What would you say is the single greatest concern of today’s travelers? Is it convenience? Savings? Access to the right amenities?
Actually, it’s none of those things. It’s hygiene.
In the wake of COVID-19, people are finally able to start planning the trips they’ve put off for two years. However, they’re (rightfully) concerned about the hygiene of the hotels where they’ll be staying. This means that your housekeeping staff members are some of the most important people in your hotel and the only line of defense against unhygienic situations and dissatisfied guests.
How do you ensure that your staff can keep the property hygienic? It all comes down to providing them with the right training. What training, though? How should you ensure that you’re able to deliver the right training at the right time? We will discuss that and more in this post.
The Question of Training Delivery
Training is all well and good, but some of the challenges faced by the housekeeping department include limited time, limited access to resources, and limited availability of management for in-person training. How do you get around these issues? It’s all about taking a multipronged approach.
The Hotelogix A.C.E Module
First, consider remote training through your PMS. At Hotelogix, we developed the groundbreaking Automated Coaching Engine, or A.C.E, which is the first of its kind in the world. It provides direct access to training materials to help your housekeeping staff members learn new skills and build their competencies through a variety of materials and methods.
Support Mobile Learning with In-Person Training and Job Shadowing
While A.C.E – based learning simplifies the problem of training your housekeeping staff, other supports can add even more value and benefits. In-person training may not be the ideal option, but it does provide the opportunity for your staff members to ask questions and receive answers in real-time.
Another option that should be explored, particularly during the initial onboarding period and immediately following any promotions, is job shadowing. This is an old idea that is gaining new popularity, as it provides employees with the opportunity to follow along as a more experienced employee performs the duties and tasks they’ll be responsible for. And, like in-person training, this provides the opportunity to ask questions, get clarification, and expand the discussion as far as necessary to build real understanding.
Content Creation Tips
Video and photo tutorials provide visual examples of how housekeeping staff should perform their duties. By creating this type of content and adding it to your PMS, you make it available to all housekeeping employees at all times. However, you should follow a few important tips to ensure that your content is accurate and actionable.
- Quality – Always opt for high-quality photos and video content. If your pictures or videos are blurry or distorted, they will do your employees little good. Create content with an eye toward how well it conveys the necessary information. Because these are visual content, you need to ensure that the message comes through clearly.
- Equipment and Products – Your housekeeping staff will need to use a wide range of equipment and sanitizing/cleaning products in their daily duties. Use photo and video tutorials to acquaint your team members with the tools, equipment, and products they will be using. Highlight best practices, how-to guides, safety, and other important topics to maximize productivity while ensuring that your team stays safe.
- Methodologies/Techniques – With more people entering the workforce, there’s a very high chance that you’ll be hiring staff members with little or no previous experience in housekeeping. Create video and photo tutorials that go in-depth into the methodologies and techniques you want used in your hotel to keep everything clean and hygienic. This is particularly important when it comes to COVID-19-specific precautions.
- Types – Don’t limit your photo and video tutorials to methodologies only. Yes, your housekeeping staff need to know how to clean a guest room, but they also need to know how to use the technology that makes your hotel run. If you’re using Hotelogix as your PMS, you already have an advantage in that our platform is intuitive and easy to learn. We also include plenty of tutorials and training options to help out.
To sum up, use digital tools like the Hotelogix cloud-based PMS to make access to housekeeping training simple and direct. Create accurate, informative content that drives value and enhances learning – both video and photo-based – and use them to inform your team of the latest innovations and trends in housekeeping.
One of the most powerful tools for training your housekeeping staff is the humble checklist. In the past, hardcopy checklists were used to ensure that every step was followed and that all areas of the hotel were cleaned correctly. Today, you can similarly use digital checklists, but save time, resources, and money by distributing them digitally.
With that being said, it’s important to follow the right tips when creating your checklists to maximize value and utility.
- Break larger tasks into sub-steps with a bullet point or tick box so that you can cover the entirety of the task.
- Make sure that every item on the checklist is clearly defined and spelled out.
- Make sure you have a way for housekeeping to digitally initial work when it is completed to ensure accountability and transparency.
- Periodically review your checklists to ensure that they are up to date and current with today’s processes, practices, tools, and equipment. For instance, many older checklists should be revamped in the wake of COVID-19’s increased hygiene standards.
When used correctly and made available digitally, checklists can provide at-a-glance guidance for your housekeeping staff while also boosting productivity and performance.
Standard Operating Procedures
Finally, make sure you set and promote clearly defined standard operating procedures or SOPs. These spell out how things are done and why they are done that way, and they apply to everything from health and safety compliance to continued training and the standards you expect from housekeeping to deliver the best possible customer service. These SOPs should be made available digitally to all housekeeping staff and should be mentioned in your video and photo tutorials, as well.
Hotelogix Can Help
Struggling with hygiene and housekeeping training? Hotelogix can help. Our groundbreaking PMS includes a purpose-built housekeeping module, as well as access to our A.C.E training module. Coupled with technology and human experience, hotels can now offer the best service to guests while keeping them safe and sound.