World Panel
Viewpoint28 July 2020

Does the post-COVID era require a different skillset from housekeepers?

Housekeeping in Hospitality

— 7 experts shared their view

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Does the post-COVID era require a different skillset from housekeepers?
This viewpoint was created by
Soenke Weiss, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Optii Solutions Pty Ltd
This viewpoint is co-created with Optii Solutions Inc.
Soenke Weisssupplier view
Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Optii Solutions Pty Ltd

The sudden changes and swift momentum triggered by COVID-19 have placed many housekeepers outside of their comfort zone without advance warning. Just like other department heads, they suddenly found themselves having to deal with a situation they were not trained, nor prepared for. 

The traditional skillset remains relevant and will continue to form the foundational core for the role. The increased complexity of managing cleaning operations with new variables like infrequent stayover cleans, idle periods for decontamination, and the extra accountability introduced by hygiene responsibilities with little room for error require tighter processes than ever before. Cost control advances in importance once again as the impact of additional cleaning costs need to be mitigated. 

The sophistication is increasing and the standing of housekeepers within the management team has increased in recent years. As a long-time advocate for housekeeping, I am encouraged to see more management attention and talent injection. While high-end properties have senior team members in these positions, the other 3 quartiles of executive housekeepers globally are often lacking formal education and management training to prepare them for the increased sophistication of their roles. I hope that more management training and appreciation will be afforded to those that may be struggling and thus enable them to grow professionally. 

Hotels are defined as establishments providing accommodation and the guardians of the rooms' product deserve all the training and tools to deliver hygienically clean rooms consistently and profitably.

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