Your impact on housekeeping
A housekeeping leaders’ job is not all about ensuring that room cleaning is done efficiently; It involves inspiring the team around you, setting high expectations and creating a reward system which will enable the team to remain at the highest level of motivation. It is the act of building a strong foundation and enabling a culture of constant learning and career growth. What makes me proud the most, is coming across several of my previous team members and celebrating their growth in the different sectors of the industry. Those who have now become leaders themselves, have always mentioned that their success factor was being able to work in a high standard operation where possibilities of career advancement was always open and attainable to them. Transforming the Housekeeping operations starts with transforming the ways of thinking of the team you are leading.
I have always ensured that information and knowledge flows through the whole hierarchy of the team. I work hard to expose the people to other sections of the hotel through their daily operations, which helps build their strong hospitality foundation, as opposed to keeping them entrapped within the Housekeeping mainstream function.
The challenges you faced in your housekeeping career
Through the years of my experience I have learned that one of the biggest challenges for all Housekeeping leaders is the shortage of manpower during high seasons. Having been in that situation several times, I have learned to leverage on my most valuable resource which is my people. I managed to overcome manpower challenges through the development of structured on and off the job training plans which enabled the team members to take on different sections of the housekeeping operation. By efficiently training my staff, I was able to mitigate the risk of turnover and build a succession database where I always have someone ready to take on the next vacant position. The learning environment I have empowered has made the onboarding of new joining team members or even outsourced support staff, very smooth to the extent where they adapt to the operation within the first few weeks of their employment.
Advice to fellow housekeeping professionals
It is very important to set constant challenging goals for ourselves, which will keep us motivated to grow and more importantly keep learning. In today’s fast paced environment, changes are occurring regularly. Innovations are being introduced on a daily basis in every industry. My advice to fellow housekeepers is to stay up to date with the changes, especially with the introduction of high tech practices in our functions. I also would like to point out the need to deepen their knowledge and not limit themselves to the daily housekeeping operation, yet learn more about the technicalities we are involved in and always strive to find more sustainable ways of working.
Lastly, I would advise that we always need to work together as a community and share our best practices among each other. We only move forward together.