Organization is the key to a hotel housekeeping team’s success. When inventory is correct, clutter is eliminated, supplies are easily obtained and reachable on their cart, the possibility of quickly moving through cleaning assigned guest rooms and even helping out a teammate open up. A housekeeping team that is organized and efficient will be ready for those huge influxes of guests when flights are cancelled or the weather suddenly changes. Discover these 5 Steps to Organization in Hotel Housekeeping Management.
A place for everything…
The purpose of organization is to be able to find, exchange, and evaluate items quickly. How would you like it if your monthly inventory took half as much time? How would you like to reduce your minutes per room? What would you possibly do with all that extra time – Pedicure? Massage? Just relax? The options are endless. The answer is all within “Organization”.
- Housekeeping carts - Are the housekeeping carts organized? Does everything have a place? Do they look professional? As housekeeping managers are inspecting rooms, they should conduct a housekeeping cart inspection. Create a contest to see who can keep their cart organized and clean the longest. Reward those who pass inspection with a gift card or item from the gift shop.
- Storage Rooms – How much time is wasted by housekeeping staff due to disorganized storage rooms? Do the housekeepers or managers know what is in the storage rooms? Don’t save old coffee makers that don’t work or phone books from last year. Best practice is to clean out storage closets quarterly. If it has not been used it in a quarter, you probably do not need it.
- Office – Even though the Housekeeping Manager is not always allotted a corner office with a window, it doesn’t mean it can’t be organized. The sole purpose of a Housekeeping office is not to store lost and found for the past 10 years or hold even more coffee makers that don’t work. A cluttered office means a cluttered mind. Housekeeping managers should have organized storage shelves or cabinets for items that they need close at hand or that are more valuable. But don’t horde. Let go of what is broken, not needed or does not have a purpose.
Good planning = less surprises
How do the housekeeping manager and staff keep track of VIP future arrivals? How do overnight laundry attendants or PM public attendants communicate with the team? Ensure online apps, communications logs or planners are organized for maximum efficiency. Do they have pre-printed dates on top and a page for each day? Don’t skimp here. Manage your deadlines and meetings – an online calendar is your friend. Be it Outlook, Google, or the one in your phone - calendar everything.
Making a list…
Lists and checklists are only as good as what is put on it and what is crossed off of it. If they are not going to be used or checked - it won’t work for a Housekeeping Manager or their team. Lists are about accountability.
Who should have one?
Are checklists utilized for inspection of Public Spaces or Laundry Attendant tasks? If so, does it have times for when the tasks should be completed? Where are they stored when completed? Review all shift checklists quarterly to make sure they are current and applicable.
Make a list for the day
The daily list should never be more than 5 items long or it is a set up for failure. Starting the list can be daunting; when determining the list start by deciding what will have the most impact and start there. What has been committed to complete to or for another person? If it can’t be completed, they should be made aware as soon as possible and then move on to the next priority. Successful Housekeeping Managers make a list for the week, month and life. Getting organized is all about priorities.
Keep to a schedule
Are department schedules made two weeks out? Of course schedules change based on occupancy, but think about creating schedules two weeks out versus one week out so the team can plan ahead. It can always change it if occupancy increases or decreases.
When completing shift checklist add times to when items are to be complete in assisting team members’ abilities to manage their time.
Delegate, delegate, delegate
Most tasks are better complete than set aside to be completed perfectly. Delegating is an exceptional tool for the manager and the staff members. It teaches staff not only how to do complete the tasks, but also how to address related problems. There are team members in every hotel that want to learn, grow and help. Let them shine – let them help you shine.
Not just on vibrate
Even when a cell phone is on vibrate mode or quiet it is a distraction. Productive people take time away from their phones during the day. Try it when completing the schedule for the following week or doing monthly inventory. Tasks will be accomplished much quicker. This is especially true for tasks that may not be a favorite one.
Disorganization is often the result of failing to decide what to do about, or with something. Start making decisions about little things and soon you will find yourself more confident about taking more action – Try it today!
No more pop ups
We are all susceptible to distractions – big or small. When working on a project or task, what do your eyes do when an e-mail notification flashes on the screen? You know you should finish what you are doing but now you are distracted and stop what you are doing to read the e-mail. It is the same theory as to why we all slow down to look at an accident – we are human. To stop this go into your outlook options, mail, message arrival, unclick next to show desktop alert and all options.
No desktop clock
Have you ever wondered why there are no clocks in casinos in Las Vegas? It is because they don’t want you to focus on the time, they want you to focus on the task at hand (losing money ?). The same rule applies to your desktop. We all have plenty of clocks in our offices; between our cell phone, office phone and clock usually on the wall we are aware of the time. When overwhelmed it feels as if the illuminated clock on the desk top as if it is mocking you. You are thinking “Is that really the time”, “What do I have left to do”, “How am I going to finish everything”. Guess what? You just wasted 5 – 10 minutes looking at a clock, and thinking about what you are not getting done vs actually getting it done. To remove this distraction right click or click (based on your version) on your tool bar, click on customize, turn systems on or off, and change option next to clock to off.
Just shut the door
“I have an open door policy” that makes a good manager right??? Technically WRONG. An open door policy means you are available for team member’s questions or concerns based on your schedule. It doesn’t mean you keep your door open at all times. If you count the amount of times you are distracted a day with people just popping their head in to say hi. Those pop-ins average 10 – 15 minutes each time. Manage your office door like you manage your calendar.