3 Housekeeping Performance Standards Every Hotelier Needs

Published on:
March 27, 2024
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Housekeeping quality control is an essential task of a successful General Manager. Without proper standards and procedures, issues occur causing negative guest experiences.

In order to build a successful culture managers need to think critically about their personnel, considering both their motivations and goals. Keep reading to learn more about setting housekeeping performance standards that ensure only positive reviews.

For more information on how to optimize hotel operations, visit our Ultimate Guide for Hotel Operations Management

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Why Hotel Housekeeping Performance Standards are Important

Hotel cleanliness is one of the chief driving factors in guests booking a stay at your property. Recent surveys show that the cleanliness, safety, and hygiene practices at a hotel are of top concern to the modern traveler. Today’s hotels are expected to maintain high levels of cleanliness across hotel spaces to meet guest satisfaction standards. 

Your hotel’s cleaning reputation can mean the difference between repeat, loyal customers and negative reviews that cost you guest stays. Implementing housekeeping apps is a strategic move to uphold high cleanliness standards and improve your hotel's reputation.

According to ReviewTrackers, 48% of guests are likely to write a review after having a negative experience at a hotel—such as walking into a less-than-clean guestroom. And since an Expedia study found that 72% of travelers will select a property with higher guest review scores over a property with a recognizable brand or even over a property with a lower price point, maintaining your housekeeping reputation is crucial. 

The evolving health and safety conversations as the hospitality world navigates a post COVID-19 landscape make housekeeping performance standards even more critical for today’s guests. Health and safety is top of mind. That’s why, in this article, we’ll discuss some key housekeeping performance standards and procedures every hotelier needs to succeed in today’s competitive hospitality market. 

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Standard 1: Attention to Detail is not Optional

Ensuring guestrooms are consistently clean and guest-ready before, during, and after guest stays can be especially complicated when you’re managing dozens or even hundreds of rooms or overseeing a large housekeeping team. Maintaining brand and property standards of cleanliness cannot suffer with increased occupancy. In order to deliver on this, you must establish a clear and detailed cleaning protocol. Utilizing work order software can aid significantly in managing these detailed protocols efficiently, ensuring tasks are completed timely and to standard.

Despicable Me via Giphy

By establishing standards of cleanliness that housekeepers must follow, you have the ability to define the level of attention to detail required to meet your standard. Establishing cleaning checklists empowers teams and eliminates miscommunication and poor training. Not only does this eliminate confusion, it provide housekeepers with a rubric to review each others work at the same granularity that you would.

Communicating high standards of cleanliness, backed up with detailed checklists is the safest way to ensure high guest satisfaction.

Standard 2: Individual Responsibility, Team Accountability

Clean guest rooms is just one piece of the puzzle.

The goal of every housekeeping team should be spotless facilities through the entire guest journey. The public areas at your hotel, such as the front desk, lobby, bar, or waiting areas are the first spaces your guests see when entering your property. Boutique maintenance solutions can help ensure these critical first-impression areas are always pristine and welcoming. Since first impressions are so important, it’s necessary to have regular cleaning procedures and scheduled housekeeping for these public areas.

Make sure you’ve created a plan and assigned employees on your housekeeping team the responsibility of maintaining these areas on a regular basis. Clearly establishing roles and expectations is one of the first steps in ensuring cleanings are completed according to standard operating procedures (SOPs) so that the property can meet brand and quality standards. 

If your hotel provides a pool, spa, or fitness facility for guests, it’s important to maintain a regular schedule of cleaning for these spaces to ensure they meet not only your hotel’s SOP for admin department housekeeping, but also your guests’ standards of cleanliness. Preventive maintenance is essential to ensure these guest facilities remain operational, safe, and hygienic for guest use. Deep cleaning your guest facilities on a scheduled cadence keeps these spaces operational, safe, and hygienic for guest use. 

Managers can motivate their teams with the standard of "Individual responsibility, team accountability" to ensure everyone sees the larger goal of the housekeeping team. This means that in addition to individually assigned tasks; If someone needs help, they step in to lend a hand. If a mess is found, the mess is cleaned up... no matter what. The guest experience depends on it.

Standard 3: Guest Happiness is Everyone's Job

In the end, hotels are about people and housekeeping is part of that picture. Housekeepers can be found all over hotel properties and are often the front line for solving guest problems. These interactions should be encouraged, standardized, measured and rewarded as they are touchpoints of guest happiness. Understand and define your brand's culture so that guest happiness is everyone's job.

Housekeeping Gif
Mrs Doubtfire via Giphy

Housekeepers must know property protocol surrounding additional towels, toiletries or opening guest rooms. Housekeepers should know what activities are encouraged or forbidden and whether or not to document the interaction. All properties are different, but best practice is to encourage guest interaction if the guest is asking for help, while refraining from initiating interactions. If asked, housekeepers should provide extra towels and toiletries, but they should also document every instance for accounting and forecasting. Housekeepers should never allow people into rooms they do not have a key to, rather they should direct them to the front desk for a secure key replacement.

How a Hotel Housekeeping Procedure & Checklist Can Help

Hotel Housekeeping Checklist Preview
Hotel Housekeeping Checklist Preview

Setting up clearly defined expectations and steps for housekeeping makes it easier for your housekeeping team to work autonomously and complete all necessary cleaning tasks. One way to easily set these expectations is by creating a simplified checklist of housekeeping duties and responsibilities for each cleaning type. Checklists are a great way to increase employee accountability and keep track of cleaning data for improvement over time. 

Cleaning checklists can help you to be prepared and manage different scenarios, such as cleaning procedure of occupied rooms, deep cleans, and more. From there, both housekeepers and housekeeping managers and executives can utilize checklists to track, manage, and complete housekeeping tasks for better accountability and visibility. Tracking cleanings in this way allows for proper recognition when housekeepers are completing all cleanings appropriately and makes it easy to provide constructive critiques when there’s room for improvement. 

A good housekeeping checklist will include straightforward procedural steps for completing the type of cleaning the checklist is made for. It should also be available in the native language of team members to make the list accessible and simple to follow. 

Cleaning Tasks for a Guest Room Housekeeping Checklist Might Include: 

  • Clean and sanitize countertops and surfaces 
  • Inspect the bed and change sheets
  • Vacuum floors and rugs
  • Sweep and mop hard flooring 
  • Dust blinds, corners, and décor 
  • Clean and sanitize bathroom: toilet, shower/tub, sink, etc. 
  • Replace towels 
  • Replace toiletries 
  • Take out trash 
  • Complete a final inspection to help catch unfinished or incomplete tasks 

Cleaning tasks in a common-area housekeeping checklist might include: 

  • Wipe and sanitize all surfaces
  • Spot clean and sanitize furniture
  • Dust light fixtures, surfaces, and décor 
  • Vacuum carpets and rugs
  • Spot clean carpets and rugs
  • Mop hard floors 
  • Clean windows and mirrors
  • Remove waste and trash

You can utilize a digital software solution to optimize your cleaning procedure and make checklists easier to track on the go. Hospitality optimization platforms like Xenia allow you to create and store housekeeping checklists digitally so that your team can quickly access and complete cleanings directly on their mobile devices. Plus it allows the team to swiftly communicate via instant messaging to avoid the guest interruptions caused by noisy radio calls. 

Hotel Housekeeping Checklists: Free Template

We’ve included a free housekeeping checklist template to get you started laying out procedural cleaning steps for your team. Just download the template below and adjust the steps as needed to suit your property’s needs. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Got a question? Find our FAQs here. If your question hasn't been answered here, contact us.

How does implementing detailed housekeeping protocols enhance guest satisfaction?

Implementing detailed housekeeping protocols ensures that every room meets the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.

This attention to detail directly contributes to guest satisfaction by providing a consistently clean and welcoming environment, which is crucial in securing positive reviews and repeat business.

What role do housekeeping checklists play in maintaining hotel standards?

Housekeeping checklists serve as essential tools for maintaining hotel standards.

They provide a clear outline of tasks for staff, ensuring that every cleaning aspect is covered.

To emphasize the systematic process further, we'd say that this approach helps in maintaining uniformity and quality in cleanliness across the hotel, crucial for upholding the property’s reputation.

In what ways can hotel managers motivate their housekeeping staff to achieve higher performance?

Hotel managers can motivate their housekeeping staff by fostering a culture of individual responsibility and team accountability.

Recognizing and rewarding excellent performance, providing training for skill enhancement, and ensuring clear communication of expectations can significantly boost morale and efficiency.

How does guest interaction training benefit housekeeping staff?

Training housekeeping staff in guest interaction equips them with the skills to handle various guest needs effectively and professionally.

This training can lead to improved guest experiences, as staff can promptly and courteously address requests, contributing to overall guest satisfaction and a positive image of the hotel.