A hotel has various departments like front office, food and beverage service, housekeeping, food production etc. These departments are important as they help in smooth functioning of a hotel. The housekeeping department plays an important role in order to successfully run a hotel.
The housekeeping department is responsible for cleaning and maintaining hotel premises, which include public area, guest rooms, lobby, swimming pool area etc. Generally this department is not visible to the guest. It works for guest satisfaction by keeping the environment clean and hygiene. Good standards plays an important role in the reputation of the hotels.
One feels comfortable only in the environment, which is clean and well ordered, so cleanliness is important for health foremost also for well being. Horticulture is an important feature of the housekeeping department, which deals with different types of flower arrangement and maintaining the garden. Accommodation in hotels happens to be the largest part of the hotel, which is a revenue generating department. The housekeeping department takes care of all rooms and is often the largest department in hotels.
Importance of Housekeeping Department
In hotels, a major part of the revenue comes from rooms. Rooms, which is not sold on any night, loses revenue forever and the reason for poor occupancy can be anything like hygiene factor, cleanliness, lack of modernising etc. Hence, the main purpose is to improve the whole appeal of the room. A guest spends more time alone in his room than any other part of the hotel. These days people are health conscious and won’t mind keeping a tab on the cleanliness of the room.
The guest may keep a check on how dusting is done, about in-depth cleaning and loses confidence if not done properly. For example, if drawers are not cleaned properly, guests may abstain from placing clothes in them. Decent room supplies are services like quick laundry and dry cleaning, which shows that the hotel is considering about the comfort level and hence a guest can judge a lot about the property. Besides, cleanliness in lobby area, public area, restaurants, cloakrooms, are also taken into account by the guest.
The employees in the housekeeping department are not only well-versed with their jobs, but also good at multi-tasking. Besides, the main housekeeping operations, they take care of horticulture, laundry operations, interiors, quality control, cost control and even in some extent play the role of ‘guest relation executives’, thus ensuring the comfort and satisfaction of guests. Today, most complaints are forwarded to the chief housekeeper and sorted out with the housekeeping staff. Only major complaints reach the front office/general managers. Apart from this, the housekeeping department also purchase exclusive items for special occasions. In many hotels, housekeeping department also assist the sales team to generate revenue. Today’s housekeeping department has experience, skill as well as knowledge to run the Rooms Division. Therefore, the department’s main role in every organisation is to preserve the building decor, its interior, fabrics and furniture.
The housekeeping department also employs R&D for the betterment of the company. In addition, the department also plays the role of HRD managers for their staff, in order to solve individual grievances/operational problems within the concerned department, before the matter gets out of hand. This is because a good housekeeping department always consider their staff as assets of the organisation. So, we can say that today, the housekeeping department’s purpose is not only to clean the rooms, but also to perform various duties within the organisation, without which a hotel is incomplete.
The author of the article is Hemant Kumar Kochar, Director, Madhuban Academy of Hospitality Administration and Research