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Anupama Deshmukh, Hospitality Trainer & Consultant

The housekeeping department is responsible for creating first as well as a lasting impression for the guests during their stay in the hotel. This can be attributed to the services which are offered by the Housekeeping staff to the guests, providing warm hospitality, comfortable rooms and also making them feel valued and special. The cleanliness and upkeep of the decor is maintained by the Housekeeping staff creating an ambience intended to leave the guest awestruck.

This powerful impact can only be possible if the Housekeeping staff is service driven from within. Since, customer service is intangible, the service professionals should possess the right attitude to ensure that the guest experiences the hospitality.

To make this experience an indelible one, there are two main aspects which should be considered by Housekeeping staff to create a positive and long-lasting impression- ‘Grooming’ and ‘Attitude’. Both these aspects are blended to project one’s personality.

Grooming forms a part of the external personality and includes personal hygiene, dressing sense, clean uniform, hairstyle and also a confident body language. Grooming displays professionalism and enhances the personality of the staff, culture of the organization and value of the company. Usually guests judge the hotel staff by their appearance and external grooming, thus forming an image of the hotel and its hospitality. This is where the first impression is created.

Going beyond the surface, the behavior suited to a passion to serve guests drives one to develop the housekeeping work profile. Attitude of an individual forms his interior personality and is composed of his thoughts, feelings and subsequent behavior. It is like a cyclic chain; if the thoughts are positive, feelings will be positive and in turn behavior will be positive. In any situation, it is the attitude which leads to the desired results. Handling an irate guest is a situation; but it is the attitude which helps a staff to view this positively or negatively. A positive thought will make the staff listen patiently to the guest and help him calm down and solve this problems while a negative thought can lead to more arguments and finally losing a valuable customer.

Thus, when the attributes of the housekeeping staff are listed down according to the job profile, it is important to develop one’s thought process so as to reflect on the right feelings and behavior on the job.

Few of the essential housekeeping attributes are:–
Pleasant personality – This is much needed as the staff faces the guests during servicing of rooms. Pleasant personality includes positive body language, a pleasant smile, professional etiquette, personal hygiene and composed verbal communication.

Physically fit – Since the work profile includes a great deal of physical work during servicing of rooms and maintaining the public areas, the staff should be absolutely fit. This is the hallmark of an individual who is self-motivated and emotionally and physically strong.

Good memory – This is important for a housekeeping staff while dealing with regular guests. A staff member who remembers a guest’s likes, dislikes, needs and wishes I s a tremendous asset to the hotel.

Eye for detail – This comes from the depth of passion for housekeeping and one’s attitude toward good observation and perfection so as to provide a flawless guestroom.

Punctuality and time management – If an employee is continually late for duty, it shows his lack of interest in the work and a lack of concern for management and guests. Respect for time during working hours will reflect in the employee’s work and help to create an impression worthy of appreciation.

Honesty, cooperation and courteousness are also a part of an individual’s core personality reflecting on his actions at work.

It is evident that both ‘Grooming’ as well as ‘Right Attitude’ are important for housekeeping staff. The dilemma arises during recruitment of the staff, when both grooming and attitude of a candidate are to be assessed – which one of the two aspects should be given more importance to?

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