The novel coronavirus outbreak has placed all hotel businesses in a very critical stage. Hotels have been hit very badly by this pandemic. While many hotels are temporarily closed, many are still operting and are struggling to drive business - either they are making dramatically panic decision or either they are still operating in denial.
This COVID - 19 chaos has definitely affected our daily lives, whether we accept it or not, it has also reminded us of something that we all have been ignoring for a long time now - basic hygiene.
The same also applies to hotel business at Regency Inn, West Springfield, MA.
When it comes to running a successful hotel business in a healthier and safer public environment; it is not just the online good reputation of the hotel; but the guest needs to feel results of our action as well, by experiencing personal warmth and friendship at Regency Inn, along with the peaceful and private environment of their comfortable spacious rooms.
So, while people were spending quarantine times at their homes, and the hotel operations were on halt, let us take a look at certain things and how we tried using this time to make things better at Regency Inn. And one of them is definitely 'Housekeeping'.
Proper Hygiene at Hotel
Trained Motivated Housekeepers : -
This is the first and foremost thing to focus on by any hotel. The property won't clean itself - you need to have a staff that is not only just well trained, but also highly motivated towards their work, to ensure that the hotel looks and feels fresh, clean, tidy and it delight the eyes and heart of guests.
The staff should know how to go about disinfecting while cleaning the hotel. And one of the best ways to do it is by dividing the housekeeping staff into groups that would take care of different aspects.
For example, one staff would take care of the survey part, another would go for the service, the third group for disinfecting and the last would go for inspection.
Dividing the tasks among the teams would result in better productivity.
Another thing to focus on staff is their 'Training'. Staff training is crucial to improving housekeeping job performance. Hotels must instruct housekeeping staff on how to implement safe and hygienic sanitizaton practices as well as provide personalized warm and friendly service to guests.
Housekeeping Colors : -
While many hotels have generic housekeeping procedures in place, there is an important need for hotels to be open minded in improving the operations. One of the ways we went about it, was by having something little more creative, expensive but more effective.
'Cleaning with Colors' is proved to be one of the effective ways for housekeeping departments to achieve hygiene - we used it for Regency Inn; as it is also recommended for all hotels, for medical centres, schools, daycares, nursing homes, etc.
But what exactly 'Cleaning With Colors' is?
It is basically a color - coded cleaning program where cleaning products such as rags, towels and cloths with different colors are used to clean different items.
Color Codes used :
Red - Colored cleaning equipment should be used for areas with a higher risk of cross - contamination such as toilets and urinals.
Blue for lower - risk areas such as common areas.
Green for areas where food is handled and prepared. Or, it can even be used to glass, mirrors, etc.
Yellow for objects and surfaces in rooms furniture.
Having such a program in place for housekeeping would definitely prevent the risk of spreading germs and help you achieve that much anticipated hygienic hotel.
Technology : -
While everything mentioned above is necessary, without a doubt, it is also important for hotels to use the current newer technology that helps automate certain tasks at the hotel and also increase coordination among departments.
A housekeeping software works in complete sync with your hotel's front desk and effectively improves service efficiency and reduces paperwork. Having a robust housekeeping software helped us stay informed about every room's status - whether it is cleaned or yet to be cleaned or has any outstanding issue or just needs to be kept vacant for further disinfection procedures.
Furthermore, this software system also helps our housekeeping supervisor and manager to assign tasks to staff effortlessly, track tasks for timely completion and also helps in avoiding work duplication.
It is very much imperative for hotels to have such a system in place to make the most out of their housekeeping.
Thorough Inspections : -
Mistakes do happen, sometimes staff might forget a thing or two to clean and it is not that just the housekeeping staff is to be blamed. Hotels has a separate responsible supervisory team for inspection of all the rooms and facility.
Many might argue that if you have a very well - trained staff, why do you need to invest time inspecting each and every room. Well, even though that makes sense, it is imperative to go throug every room. Well, even though that makes sense, it is imperative to go through every room. Do not take it as an opportunity to find fault rather use their quality control checks as a session to train new staff or trainee or someone who is still not getting a hold of their work or any individual housekeeping member.
Having such a team is a win - win - rooms are always clean and tidy, and staff will always be happy, as they are well trained!
Harsh Reviews Are a Feedback!
There are times when guests are not happy with the hotel, despite all the efforts by the Guest Service Staff and the housekeeping associates.
Guests will check out without complaining but may leave reviews that are not very pleasant to read by the staff committed to serving them.
But instead of getting offended, we take a look at what the guest has complained about. Listening to feedback and harsh complaints is an underrated tip, but this made a really significant difference to our over all service improvement.
Not only from the hotel guests, we also seek feedback from staff as well. Listen well, act, and just go on to improve!
Resilient Hospitality Industry : -
The hospitality industry is one of the most resilient ones! The industry will definitely bounce back to serve better. At this point in time when business is down, it is more important than ever for hotels to focus on things that would make a difference and upgrade their services.
The end of this chaos is inevitable. As soon as this virus is contained and lockdowns are no more in place - travelers will have itchy feet, people would want to leave home and take a peaceful break in comfortable rooms of the hotel, and this is when we are ready and have acted proactively in timely manner to protect our guest and staff while being ready to welcome our guests at Regency Inn.
Therefore, do not panic!
Make the most out of these times and focus on strategies to take your hotel business to the next level.
West Springfield, MA