Housekeeping can seem like a repetitive, monotonous job, yet its major components can make or break the guest’s impression of the property, while the minor touches can earn a guest’s loyalty. While the primary job of actually cleaning and tidying up a room is delegated to a room attendant, the final responsibility of providing the guest with a spic, span, comfortable and welcoming room is that of the housekeeping supervisor, who has to oversee the work of all the room attendants under his/her charge, detect lacunae as well as find solutions for the same. In the span of just nine hours, it is incumbent upon a housekeeping supervisor to ensure that all the hotel rooms in his/her section are cleaned, restocked and made ready for the next guest, no matter what condition they were left in by the previous guest. The supervisor gets a very small time window to ensure the same, and also have to cater to special requests. For a behind-the-scenes insight into how these multitasking professionals achieve their goals, Ruvini Ranasooriya, Consultant- Housekeeping, Sri Lanka details how she goes about her typical morning shift:
7am: The day begins
• Check and prepare the task distribution sheet for room attendants and supervisors with the desk attendant.
• Check the logbook, and the weekly/monthly planner.
• Note down the mini-bar and guest laundry targets per attendant, and the attendants who have achieved the targets or done better.
• Estimate total workload and the number of staff required for the day.
• Prepare the task distributions sheet by prioritizing rooms that need to be cleaned first.
• Keep the key register ready to hand over the keys and task distribution sheets to the team members.
• Be ready for the room attendants briefing, which includes current occupancy, total number of departures & arrivals, VIP guests, compliments/complaints, special promotions, previous day’s productivity, previous day’s ‘delayed’ rooms and guest waiting times, mini-bar and guest laundry targets, room and linen costs.
7:30am: Team briefing
• The supervisor or the desk attendant distributes the task distribution sheet with the housekeeper’s report and the floor master key, and obtains signatures of room attendants and supervisors. The supervisor solves all doubts.
• Compliments/complaints from the day before are discussed, as well how they have be repeated/ prevented from happening again.
• Appreciate team members who have achieved/exceeded previous day’s targets.
8am: Room inspections begin
• The supervisor tours his section to look for cleanliness and maintenance defects in corridors, and checks for DND signs, makeup- my-room boards or laundry collection boards hanging on the door knobs, and notes them down.
• If an express laundry service is required, the room attendant is alerted to hand over the guest laundry to the linen room immediately.
• Problems noticed in public areas lead to job orders raised for the engineering department.
• Check with the kitchen or room service department for VIP amenities.
• Check that the baby cots and extra beds are in good enough condition to deliver to rooms before the guest arrives.
• Check with the desk attendants about which rooms have been cleaned, and release the vacant ones after inspection to new arrivals.
• Inspect a minimum of 10 rooms every hour, and 50-60 rooms in each shift. Enter starting and ending time of each inspection via room phone for each room. • Check the progress of deep cleaning rooms. Identify areas that need more attention.
• When a checkout message is received, quickly inform the room attendant and make sure that cleaning begins immediately. If the room attendant is unable to start cleaning that room within 20 minutes, arrange another room attendant to clean it.
• Regularly check the room status and compare with schedule to determine whether work is on time or behind time. In the latter case, take immediate action and personally help the attendants who are lagging.