Improving standards of quality is an important goal for many industries but for hostels, it's an essence of the guest experience. A hostel rating is largely affected by the level of service that is provided, and the quality of housekeeping is among the most important customer experience factors. Here are a few ways you can improve janitorial and housekeeping operations in the hostel business.
Prepare for flexibility
Sometimes conditions may change our regular housekeeping operations, or the focus may be altered without our prior knowledge. Although this can lead to frustration on the bottom level, as housekeeping personnel may not understand the reasons for the changes, you should use these situations as an opportunity to explain the new rules of the business. For example, a surprise audit may change the priorities, or a customer review can bring up some hard-case deficiencies. In any case, staying flexible in your planning of housekeeping operations is a great way to accept a change, regardless of the cause.
Invest in productive equipment
Quality cleaning tools and supplies such as microfiber towels and self-wringing mops can improve the level of cleanliness without sacrificing valuable time. According to ISSA 540 Cleaning Times, a properly equipped housekeeper can improve productivity by up to 54%. Apart from reducing physical strain from repetitive motions, using the right chemicals ensures optimal hygienic results for each surface. In addition, housekeepers who use kneepads which allow them to kneel instead of bending over will reduce back strain, while using latex gloves while cleaning restrooms reduces their exposure to chemicals, which in return minimizes the work time lost to injuries and illness.
Use engineering checklists
To enhance the communication between janitorial and technical department, provide housekeepers with checklists of potential issues that need to be fixed by the engineering department. Requests, like replacing light bulbs, fixing air conditioning units, or re-fitting loose outlets, can be submitted at the conclusion of every shift in a unified form and reviewed by the executive housekeeper. Not only does this reduce the chances for requests to be overlooked, but also helps to minimize guest complaints. In a similar way, you may use technology such as tablets and software solutions that smoothen the communication between housekeeping and the front desk, so that accurate information is shared all around, which leads to less confusion and quicker room turnover.
Provide job-specific training
Having a plan on how to clean different areas in the hostel, the types of cleaning tools, and chemicals that are required will allow you to reduce the amount of time needed for each task and constantly deliver high-level results. Understanding proper methods for performing job functions is essential for anyone who considers starting a cleaning business, as job-specific training helps reduce the room turnover, improve the hygiene and cleanliness, and reduce the chance of work-related injuries. By investing in cleaning specialists to provide training, you’re investing in your employees whose performance is directly related to guest satisfaction.
Set measurable goals
Quality standards that you introduce should be aimed at continual improvement, with clear and measurable results. While improving quality standards doesn’t happen overnight, once you establish the present base markers, setting measurable goals in the future becomes much easier. However, it’s one thing to set up measurable standards and a whole different challenge to keep reaching them. Businesses often forget that changes come in small steps that, given time, develop into new, better housekeeping habits.
Reward creative thinking
While a hostel housekeeping is a pretty straightforward operation with little room for improvisations, it's also important that it stays open for improvements. Creative solutions that come as a result of thinking out of the box can maximize the efficiency of the housekeeping department as well as your budget. For example, washing laundry at night during nonpeak hours is usually less expensive, as it is to operate washers at full capacity only. In many cases, your housekeepers and janitors may come with great ideas for improving their productivity. You should motivate your housekeeping team to come forward with potentially productivity-enhancing ideas, and then reward those who are ready to implement new procedures.
Improving housekeeping operations in a hostel is directly related to improving guest satisfaction. By providing the housekeeping staff with the right tools, time-saving techniques, and efficient procedures, as well as job-specific training, you can make a huge difference in a business where every customer review matters.