Tuesday, September 1, 2009

housekeeping notes for tomrws test

Organizational Structure of the Housekeeping Department
Organization is the process of identifying and grouping the work to be performed, defining and
delegating responsibility and authority, and establishing relationships for the purpose of enabling
people to work more effectively in accomplishing objectives. If the whole establishment has to
work as one unit, it is important that there are clear lines of authority and good lines of
communication. The organizational structure of a housekeeping department – whether in a small,
medium, or large hotel – is depicted using an organization chart. An organization chart is a
schematic representation of the relationships between positions within an establishment, showing
where each position fits into the overall organization and illustrating the divisions of
responsibility and lines of authority.
The housekeeping department in a hotel is headed by the executive housekeeper. She/he reports
to the general manager, or to the resident manager, or the rooms division manager in a larger
hotel. In the case of a chain of hotels, the executive housekeeper also reports to the director of
housekeeping, who heads the housekeeping departments in all the hotels of that chain. The
deputy housekeeper assists the executive housekeeper and, depending on the size of the property,
there can also be assistant housekeepers who look after the various areas of responsibility in the
hotel, that is, floors, public areas, the linen room, and desk control.
Then there are supervisors in each of these sections, who report to the respective assistant
housekeepers. The floor and public area supervisors are responsible for getting the guestrooms
and public areas, the linen room, and desk control.
Then there are supervisors in each of these sections, who report to the respective assistant
housekeepers. The floor and public area supervisors are responsible for getting the guestrooms
and public areas cleaned. The linen room supervisor is responsible for coordinating all the
housekeeping activities and liaising with the other departments of the hotel. Attendants and
housepersons (also referred to as housemen) departments of the hotel. Attendants and
housepersons (also referred to as housemen) report to the supervisors.
The horticulturist has gardeners reporting to him/her. He/she reports to the executive
housekeeper. Normally, this area is framed out on contract.
Fig. 2.1 (a) Organization chart of housekeeping department in a small hotel
The laundry manager also reports to the executive housekeeper. He has laundry workers
reporting to him. Laundry may also be given out on contract.
The organizational structure varies to some extent with different hotels. Therefore,
organization charts are presented here for small (Figure 2.1), medium-sized (Figure 2.2), and
large (Figure 2.3) hotels.
Housekeeper
Housekeeping supervisor
Linen room attendant
Helpers
Head room attendant
Room attendants
Housepersons
Head houseperson‐public area
Housepersons
Fig. 2.1 (a) Organization chart of a housekeeping department in a small-sized hotel
Fig 2.2 (a) Organization chart of a housekeeping department in a medium-sized hotel
Executive housekeeper
Room and public area supervisor
Attendants/houseperson
Desk and linen room supervisor
Linen and uniform
attendant
Tailors
Executive
Housekeeper
Linen room
supervisor
Seamstress
Floor
housekeeper
Maids Housepersons
Public area
housekeeper
Maids Housepersons
Night
Houseckeeper
Night Maids
Fig. 2.2 (b) Organization chart of a housekeeping in a medium-sized hotel
Executive
Housekeeper
Assistant
Housekeeper
Floor supervisor
Room
attendants
Housepersons
Public area
supervisor
Cloak room
attendants
Housekeepers
Linen room
supervisor
Linen and
uniform
attendants
Tailors
Desk control
supervisor
Fig. 2.3 (a) Organization chart of the housekeeping department in a large hotel
Director of
housekeeping
Executive
housekeeper
Deputy
housekeeper
Assistant
housekeeper
Floor
supervisor
Room
attendants
Housepersons
Public area
supervisor
Cloak room
attendants
Housepersons
Linen room
supervisor
Linen and
uniform room
attendants
Tailors
Control room
attendant
Laundry
manager
Laundry
supervisor
Pressmen and
washers
Fig. 2.3 (b) Organization chart of a housekeeping department in a large hotel
HOUSEKEEPING PERSONNEL
Housekeeping staff can be divided into three categories:
Managerial Executive housekeeper, head housekeeper.
Supervisor Assistant housekeeper, floor housekeeper, linen room supervisor, public area
supervisor, and so on.
Unskilled Room attendants, housepersons, cloakroom attendants etc.
Executive
housekeeper
Assistant
housekeeper
Linen/uniform
supervisor
Tailor
Upholsterers
Attendants/
maids
Storekeepers
Runners/
valets
Desk control
supervisor
Floor
supervisor
Room
Attendants/
Room maids
Housepersons
Night
supervisor
Night room
Attendants/maids
Public area
supervisor
Head
housepersons
Headpersons
Cloak room
attendant
Horticulturist
Head
gardener
Gardeners
Florist
Assistant
florists
Executive Housekeeper/Director of Housekeeping
The executive housekeepers reports to the general manager, or the resident manager, or
the rooms division manager. She is responsible and accountable for the total cleanliness
and aesthetic upkeep of the hotel. She supervises all housekeeping employees, has the
authority to hire or discharge subordinates, plans and assigns work assignments, informs
new employees of property regulations, inspects completed assignments, and requisition
supplies.
Duties and responsibilities The executive housekeeper is expected to
• Organize, supervise, and coordinate the work of housekeeping personnel on a day
– to – day basis.
• Ensure excellence in housekeeping sanitation, safety, comfort and aesthetics for
hotel guests.
• Draw up duty rosters and supervise the discipline and conduct of her staff.
• Assure proper communication within the department by conducting regular
meetings with all personnel.
• Hire new employees, warn employees when hotel policies are violated, and
discharge employees when necessary.
• Counsel employees on various duties and on work-related issues.
• Motivate her staff and keep their morale high.
• Establish and maintain standard operating procedures for cleaning and to initiate
new procedures to increase the efficiency of labour and product use.
• Search constantly for and test new techniques and products.
• Maintain an inventory of the furniture, linen and movable equipment in the rooms
and related premises and to ensure they are regularly checked.
• Organize maintenance and repair of guestrooms.
• Deal with articles that a guest may have left behind in a room.
• Ensure the provision of proper uniforms for the hotel staff.
• Ensure observance of hygiene and safety precautions.
• Offer suggestions to human resource department concerning selection
recruitment, replacement, duty alterations, upgradation, and so on.
• Evaluate employees in order to upgrade them when openings arise.
• Organize and supervise on-the-job and off-the-job training of staff.
• Liaise between the maintenance and housekeeping departments.
• Inspect and approve all supply requisitions for the housekeeping department, and
to maintain par stock, inventory control, and cost-control procedures for all
materials.
• Check the reports filed and registers maintained.
• Maintain a time logbook for all employees within the department.
• Be responsible for the redecoration and refurbishing of rooms, lobbies and so on.
• Provide a budget to the management, and undertake budget control and
forecasting.
Deputy Housekeeper
The deputy housekeeper reports to the executive housekeeper or the director of
housekeeping. Large hotels may have a deputy housekeeper to whom the assistant
housekeepers report. In smaller hotels, there may be either an assistant housekeeper or a
deputy housekeeper reporting to the executive housekeeper.
Duties and responsibilities The deputy housekeeper is expected to
• Check and ensure that all guestrooms, public areas, and ‘back-of-the-house’ areas
are clean and well maintained.
• Inspect the work done by contractors- for example, pest control, laundry, window
cleaning, and so on.
• Prepare staff schedules and duty rotas.
• Ensure periodical stock-taking and maintaining of stock records for linen,
uniforms and equipment.
• Provide the necessary information to and assist the executive officer in staff
appraisal, disciplining, termination and promotion.
• Develop and implement training programmes within the housekeeping department
in consultation with the executive housekeeper.
• Assist the executive housekeeper in forecasting and budgeting for operating and
capital expenditures.
• Take charge of the housekeeping department in the absence of the executive
housekeeper.
Assistant Housekeeper/ Housekeeping Manager
The assistant housekeeper usually reports to the executive housekeeper. In hotels where
an additional senior position of deputy housekeeper exists, the assistant housekeepers
may report to the deputy housekeeper. Generally hotels employ one assistant
housekeeper per 50-60 rooms. There may be just one assistant housekeeper under the
executive housekeeper in a medium sized hotel or one for each shift in a large hotel. In
large hotels the responsibilities for the floors, public areas, linen room, and control
room are divided among assistant housekeepers. Essentially, the assistant housekeep
manages the resources provided by the executive housekeeper to achieve the objectives
of cleanliness, maintenance, and attractiveness during a given shift. His/her
responsibility involves the daily supervision of specific areas within the hotel. In the
absence of the deputy housekeeper, all the above- mentioned duties and responsibilities
are taken over by the assistant housekeeper.
Duties and responsibilities The assistant housekeeper is expected to
• Be responsible for the efficient and orderly management of cleaning, servicing,
and repairing guest rooms.
• Be responsible for the hotel linen and check its movements and its distribution to
room attendants.
• Keep an inventory of all housekeeping supplies and check it regularly.
• Assist the room attendants in their work.
• Provide the front office with a list of rooms ready for allotment to guests.
• Organize the flower arrangements.
• Arrange the training of staff and substitute for the executive housekeeper in case
of his/her absence.
• Update record books, registers, and files.
• Compile the maids’ roster.
• Check the VIP and OOO ( out-of order) rooms.
Floor Housekeepers/ Floor Supervisors
The floor housekeeper reports to the assistant housekeeper and executive housekeeper.
Floor housekeepers have final responsibility for the condition of the guestrooms. Each
floor housekeeper is assigned three or more floors. She gives the room attendants their
room assignments and floor master keys, which are returned at the end of the day. She
checks, supervises, and approves the attendants’ work and makes periodical inspection of
the physical condition of all rooms on the floor.
Duties and responsibilities The floor housekeeper is expected to
• Supervise the handing over of soiled linen to the laundry and the requisitioning of
fresh ones from housekeeping
• Ensure supple of equipment and maintenance and cleaning supplies to floors and
public areas.
• Issue floor keys to room attendants
• Supervise spring cleaning
• Report on maintenance work on her floor
• Coordinate with room service for cleaning.
• Maintain par stock for the respective floors.
• Coordinate with the front office manager.
• Facilitate the provision of extra services to guests, such as baby sitters, hot water
bottles, and so on, on request.
• Immediately report on any safety or security hazard to the security department or
to the management.
• Check on scanty baggage.
• Prepare housekeeping status reports.
• Supervise cleaning on the allotted floors and areas – including guestrooms,
corridors, staircases, and floor pantries of allotted floors.
• Report on standards of individual staff performance.
Public Area Supervisors
The public area supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. Public areas are the ‘front
of the house’ areas such as the entrance, lobby, guest corridors, and so on. Since much of
the public-area cleaning is done in the night, good coordination with the night supervisor
is essential in this role.
Duties and responsibilities The Public area supervisor is expected to
• Ensure that all public areas and other functional areas are kept clean at all times.
• Organize special cleaning of public areas.
• Ensure that all maintenance jobs are attended to in coordination with the
maintenance department.
• Ensure that flower arrangements are placed in appropriate places in public areas.
• Ensure that banquet halls and conference halls are kept ready for functions and
conferences.
Night Supervisor
The night supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. He supervises all night staff
engaged in the cleaning of public areas and guestrooms in the hotels.
Duties and responsibilities The night supervisor is expected to
• Ensure that all public areas are thoroughly cleaned at night, which is the only time
when traffic is low.
• Clear departure rooms to the front office if necessary.
• Plan the order of work according to priority and direct staff accordingly.
• Make sure that departure room s are serviced and made ready as soon as
possible in order that reception may re-let at any time.
• Organize special cleaning of rooms as required.
• Anticipate guests’ requirements at all times, thereby ensuring comfort and
satisfaction.
• See that all lost-and found articles are deposited with the control desk.
• Ensure that submission of room attendants’ reports and the room status reports.
• Help with training of staff.
• Report any safety or security hazards.
Evening Shift Supervisor
Evening Shift Supervisors are required for the floors. Public areas, and control room.
They report to the assistant housekeeper.
Duties and responsibilities An Evening Shift Supervisor is expected to
• Check all log entries and ensure they are followed up.
• Ensure all keys are deposited back before taking over the shift.
• Ensure all cleaning of rooms that were not serviced in the morning – rooms with a
‘do not disturb’ (DND), double locked (DL), or refused service status.
• Ensure all departure rooms are cleaned and released to the front office as soon as
possible.
• Ensure that the turned down service is carried out for all rooms.
• Ensure public areas are kept clean at all times.
Linen Room Supervisor/Linen Keeper
The linen room supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. She supervises the work
of linen room and may have several linen attendants to assist her in providing clean
presentable linen throughout the house.
Duties and responsibilities The linen room supervisor is expected to
• Be responsible for the entire hotel’s linen.
• Send dirty linen to the laundry after checking them piece by piece.
• Check laundered linen before giving it for ironing.
• Put away linen neatly once it has been washed, ironed, and mended.
• Hand out linen to various departments on presentation of vouchers signed by the
heads of the respective department.
• Maintain a register of linen movements and check the linen regularly.
• Look after the ironing and laundering of guests’ clothes and the uniforms of the
hotel staff.
• Supervise the work of the linen attendants and tailors.
• Make suggestions relating to replacement purchases.
Uniform Room Supervisor
A uniform room supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. He/she is responsible for the
maintenance of hotel staff uniforms.
Duties and responsibilities The Uniform Room Supervisor is expected to
• Be responsible for providing clean, serviceable uniforms to the staff of the hotel.
• Keep an inventory control of various uniforms in various stages of use- such as
when sorted ones are handed over, or which are being washed or dry cleaned in
the laundry, or those on the person of the staff, or those in store for future issue.
• Set the budget for the procurement of additional material of staff uniform.
Linen Room Attendant / Linen Room Maid
Linen Room Attendant reports to the linen room supervisor.
Duties and responsibilities The linen room attendant is expected to
• Be responsible for sorting all the sheets, pillowcases, towels, table cloths, napkins,
and so on into separate stacks.
• Issue clean linen on a clean-for soiled basis.
• Place soiled linen in containers and send these to the laundry.
• Examine and count each item when they are sent to the laundry and again on their
return.
• Shelve laundered linen after verifying the number and type of articles.
• Send torn articles to the seamstress for repair.
• Maintain proper records of discards and determine the percentage of discards.
Uniform Room Attendant
A uniform room attendant reports to the uniform room supervisor. He/she is in actual contact
with the staff for issuing uniforms.
Duties and responsibilities The uniform room attendant is expected to
• Issue clean uniforms while receiving soiled ones.
• Send soiled uniforms for laundering.
• Examine the laundered items to ensure cleanliness and serviceability.
• Send torn uniforms to the seamstress for mending
• Keep a count of uniforms.
• Shelve laundered uniforms after verifying the types of articles.
• Count and record linen to fill requisitions.
Storekeeper
A storekeeper reports to the linen room supervisor. In large hotels, a storekeeper may be
appointed to a full-time position.
Duties and responsibilities A storekeeper is expected to
• Control the stock of equipment.
• Store cleaning materials and agents
• Issue equipment and cleaning materials as per demand.
• Prepare requisitions for used-up materials and new products for the approval of the
executive housekeeper.
• Liaise with the purchase department for the procurement of approved materials.
Control Desk Supervisor/Control Room Supervisor
The control desk supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. The control room or
control desk is the nerve centre of the housekeeping department. The desk is manned 24
hours a day. Since the control desk is the hub of information dissemination in
housekeeping, the control desk supervisor is a critical person in housekeeping operations.
Duties and Responsibilities The control desk supervisor is expected to
• Coordinate with the front office for information on departure rooms and handing
over of clean rooms
• Coordinate with other departments for smooth functioning and efficiency
• Receive complaints on maintenance and housekeeping
• Maintain registers kept at the control desk
• Receive special requests from guests
• Act as a pivotal person in receiving and disseminating information amongst
housekeeping staff
• Maintain the latest reports regarding room occupancy, VIPs, status of rooms and
so on, so that work can be delegated to attendants and supervisors accordingly
• Attend to all phone calls received at the control desk
• Be responsible for guestroom keys given to room attendants and to store the keys
and maintain a key register
Guestroom Attendants/Room Maids/Chamber Maids
Guest room attendants (GRAs) report to the floor supervisor (or the night supervisor, in
case of night room attendants). In small hotels, they may report to the assistant
housekeeper directly. Generally hotels employ one room maid per 12-15 rooms. The
room attendants’/maids’ work is of great importance because it contributes in a big way
to the comfort of guest and hence their impression of the hotel, and this includes making
beds, coping with linen supplies, and general cleaning. Nowadays most hotels use the
term ‘attendant’ rather than ‘maid’ since men have entered this arena earlier dominated
by women.
Duties and responsibilities A room attendant is expected to
• Clean and tidy rooms as per the sanitary regulations assigned
• Change guestroom and bathroom linen
• Make guestroom beds
• Replenish guest supplies
• Answer guests’ summons promptly
Uniform Room Supervisor
A uniform room supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. He/she is responsible for
the assistant housekeeper. He/She is responsible for the maintenance of hotel staff uniforms.
Duties and responsibilities The uniform supervisor is expected to
• Be responsible for providing clean, serviceable uniforms to the staff of the hotel.
• Keep an inventory control of various uniforms in various stages of use-such as when
sorted ones are handed over, or which are being washed or dry-cleaned in the laundry,
or those on the person of the staff, or those in store for future issue
• Set the budget for the procurement of additional material for staff uniforms
Linen Room Attendant/ Linen Room Maid
Linen room attendants report to the linen room supervisor
Duties and responsibilities The linen room attendant is expected to
• be responsible for sorting all the sheets, pillowcases, towels, table cloths, napkins,
and so on into separate stacks
• issue clean linen on a clean-for-soiled basis
• placed soiled linen in containers and send these to the laundry
• examine and count each item when they are sent to the laundry and again on their
return
• shelve laundered linen after verifying the number and type of articles
• send torn articles to the seamstress for repair
• maintain proper records of discards and determine the percentage of discards
Uniform Room Attendant
A uniform room attendant reports to the uniform room supervisor. He/She is in actual
contact with the staff for the issue of uniforms
Duties and responsibilities A uniform room attendant is expected to
• issue clean uniforms while receiving soiled ones
• send soiled uniforms for laundering
• examine the laundered items to ensure cleanliness and serviceability
• send torn uniforms to the seamstress for mending
• keep a count of uniforms
• shelve laundered uniforms after verifying the types of articles
• count and record linen to fill requisitions
Storekeeper
A storekeeper reports to the linen room supervisor. In large hotels, a storekeeper may be
appointed to a full-time position
Duties and responsibilities A storekeeper is expected to
• control the stock of equipment
• store cleaning materials and agents
• issue equipment and cleaning material as per demand
• prepare requisitions for used-up materials and new products for the approval of the
executive housekeeper
• liaise with the purchase department for the procurement of approved materials
Control Desk Supervisor/Control Room Supervisor
The control desk supervisor reports to the assistant housekeeper. The control room or
control desk is the nerve centre of the housekeeping department. The desk is manned 24
hours a day. Since the control desk is the hub of information dissemination in housekeeping,
the control desk supervisor is a critical person in housekeeping operations
Duties and responsibilities The control desk supervisor is expected to
• coordinate with the front office for information on departure rooms and handing over
of clean rooms
• coordinate with other departments for smooth functioning and efficiency
• receive complaints on maintenance and housekeeping
• maintain registers kept at the control desk
• receive special request from guests
• act as a pivotal person in receiving and disseminating information amongst
housekeeping staff
• Maintain the latest reports regarding room occupancy, VIPs, status of rooms, and so
on, so that work can be delegated to attendants and supervisors accordingly.
• Attend to all phone calls received at the control desk
• Be responsible for guestroom keys given to room attendants and to store the keys
and maintain a key register
Guestroom Attendants/Room Maids/Chamber Maids
Guest room attendants (GRAs) report to the floor supervisor (or the night supervisor, in case
of night room attendants). In small hotels, they may report to the assistant housekeeper
directly. Generally hotels employ one room maid per 12-15 rooms. The room
attendants’/maids’ work is of great importance because it contributes in a big way to the
comfort of guests and hence their impression of the hotel. Their day consists of servicing
each room to the required standard of the hotel, and this includes making beds, coping with
linen supplies, and general cleaning. Nowadays most hotels use the term ‘attendant’ rather
than ‘maid’ since men have entered this arena earlier dominated by women
Duties and responsibilities A room attendant is expected to
• clean and tidy rooms as per sanitary regulations assigned
• change guestroom and bathroom linen
• make guestroom beds
• replenish great supplies
• answer guests’ summons promptly
• be responsible for getting guest laundry processed
• undertake the evening check of rooms and provide the turn-down service
• check and secure rooms
• hand over to the housekeeper any article which a guest might have left behind in a
room
• replenish the maid’s cart with guest supplies, cleaning agents, and linen
Head Houseperson
He/She reports to the public area supervisor. In some organizations, he/she may report
directly to the executive housekeeper or assistant housekeeper, and is in charge of the
housemen/housepersons.
Duties and responsibilities the head houseperson is expected to
• Supervise the work allotted to housepersons, especially those in the public areas.
• Supervise the work of people who clean the carpets, wall washers, and window
washers
• Supervise the work of drapery men, heavy vacuum machine operators for general
cleaning, chandelier cleaners, and workers responsible for relamping.
• Supervise the work of furniture men, floor en, and warehouse men
Houseporters/Housepersons
The housepersons report to the head houseperson or the public area supervisor. The
houseperson’s job involves heavy physical work as assigned, such as carpet cleaning,
window cleaning, carrying heavy pieces of furniture, washing public areas, garbage
clearance, and also complementing the work of room attendants on guest floors.
Duties and responsibilities A houseperson is expected to
• Clean carpets
• Shift beds, chairs, and other heavy furniture
• Cart linen to and from floors
• Clean the swimming pool
• Clean garden paths and such outdoor surfaces
• Clear out the garbage
• Polish all brasswire
• Help room attendants in their work in guestrooms
• Clean all doors, windows, and ventilators
• Take down and re-hang curtains as needed
• Clean fire-fighting equipment
• Keep the fire buckets filled with sand
• Take on heavy cleaning of areas such as shafts and terraces
• Wash walls, draperies, chandeliers, and other hard-to-reach areas
Tailors, Seamstresses, and Upholsterers
They report to the linen room supervisor. They are responsible for mending and stitching
uniforms, linen, and upholstery, respectively. The upholsterers also replenish upholstery that
require replacement
Duties and responsibilities This group of staff is expected to
• Mend all damaged linen using methods such as patching
• Mend all damaged uniforms and alter uniforms if required
• Make pads from used mattress pads for the burnishing of silver
• Stitch pillowcases if required
• Refurnish all damaged upholstery
• Repair guests’ clothes if damaged
• Estimate the requirement of materials and request the linen room supervisor to place
a requisition at the stores
• Draw material from the stores and take these to the tailoring room.
Cloakroom Attendant/Power Room Attendant
In a hotel that hosts many events and receives many non-resident guests, it is usual to
have someone on duty in a ladies’ powder room during lunch and dinner time to attend
to the requirements of guests, guard their belongings, and keep the powder room neat
and tidy. The cloakroom attendant reports to the public area supervisor
Duties and responsibilities The cloakroom attendant is expected to
• Maintain an adequate stock of soaps, detergents, combs, brushes, powder, and
hand towels to meet demands at peak hours
• Take soiled hand towels to the linen room for replacement
• Maintain the shoe-shine kit and clean guest’ shoes if required
• Maintain all cupboards and fixtures installed in the cloakroom
• Brush guests’ jackets if required
Hat Checker
A hat checker provides his services in superior hotels in cold climates. His domain is the hat
check room, where hats and heavy overcoats are deposited by guests as soon as they enter
the hotel lobby, so as to spare them the inconvenience of carrying these articles around in
the hotel. The hat checker carefully labels these guest articles, and hands or stores them
correctly so as to return them to the guests when they are leaving the hotel
Horticulturist
Many large hotels have their own horticulturist, who reports to the assistant housekeeper.
He/She leads a team of gardeners in maintaining the landscaped gardens of the hotel as well
as in supplying flowers from the gardens for flower arrangements in the hotel. Flowers are
used largely by the housekeeping department to aesthetically enhance various areas of the
hotel. Flower arrangements may be used in banquet functions, guestrooms, restaurants,
lobbies, offices, and so on.
Duties and responsibilities The horticulturist is expected to
• Supervise the maintenance of gardens and landscaped areas
• Ensure smooth supply of flowers to the housekeeping department
• Assist the executive housekeeper with flower arrangements in the absence of a
florist
Head Gardener
The head gardener reports to the horticulturist. He is require to maintain landscaped areas
and gardens in a hotel, keeping in mind their cleanliness, aesthetic appeal and freshness all
the year round through a well-motivated team of gardeners
Duties and responsibilities The head gardener is expected to
• Ensure that landscaped areas, gardens, rock gardens, waterways, and so on are
maintained as per the original concept
• Brief, schedule, ad allot duties to gardeners
• Take care of fresh seasonal plantings
• Procure quality seeds from reliable sources at reasonable costs
• Procure, control, and supervise the usage of manure and fertilizers
• Maintain the watering schedules and attend to any problems regarding water
shortages
• Provide the hotel with flowers, garlands, wreaths, or bouquets as and when required
• Maintain and prepare indoor plants for the hotel
• Supervise the maintenance of lawns, mowing and replanting the grass
• Train gardeners
• Ensure that gardeners handle equipment and tools effectively and correctly
• Oversee the upkeep of the plant nursery and greenhouse
Gardeners
Gardeners (maalis) report to the head gardener or the horticulturist. They keep landscaped
areas, lawns, and gardens clean, aesthetically beautiful, and fresh through the daily
schedules of tasks assigned to them
Duties and responsibilities The gardener is expected to
• Dig landscaped areas and maintain them as per the original concept and undertake
fresh plantings.
• Plant seeds and saplings as per conditions and the landscaping/ horticultural concept.
• Distribute manure and fertilizer appropriately.
• Water all garden areas as scheduled.
• Maintain plant nursery, and the greenhouse.
• Prune and trim hedges and bushes.
• Prepare flowers, potted indoor plants, wreaths, bouquets, and so on, as required by
the hotel.
• Utilize garden tools efficiently.
Florists
Many luxury hotels employ their own florists nowadays. Providing attractive flower
arrangements for the entire hotel is his/her responsibility. A florist may report to the
horticulturist or to the assistant housekeeper. He/she may have an assistant florist to help.
Duties and responsibilities A florist is expected to
• Collect fresh flowers from the gardeners every day
• In case flowers are not available from the hotel gardens, to purchase flowers from
dealers
• Make up various types of flower arrangements for different hotel areas- lobbies,
front office, restaurants, banquet halls, convention rooms, VIP rooms, and
guestrooms
• Provide garlands, wreaths, and bouquets to the hotel for guests, as and when required
• Treat cut flowers so that they last longer
• Maintain flower arrangements-by changing water, pruning, and so on
• Be responsible for the functioning of the flower room in the housekeeping
department, which deals with the care of flower arranging equipment, mechanics,
accessories
• Train the assistant florist
Laundry Manager
The laundry manager reports to the director of housekeeping. He/she is responsible for the
entire functioning of the laundry and dry-cleaning unit. A laundry manager must have
organizational ability as well as technical knowledge of chemicals and their effect on
fabrics.
Laundry Supervisor
He/she is in charge of the functioning of the laundry in the absence of the laundry manager.
A laundry supervisor must have a good understanding of all aspects of the laundry
equipment, chemicals, and fabrics.
Dry-cleaner
The dry-cleaner is in charge of the dry-cleaning of hotel linen and guest clothing.
Washer
A washer is the person who actually does the laundering of linen, uniforms, and guest
clothing.
Duties and responsibilities The washer is expected to
• Spot stained fabrics before loading them into the washing machines
• Load soiled linen into washing machines, feed in the right of detergent and other
laundering chemicals and run the machine.
• Load washed linen into dryers
• Clean all equipment after use.
Laundry Workers
They are the lower rung of staff in the laundry, carrying out a variety of duties. Proper
training is essential to ensure they function smoothly and efficiently.
Duties and responsibilities The laundry worker is expected to
• Sort soiled linen according to fabric types, colours, and degree of soiling
• Load soiled linen into washing machines and to load washed linen into dryers.
• Transport soiled linen from the linen room to the laundry and fresh linen from the
laundry to the linen room
• Keep the laundry clean
Valets/Runners
‘Valet service’ means that the hotel will take care of guest’s laundry. Valets report to the
linen room supervisor. They are responsible for collecting soiled guest laundry and delivery
fresh guest laundry. In many hotels, a valet is not charged with the task of delivering guest
laundry only. Here the valet shares a service room with the GRAs; the room is complete
with iron and ironing board, needle, cotton and string, shoe-cleaning necessities, and so on.
He may also perform the less tedious functions of a houseman.
PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES OF HOUSEKEEPING STAFF
The housekeeping department in a hotel may easily have the largest workforce. No matter
how luxurious the d├ęcor or how aesthetic the guestroom may be, grumpy, poorly trained,
and unhelpful staff can destroy any potential customer satisfaction with the hospitality
product. Being a service industry, the personal projection of staff to guests enhances the
image of the hotel. It is also essential to know the qualities that a housekeeping staff must
possess for the purpose of recruitment, induction, training and self-development
programmes. These attributes sometimes override the importance of skill, as skills can be
taught but these personal traits (Figure 2.4) should be inherent in a member of the staff.
Fig. 2.4 Personal attributes of housekeeping staff
Pleasant Personality A pleasant personality is the result of good grooming and good
presentation in front of guests. The way a staff looks is the first impression he/she creates,
and this reflects on the quality of service and standards in an establishment. It is good to
remember that ‘your last look in the mirror will be the guest’s first look’. All the
supervisory housekeeping staff and the guestroom attendants (GRAs) should be especially
well groomed, as they come into close contact with the guest. The staff should be turned out
in clean and crisp uniforms. Aftershaves and perfumes used shouldn’t be too strong; mild
deodorants should be preferred. Most establishments follow a minimum jewellery and light
make-up policy for female housekeeping staff. Hair must always be clean and, in case of
long hair, tied up or back. Many hotels have a maid’s cap for attendants. Because of the long
hours involved, housekeeping staff should wear comfortable, light, low-heeled box shoes
Attributes
Pleasant
personality
Physical
Fitness
Personal
hygiene
Eye for
detail
Cooperation
Adaptability
Honesty
Tact and
diplomacy
Right
attitude
Calm
demeanor
Courtesy
Punctuality
Memory
Loyalty
and keep them looking clean at all times. Unclean mannerisms such as scratching of the face
or scalp and chewing gum in front of guests should be avoided. It should always be
remembered that a ready smile on the face wins many a battle.
Physical fitness housekeeping is a 24 x 7 x 365 operation and the staff work long hours on
their feet. Most of their work is manual and may require them to handle heavy equipment.
Hence physical fitness is a must to cope with the nature of this work. A thorough medical
examination and a medical history of candidates can be used as tools to ascertain their
fitness at the time of recruitment. Housekeeping staff must maintain their level of fitness at
the optimum to perform to required standards. It is said that ideal housekeeping staff should
possess a ‘strong heart and good feet’.
Personal Hygiene Personal Hygiene deals with matters pertaining to the health of the
individual for the maintenance of which the responsibilities lie with him alone.
Elements of good personal hygiene include:
• Good and healthy habits
• Cleanliness of the skin
• Cleanliness and care of hair, eyes, ears, teeth, and nose
• Cleanliness of the nails and fingers
• Cleanliness, tidiness, and condition of clothes and footwear
Housekeeping staff must maintain a high standard of personal hygiene, as it reflects on
the hygiene standards of the hotel. They must take a bath daily to avoid body odour. Their
hair must be well combed, their nails cleans and clipped. Their mouths should be free of any
offensive odour. Any infections should be reported and attended to immediately. Cuts and
burns should be covered with the correct dressings.
Eye for detail This is one of the foremost attributes that housekeeping staff must possess.
They must be able to take into consideration minute details that a layman may let go
unobserved. The power of critical observation is what distinguishes good service from
average. Room attendants need to have an eye for detail in order to make up a flawless
guestroom and housekeeping supervisors need to have a keen sense of observation to
inspect these rooms for perfection. Furthermore, the whole property must be continually
scrutinized by the housekeeping department for proper care and maintenance
Cooperation Housekeeping staff must cooperate not only with each other, but also with the
staff of other departments. This is absolutely essential, since housekeeping involves a lot of
team-work for efficient functioning. If there is any lack of cooperation and coordination, it
indirectly affects the guest and hampers efficiency
Adaptability This is an important quality in housekeeping staff. They should be willing to
try out and experiment with new ideas. The entry of foreign hotel chains into India has
brought about an immense sense of competition, due to which hotels in India are now trying
out more innovative methods and materials in housekeeping. The staff should accept and
adapt to change willingly and should welcome such innovations
Honesty This quality is all-important to the staff in dealings with both guests and the
management. Housekeeping staff have direct access to guestrooms. Guest’s belongings are
often lying around the room and temptations are great. Housekeeping staff also deal with
various kinds of guest amenities that may also tempt them. It is inherent discipline and
integrity that checks these temptations. If there is trust and respect across the triangle of
staff, guests, and management relationships, then there will be a work atmosphere that
encourages efficiency and a good team spirit.
Tact and diplomacy Housekeeping staff come into close contact with various kinds of
guests. Some guest may make unusual requests or complaints. Sometimes guests may be
fussy and demand service that override management policies. It requires a lot of tact and
diplomacy on the part of housekeeping staff to handle such guests at their level, since under
no circumstances can they be rude to a guest or hurt his/her sentiments. Staff needs to be
trained in haling guests who make such requests
Right attitude Most managers agree that a candidate with the right attitude is more of an
asset to them than a candidate who has the skills but the wrong attitude. The candidate with
good attitude displays an even temper, courtesy, and good humour, and does not betray
displeasure even in the most difficult of times. They learn from their mistakes and are
always optimistic. The employee with the right attitude is proactive and anticipates the
guests’ needs and wishes.
Calm demeanour Housekeeping staff may be faced with various kinds of emergency
situations, and it is essential that they remain calm so as to do their best in coping with the
problem in hand. If they panic during an emergency, their anxious demeanour could become
contagious and be passed on to guest and colleagues. A calm demeanour helps employees to
think rationally themselves and to display their presence of mind.
Courtesy A housekeeping employee should extend courtesy to both guest and colleagues.
It is essential that while dealing with guests, the staff be humble and polite. Housekeeping
staff should never argue with a guest and, if they cannot deal with the situation, it should be
referred immediately to a senior member of the team. Guests will always remember pleasant
and charming staff, as this adds to the guest’s positive experience in a hotel.
Punctuality This too is crucially important. If an employee is continually late for duty, it
shows lack of interest in the work and a lack of respect for the management and guests.
Respect for time during working hours will reflect on the employee’s work and help to
create an impression worthy of appreciation
Good memory This is an essential asset in housekeeping staff, particularly when dealing
with regular guests and repeat customers. A staff member who remembers a guest’s like,
dislikes, needs, and wishes will be tremendous asset to the hotel.
Loyalty An employee’s first obligation and loyalty are to the establishment in which they
are employed and to its management. A situation should never arise when employees use
guests as their sounding board. They should respect the policies and decisions of the
management.
LAYOUT OF THE DEPARTMENT
The layout of the housekeeping department is the physical demarcation of areas in the
department. When the layout is well-planned, it enables the smooth functioning of the
department. The layout is dependent on the size of the hotel as well as physical space
restrictions. Normally, the layout is decided by the executive housekeeper, at the facilityplanning
stage in setting up the hotel. The following factors are taken into consideration
when deciding on the area and layout.
• Total number of guestrooms
• Number of function rooms and number of food-and-beverage outlets
• Amount of manpower required
• Volume of business anticipated
• Number of jobs contracted out
• Flow of traffic (people and equipment)
Figures 2.5 and 2.6 show the layout of the housekeeping department in a budget hotel and a
large hotel, respectively.
The following areas constitute the layout of a housekeeping department.
Executive housekeeper’s cabin The executive house should have an independent cabin,
since it is administrative centre of the department. A glass-panelled office with blinds to
provide privacy at times, such as when meetings are conducted and confidential issues are
discussed, is most appropriate. The cabin should have one entrance-cum-exit door where
entry is controlled by the secretary. Ample built-in shelves and cupboards with locks should
be provided to store files and records.
Secretary’s cabin A smaller cabin should be provided for the secretary, preceding the
executive housekeeper’s cabin, to enable the secretary to control movement into the
housekeeper’s cabin. Storage area for documents is essential in the secretary’s cabin.
Fig. 2.5 Layout of housekeeping department in a budget hotel
• Cupboards to store guest supplies, cleaning agents, and equipment.
• Shelves and racks to store fresh room linen
• Linen trolleys to store fresh and soiled linen and transporting/dispatching the same
to the linen and uniform room
• A notice board to display information regarding expected arrivals, VIPs in the
house, extra bed, and guest loan items given to guests
• A sink with hot and cold water facilities to wash or disinfect glasses, fill drinking
water in flasks, and for flower arrangements
• Guest loan items such as rollaway beds, cribs, and bed boards
Laundry
Executive
housekeeper’s
cabin
Executive
housekeeper’s cabin
Tailor’s Room
Linen Room
Lost and
found room
Florist’s
room
Desk control room
Fig. 2.7 Sample layout of a floor pantry
Dust bin
Racks for storing
cleaning agents
Notice board
on the wall
First
aid
Racks for storing
cleaning equipment
Racks for storing
cleaning equipment
Source
of
drinking
water
Wash Basin
Linen Chute
Intercom
Fire
Extinguisher
Maid’s Cart

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