7 Hotel Jobs Housekeepers are Qualified to Advance Into
Time for a clean sweep?
If your job is to service the heart of a hotel – its rooms – the time may come when moving up in to a higher-level position or in to another department is in order.
At Hyatt Corporation for example, “A person would start as a room attendant for the first two or three years, and following that, could apply to become a management trainee or an assistant housekeeping manager. After five in to this career path, one could move up to housekeeping manager. With seven or eight years under the belt, that person could become an associate director of rooms or director of housekeeping,” says Diego Bufquin, Ph.D., CHE, CHIA, assistant professor at Rosen College of Hospitality Management at the University of Central Florida.
In order to rise up the ranks, “You have to be able to motivate others in housekeeping roles, who are often paid pretty low wages. Housekeepers may clean an average of fourteen rooms daily – it’s very physical, demanding work. Also, if you’re not rigorous, your operations will not meet the standards required by hotel management or owners. It’s a challenging department. If you don’t have a clean hotel, customers will not rate it highly,” says Bufquin.
Learn more about advanced options along this career path, as well as transitioning skills to other hotel departments:
1. Assistant Housekeeping Manager
The entire housekeeping department operations fall under this staffer’s domain, including managing the housekeeping staff, maintaining budget figures on labor, expenses, and training programs. Additional duties can cover choosing vendors who provide product with fiscal consideration, ordering cleaning supplies under budget, fielding and responding to guest housekeeping issues, overseeing lost and found items, evaluating staff performance, performing quality checks on all rooms and coordinating maintenance requests with appropriate departments. In this position, project management skills are essential, as are basic computer skills, communication skills and knowledge of the industry.
2. Director of Housekeeping
“Luxury properties or larger ones with more than 500 rooms employ directors of housekeeping,” says Dr. Bufquin. In this advanced professional role, one stays on top of the quality of customer service in the Housekeeping department, handles and resolves complaints in a timely fashion. The financial and operational objectives for this department fall under this position, as do budget development and profit and loss analysis. Depending on guest count, such administrative folks determine staffing requirements, as well as for special events, and assigns and re-organizes staff to meet needs. Performance evaluation are a part of this job, as are training, terminations, and disciplinary action. Following organization policies and procedures is key, as is connecting with hotel management regularly on any concerns relating to guest satisfaction, safety or other.
3. Housekeeping Manager
For smaller hotels with roughly 150 rooms or less, Housekeeping Managers are responsible for daily housekeeping operations, which entails ensuring cleanliness and servicing guest rooms and public spaces such as the hotel lobby, conference/banquet rooms and restrooms. Room inspections are part of this job, as is the recruiting, interviewing and training of staff. Ongoing evaluations, supervision and reward and recognition initiatives are key obligations as well.
4. Executive Housekeeper
Executive Housekeepers are supervisors who motivate their staff and coach and train employees in housekeeping, public space and laundry departments. The buck stops with these folks when customers file cleanliness complaints. And all daily work assignment schedules are coordinated by such workers. In addition, they order all housekeeping and guest room supplies and must also periodically inspect guest rooms and public spaces for cleanliness compliance. Budget management and financial planning also fall under this job description.
5. Assistant Laundry Manager
Laundry employees focus on taking care of bedsheets, tablecloths, and employee uniforms, says Bufquin. “You can start as a laundry attendant and work up to laundry manager,” he says. They supervise the laundry department operations for efficient delivery of all guest room, food, beverage and pool linens to the hotel. They stay on top of inventories of all linen and terry products, generate reports on their usage and on employee and equipment productivity. They interview, train and advise personnel in this department, evaluate employee performance and determine areas for improvement.
6. Public area attendant/manager
Housekeeping departments also need managers to focus on public areas of a hotel. Employees can start out as an attendant and work their way up to a management role. Much of this work takes place at night, while guests sleep, says Bufquin. “The cleanliness of the lobby, public rest rooms, front desk area, management areas, game rooms, exercise spaces, pool and spa areas and meeting and food service areas fall under the responsibility of folks in this role.”
7. Front desk assistant manager
“I’ve seen a lot of college graduates start in housekeeping, work a few years and transfer to the front desk area,” says Bufquin. They basically learn on the job or are trained on what these agents do on a daily basis. It’s this person’s job to make sure front desk employees fulfill their job functions to expectations. Resolving customer complaints or problems in a timely manner are also part of this role. Tracking and recording the results of all incentive and up-sell strategies is another task, as is maximizing sales through such tactics and analyzing pricing structures to attain the highest possible average room rate.