Hotel business around the world is a highest revenue creator, which provides relaxing and luxurious services from short-term housing, food, entertainment, business and leisure needs.
Out of all the division, which run the hotels, Housekeeping has been always stayed back of the house and carries out to its never ending duties to provide clean, hygienic, fresh atmosphere and relieve to every individual stepping into the hotel.
Like any other department, housekeeping also presents an individual to make a successful career and accomplish diverse heights in the management, up to the level of General Manager.
Scope: Housekeeping unit today is well-read, not only with their occupations but also at multi-tasking. Besides the main housekeeping measures, they also take care of gardening, laundry operations, centres, superiority control, cost control and also play the role of ‘guest relation managers’, keeping the comfort and happiness of visitors in mind.
In many hotels, housekeeping division also help the sales team to make revenue. Today’s housekeeping division has experience, skill as well as information to run the Rooms Division. Therefore, the housekeeping division’s main role in every grasp is to reserve the building decor, its inner fabrics and furniture.
Job prospects: This department is accountable for cleaning and maintaining hotel building and premises, which includes public area, guest rooms, entrance hall, and swimming pool area among others. It works for guest pleasure by keeping the surroundings clean and hygienic. This department also works to give enjoyable look of the hotel to the guest.
The cleanliness standard plays a vital role in the status of the hotels. One feels comfortable only in the surroundings, which are clean and well ordered.
Horticulture is one of the most important features of housekeeping department, which deals with different types of flower arrangement and maintaining the garden. Accommodation in hotels tends to be the largest part of the hotel as it is the most revenue generating department and the housekeeping department takes care of it.
Skills: Hotels would find it unattainable to run without a staff. Most housekeepers work in precise areas, counting with the laundry room, ironing and laundering towels and sheets and cleaning rooms or other hotel areas. Hotel housekeeping skills include a wide range from emptying trash, cleaning windows and bed making. The students choosing ‘Housekeeping’ sector get paid well for their job.
Cleaning methods: Hotels train their housekeepers in specific cleaning methods. Most require beds to be made in a particular standard or bathrooms to be cleaned using specified products. Housekeepers that work in the laundry are required to iron and fold linen to precise specifications as well. All the necessary procedures are taught to the students of Hotel Management during their course tenure.
Cleaning tools: Housekeepers are necessary to use certain tools while maintaining a guest room. Kits range from vacuum cleaners to dust rags and mops. They must make sure that they store their cleaning carts with enough materials so they do not waste time retrieving items from the housekeeping division.
Organisation: Room setting is important when preparing a room for hotel guests. The guests must feel secure on entering a room, and many hotels add special touches, such as high end bath products, room design or bedding, that set them apart from other hotels. Housekeepers must organise these special touches to specifications required by the hotel. Other duties may comprise folding and hanging towels in an attractive design, arranging a wet bar or turning down the bed and adding chocolate.
Laundry skills: Employees in this department have to iron hundreds of sheets, towel and wash cloths on a daily basis. Many staffs also wash personal items for visitors and they are not supposed to ruin guest clothing. Responsibilities include washing, folding, ironing and dry cleaning.
Communication skills: Housekeepers come across hotel guest on a regular basis. They are required to speak well. They must help with requests for extra items such as towels. Housekeepers have to make sure a guest room is clean and relaxing.
In addition, they are required to resolve any complaints that a visitor may have with a room that does not meet the guest standards.
Tips for career success: One must get a proper training with valid certification. Physical aptitude and strengths are very important for getting into this field. Hotels always prefer experienced candidates since guest satisfaction is a crucial aspect of hospitality.
Eligibility and remuneration: Admission to the Housekeeping course is based on merit-based or entrance-based. Some institutes /colleges conduct entry level exams to check their communication skills, personal skills, etc and based on that a student is selected for admission.
After the completion of this course, students gets job opportunities in areas like hotels, resorts, tour and travel agencies, restaurants, lodges and guesthouses. They can also work as laundryman, linen keeper, tailor, laundry master, executive housekeeper and associate housekeeping manager among others.
The writer is chief marketing officer, Co-Director of CEDP Skill Institute, Mumbai.