about issues in your department before they become problems.

 

  • Ongoing training is one of the most forgotten items. It has been so many times when an employee who has been on the property for over 10 years shows declining performance and when Manager asked what training or actions are being taken, the response is:”Oh, this person has been here for over 10 years”. Here are the few issues with this: First we always need to look for ways to improve, so it is sad that what employee has been doing 10 years ago is still continue doing. Two, it tells me there is no refresher training, which is the main reason for declining performance. Your refresher training should not be 2-3 hours long. It is enough short, ongoing sessions while doing room inspections. For example, if you inspected the room and found a few incorrect items, invite room attendant back and review those things together. This will be more effective than classroom training. Next time, while cleaning the room it will trigger a situation in the memory and prompt to take an action. Another form of effective training is when you observe room attendant cleaning the room. Review cleaning process and routine. I can promise, you will be surprised to discover how many things will need to be corrected. Mainly, I am seeing that Room Attendants make too many rounds in the room, too many returns to cart (which is time consuming), cleaning sequence is not being obeyed, chemicals are not being used properly (not leaving enough to absorb and start working but rather putting on and wiping off). These points all affect room cleanliness and can be prevented with proper training.

 

  • Don’t just say what needs to be done, ensure to take time and explain why what you are asking is important. Your daily stand up meetings are good time for it. Share guest surveys, share department progress, bring report from last night and discuss all Housekeeping related issues and explain how much compensation was issued to guest due to errors on housekeeping side.  Ensure, your team feels involved and clearly understands how what they do impacts hotels performance.

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