Why every Hotels need Housekeeping department ? Explained in details

Housekeeping department is an operational department in a Hotel , which is Responsible for cleanliness, Maintenance, upkeep of rooms , public Areas and the surrounding. It is 24*7*365 operation.
Housekeeping  not only prepares, clean guest room but also clean and maintains everything in a hotel so that property is fresh, attractive and opened for business.



RESPONSIBILITIES OF H .K DEPARTMENT:-

  • Ensure high level of cleanliness and general upkeep in all areas for which department is responsible.
  • Deal with lost and found article
  • Decorate the surrounding
  • Give guest privacy
  • Establish welcoming atmosphere
  • Provide uniform for all staff and maintain inventory
  • Provide and maintain floral decorations, landscape of hotel.
  • Establish good working relationship with other departments
  • Keep the Administrator informed of all matters that required action
  • Give guest privacy.


IMPORTANCE OF H.K DEPARTMENT

A hotel survives on the sales of Room, food beverages and other minor services such as laundry , health club. Major part of hotel Revenue / margin of profit comes from Room sales which contribute more than 50% of hotel Revenue.
Similarly,the effort housekeeping department makes in giving guest  a desirable room has direct effect on guest experience in a hotel. Unless, it is decorated appropriate, air odour free , spotlessly clean, the hotel may loose the gust as potential Repeat customer. Thus, Housekeeping department contributions in big way towards overall Reputation of property.

Functions of Housekeeping department 

1. Cleaning Rooms and public areas

2. Bed making

3. laundry services

4. Pest control

5. Key control

6. Safety and security

7. Interior decoration

8. Room Maintenance

9. Guest Relations 

10. Upkeep the aesthetic appeal of the property.

Layout of Housekeeping department

Executive Housekeeper is the head of housekeeping office who reports to general manager of the hotel. The secretary assists the executive housekeeper.
(Proper layout is given in next article)

In laundry all soiled linen are washed . Generally the volume of soiled laundry is very high in big hotel. It is equipped with shelves , cupboard , hangers . There is exchange counter in laundry .
In linen and uniform room the linen of hotel are stored, collected and dispersed to various floor pantries. there is also employee exchange counter which provide uniform to staff on one to one basis I.e soiled linen for fresh . It must be cool and dry with sufficient stock of clothes.

There is also tailor shop who stick and mend /repair tear linen and uniform. A stitch in time saves nine so, stitching and sewing also helps controlling linen cost 

In linen store various linen required for housekeeping operations are stored.

Executive housekeeper is the head of head of housekeeping who reports to general manager . Administrative work of department is performed by executive housekeeper from here
Secretary assists executive housekeeper. 

Desk control room or Housekeeping control desk is operated24 hours a day . Housekeeping staffs report at the start and end the shift from there. It is the main communication centre from where co ordination is maintained with various departments.lost and found section is also located there. 

Upholstery are textiles , spring or other materials used for decorating furniture and rendering comfortable. 

In flower room , there is sink, working Tables and various flower arrangement. Normally it is air conditioned.

It is the easiest layout of housekeeping which shows different layout and section of house keeping department.



ORGANIZATION CHART OF HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENT.

The organization chart shows hierarchy and Responsibilities along with authority which is who reports to whom, who is senior , what is the duty, Responsibilities e.t c. It shows organization culture and tradition. It also shows our structure i.e how we operates and functions. 

Executive housekeeper is the head of housekeeping department with deputy Housekeeper or assistant Housekeeper below him . There are linen and uniform supervisor, desk control supervisor, floor supervisor,night supervisor, public area supervisor and horticulturist below assistant or deputy Housekeeper.


Also linen and uniform supervises tailors ,upholsters and attendants .
Floor supervisor supervises room attendant and houseman .
Public area supervisor supervises houseman and cloak room attendant. House man lifts heavy objects.
Horticulturist supervisor gardener and head gardener

Note :- the above theory is just to understand organization chart. You see there who reports to whom and who is the boss of department. Always remember executive housekeeper is the head and below him there are assistant Housekeeper and deputy Housekeeper who supervises different supervisor.those supervisor are six (floor,night,public area, horticulturist,desk control, linen and uniform)

Attributes of Housekeeping department

No matter how luxurious the decoration or how aesthetic the guestroom may be , grumpy, poorly trained and unhelpful staff can destroy potential customer satisfaction. Some personal attributes of Housekeeping are. -

1. Pleasant personality :- 

It is the result of good grooming and good presentation in front of guests. He/she should be turned out in well iron clean uniforms, aftershaves and perfumes should not be too strong . minimum jewellery and light make up is for female staff. Unclean manner like chewing gum, scratch of face hair in front of guest should be avoided

2. Physical fitness :-

House keeping us a 24*7*365 operation and staff need to work long hour on feet . similarly most works are manual and have to lift heavy Equipment also. Physical fitness is a must to cope with nature of this work.

3. Personal hygiene :-

Housekeeping staff should take bath daily, their hair must be well Combed, nail clean. Their mouth should be free of offensive odour and any infection should be reported.

4. Eye for detail :- 

House keeping department must keep eye on whole property for care and maintenance. Similarly, they are also eyes and ear of establishments.

5. Adaptability :-

Housekeeping staffs should be willing to try out and experiment different ideas.

6. Honesty :-

Housekeeping staff have direct access to guestroom . They also deal with.various kind of guest amenities which are tempting . So they should be honest 

7. Good memory :-

This is an essential asset in Housekeeping personnel . They should be able to identify regular guest , their preferences and choice .

8. Loyalty :-

Employer should be loyal to their company. A situation should never arise where employees use guest as their sounding board

9. Punctually :-

If employee is continually late for duty ,it shows lack of interest in work and lack of respect for Management and his job

10. Calmness :-

Housekeeping personnel should remain calm in various kind of emergency situation

11. Tact and diplomacy :-

Some guest make unusual complaints and demands . Sometimes guest demand services that over ride Management policies. It requires a lot of tact and diplomacy to handle such guests.


Inter- departmental coordination 

No individual Departments in any hotel can work in isolation . It is not only Housekeeping department in a hotel working towards the satisfaction of guest. The friction between the department should be minimum or not at all . The co-ordination of Housekeeping department with other departments are :- 

1. Co-ordination with front office :-

Room are chief concern to the front office and Housekeeping department. It is important to continuously exchange information on room status, list of arrival, VIP arrival of the day, expected arrival and departure for day in advance. If the guest departed before expected departure date front office should inform Housekeeping. The front office is not allowed to assign room untill the room have been cleaned, inspected and released by Housekeeping department. This two department should co-ordinate mainly for exchanging information about rooms 

2. co-ordination with Maintenance department :-

Maintenance department is mainly responsible for provision of engineering facilities that comfort guest and increase efficiency off staff. Maintenance department also provide training to save energy, resource in hotel from being wasted 

3. Co-ordination with security department :-

Co-ordination is mainly concerned with prevention of fire , thefts ,loss property, scanty baggage. Security department also give training sessions for handling emergency situation for staff 

4. Co-ordination with food and beverage department :-

The friction should not arise over matters such as waiters not collecting trays from guest room or room service staff leaving soiled trays in corridor , causing extra work through careless spills on carpet . Both restaurant and kitchen staff require clean uniform for which they need Housekeeping department.

5. Co-ordination with purchase department :-

Housekeeping should convey their requirements to purchase by two way of advance notice through purchase requisition form.

6. Co-ordination with sales and marketing:-

Two things are certain in hotel business, no matter how many guests a sale person brings in the door if Housekeeping doesn't perform his role effectively the guest will not be coming back again and no matter how well the room are if sales person do not bring potential guest to hotel, occupancy falls 

7. Co-ordination with store and laundry :-

Co-ordination with stores ensure availability of day to day necessities all the time required. Similarly, Housekeeping should co-ordinate laundry to ensure timely supply of linen.

8. Co-ordination with human resource department :-

Co-ordination is required for recruitment of staff , managing their salaries, bonus, issuing identity card , transfer, promotion, organizing training sessions.

Staffing Guide in Housekeeping

proper staffing is the most in any hotel . 
We always need 1 Executive Housekeeper for a hotel with 300 room property. 
We need 2 assistant Housekeeping manager which we need 1 per morning and 1 per evening.
Floor supervisor are needed 2 per 60 room for morning shift , 1 for evening shift .
Linen uniform room supervisor we need 1
Room attendant 1 per 16 room
Now if I have hotel with 300 rooms and standard time to clean each room is 20 minutes ( my attendants efficiency)

At 100 % occupancy, room to clean tomorrow will be 300 * 1 = 300

Our GRA works 8 hours day and take 20 minutes to complete 1 room 

In 8 hours there are 60*8 = 480 minutes 

So 480/20 will be number of room cleans by 1 GRA in 1 day which will be 24 rooms

Now to complete 300 room if 1 GRA Attends 24 room , 300/24 = 12 GRA are needed.

We can schedule 12 + 3 GRA = 15 The next day , +3 is my rule of thumb for smooth operation. 

Let's take another example,

If my hotel total room are 200 and it is at 50% occupancy . My employee work 8 hours a day and take 30 minutes to clean 1 room.

For next day, room to clean will be 100
My employee works 8 hour = 8 * 60 = 480 minutes.

His efficiency is 30 minutes so in 480 minutes, he can clean 480/30 of room 

It will be 16 rooms in day.
For cleaning 100 room , 100/16 = 6. 25

Assuming round figure and rule of thumb , 6 + 2 = 8 full time staff can finish. 


Please refer my other articles for more about housekeeping department and various departments.





































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