Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 30

Next-level housekeeping via technology

THE BURDEN OF DEMOTIVATION
Moving on to the back-of-house, the housekeeping department
is riddled with archaic processes that strain the workload
of supervisors as well as demotivate the actual cleaners.
While the morning lineup will forever be a great tool for
teambuilding, the daily agenda established therein is obsolete the moment the meeting wraps. Moreover, a high rate of
absenteeism makes shift scheduling more cumbersome than
it should be, and increasing employee turnover translates to
more lost productivity due to the requirements of onboarding and job shadowing. Lastly, legacy issues with older team
members passing on bad habits to new recruits can cast a
long shadow when trying to institute process improvements
or mitigate cleaning errors.
From the housekeeper's point of view, troubles are also
brewing. The core problem is that nowadays the job isn't seen
as part of a career with a clear path of upward mobility. Even
though there are exceptions and properties with excellent
teams in place, for the most part the passion and motivation
for going that extra step just isn't there anymore. There's the
hourly wage and not much else to prevent this line of work
from taking on a sharply transient quality, thus contributing
to the high turnover and absenteeism rates currently tormenting this department.
Further aggravating this demotivation is the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSIs). Cleaning 12 to 15 guest rooms per
day takes its toll after many years on the job, especially when
improper techniques or movement patterns are used. While
the most visible and costly effect of an injury is a leave of
absence due to a short-term disability claim along with any
subsequent insurance premium adjustments, many staffers
might opt to push through the pain as they know their truancy would only distress their coworkers who would have to
pick up their shifts. Not only is seeing a colleague in agony
discouraging, but the housekeeper who decides to stay on
even with an RSI is likely only to exacerbate the injury to the
point where it becomes debilitating.
Lastly, a problem specific to certain geographic areas and
with a greater tendency to occur in housekeeping over any
other department is the potential for a language barrier to
affect communications. Many room attendants in North
America are immigrants. Not only can a language barrier
jumble constructive criticism from supervisors, but it can also
interfere with customers interactions if, say, a guest makes a
request from a housekeeper while passing through a corridor.

TECH SOLUTIONS FOR SPECIFIC PROBLEMS
For each of the challenges addressed above, thankfully there is
now a software or hardware platform that can be utilized. All
of these can then be tackled in terms of whether the results
are immediate or evident over a longer period of time. And for
the purposes of this discussion, these solutions will be kept
bipartisan by not citing specific companies. Rest assured,
though, all are well within reach.

3 0  | MARCH 2018 | TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

ology to
DON' T MISS our education session, Techn
ncy,
Efficie
e
enanc
Maint
&
ing
Improve Housekeep
MARCH 29 at AAHOACON18.
The most abrupt game changer you can implement would be
a holistic upgrade to your housekeeping management system,
giving supervisors a greater degree of real-time control over
their subordinates as well as broader analysis tools. In effect,
'real-time' means instantaneous updates to housekeeper
schedules and room cleaning orders for the most efficient
handling of priorities and a drastic reduction in paperwork.
Of course, these contemporary systems are all built upon
integrations for more seamless cross-departmental communications as well as mobile apps to notify housekeepers
already on the clock.
By connecting with the property management system (PMS),
check-ins at the front desk can instantly be relayed to the
executive housekeeper who can then automatically ping his
or her team about the updated priority list. This alone helps
dramatically to meet the demand for 24-hour room readiness, especially once the PMS is linked to airport timetables
so hoteliers know when guests' planes have arrived at the
terminal. Additionally, mobile apps can allow housekeepers
to directly send automated alerts and photos of odd situations to engineering, thereby letting them deal with any
maintenance issues before guests notice. Similarly, lost and
found can be immediately updated while security issues can
be rapidly circulated for more effective coordination during
onsite incidents or crises.
Another key benefit of building a dynamic management
network between supervisors' computers and every team
member's mobile device is heightened accountability. You
know up-to-the-minute who has cleaned what room and when,
as well as whether any supplementary service requests were
inputted. Not only does this streamline room inspections,
but errors brought up in online reviews can be traced back
to specific team members for precise corrective retraining.
Moreover, you will be able to identify which rooms take 20
minutes versus those that require extra attention in order
to properly balance workloads and objectively assess output
per room attendants, all of which in turn will decrease the
average room turnaround time.
As for operational analytics, the same modern software that
will help you automate shifts and staff communications will
also allow you to better track cleaning times and more easily
identify gaps in performance, floor routes or inventory. When
combined with your customer relationship management (CRM)
database - most likely via PMS integration - these tools will
allow you to make staffing and service adjustments based
upon specific guest preferences. Combined together with realtime management, this translates to significantly improved
productivity levels as you are able to hone your processes
within months of accumulating metrics.

EDUCATIONAL APPS TO BUILD A BETTER TEAM
Even with enhanced back-end systems to hone management
of your team, housekeepers still need to be trained, retrained
and motivated to perform at their best. It's a backbreaking job


http://www.TODAYSHOTELIER.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Today's Hotelier - March 2018

Letter From the Chairman
Letter From the President & CEO
#AAHOACON18 Spotlight
Government Affairs & Advocacy
The C-Suite
Common Ground
Elevate Yourself to a Higher Role in the Industry
Next-Level Housekeeping via Technology
Mentoring Matters
Small Business
Finance
Marketing
Technology
Compliance & Legal
Leadership
Guest Experience
Aahoa Founding Members
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Intro
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - cover1
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - cover2
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 3
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 4
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 5
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 6
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 7
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 8
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 9
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Letter From the Chairman
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 11
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Letter From the President & CEO
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 13
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - #AAHOACON18 Spotlight
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 15
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 16
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 17
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Government Affairs & Advocacy
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 19
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - The C-Suite
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 21
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Common Ground
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 23
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Elevate Yourself to a Higher Role in the Industry
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 25
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 26
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 27
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Next-Level Housekeeping via Technology
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 29
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 30
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 31
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Mentoring Matters
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 33
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 34
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 35
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Small Business
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 37
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Finance
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 39
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Marketing
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 41
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Technology
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 43
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Compliance & Legal
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 45
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Leadership
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 47
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 48
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 49
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Guest Experience
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 51
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 52
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 53
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Aahoa Founding Members
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 55
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Classifieds
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 57
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 58
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 59
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 60
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 61
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 62
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Advertiser Index
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 64
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - Back of the House
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - 66
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - cover3
Today's Hotelier - March 2018 - cover4
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