Housekeeping is an important aspect of running a hotel business. Regardless of the hotel category, a clean, hygienic and fresh atmosphere sends a strong message to customers. The field presents diverse career opportunities.
Today, housekeeping units are adept at multitasking. This department is accountable for cleaning and maintaining the hotel building and premises, including the common areas, guest rooms, swimming pool, and so on. Besides main housekeeping duties, they also take care of gardening, laundry operations, superiority control, cost control and sometimes even guest relations. Apart from this, the section also handles procurement of items. In many hotels, the housekeeping division also helps the sales team in revenue generation.
Hotel housekeeping requires a wide range of skills from emptying trash, cleaning windows and bed-making, to ironing and laundering towels and sheets, and cleaning rooms. Hotels train their staff in specific cleaning methods. This includes making beds in a particular standard, cleaning bathrooms using specific products, folding laundry to meet a set of criteria and so on.
Housekeepers are required to use tools such as vacuum cleaners and mops, while also ensuring that they store cleaning carts with sufficient materials. Room setting is an important aspect of housekeeping, and these special touches are vital in setting a hotel apart from others. Washing, folding, ironing and dry cleaning hundreds of sheets, towels and clothes carefully, on a daily basis, is another aspect of the job. Housekeepers are also required to equip themselves with communication skills to aid in their interaction with guests. Students of hotel management can pick up these skills during their course.
To be successful, undergo hands-on training with valid certification and develop and maintain physical aptitude and strength. Keep in mind that hotels prefer experienced candidates since guest satisfaction is a crucial aspect of hospitality.
Admission to courses in housekeeping is merit-based or exam-based. Some institutes conduct entry-level exams to assess communication skills, personal skills, and so on.
After course completion, students could get opportunities in hotels, resorts, tour and travel agencies, restaurants, lodges and guest houses in roles such as laundryman, linen keeper, tailor, laundry master, executive housekeeper, associate housekeeping manager and so on.
The writer is Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Director of CEDP Skill Institute, Mumbai.