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Could poor communication be hurting your housekeeping program?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018   Hospitality

Hotel managers tend to be expert communicators when it comes to dealing with guests. Graciously ensuring a customer's needs are met in a speedy, efficient manner is all a part of the job, after all, but what about interactions with their own team? 

Effective communication is equally important among hotel staff, including facilities, maintenance and housekeeping departments. Without it, operations can suffer and the level of service could dip.

Here's how to ensure this doesn't happen in your hotel or resort. 

The true cost of poor communication

The biggest symptoms of weak communication in a hotel are wasted time and poor service. 

Say, for example, the housekeeping team hasn't been told room 305 needs late check out. In addition to wasting their time knocking and trying to phone the secretary information, they've also irritated the customer by waking them up. Because housekeeping never received the message, they forget to return to the room later that day. New guests turn up, angry and disappointed, they request a room change and a refund, wasting hotel resources.  

Good communication, on the other hand, can lead to:

Good communication can enhance the guest experience significantly.Good communication can enhance the guest experience significantly.

Tips to improve housekeeping communications

Often, hotel communication suffers because management teams assume it's a natural skill rather than a learned aptitude. Truly effective communication needs to be nurtured and trained. 

Here's how:

1. Foster open communication

The first step is to ensure everyone on staff feels comfortable speaking and voicing concerns.

Ensure everyone on staff feels comfortable speaking and voicing concerns.

A study by the Victorian Trades Hall Council found that 55 per cent of workers didn't feel comfortable speaking up about their conditions and pay without risking their jobs.

This kind of work environment is not only bad for morale, but also for operations. If staff don't feel confident speaking to upper management, important issues and concerns are likely to be overlooked. 

2. Enforce clear communication systems

How you communicate should also be explicitly clear. 

Set and enforce structures for how you communicate about certain things, such as a meeting each morning, a reporting system for emergency messages, and a clear window for how long staff have to respond to such messages.

They key is to ensure systems are effective but not overbearing. While you want communication to be thorough, it shouldn't be so extensive that it interferes with housekeeping. 

Teamwork is a key aspect of effective communication. Teamwork is a key aspect of effective communication.

3. Outsource your housekeeping to ACW Hospitality

If you're serious about setting up the right communication systems in your hotel or resort, work with the professionals who already have them in place.

At ACW Hospitality, we pride ourselves in strong, open communication – not only between our housekeeping personnel, but other teams and clients as well. Our web-based management system, CleanCare Connect provides complete transparency in communication and reporting. CleanCare Connect allows our clients to access detailed information on multiple properties. These include housekeeping and cleaning specifications, work requests, risk assessments, site inspections, audits and client feedback. Additionally, it also serves as an effective communication tool for both parties, if any requests or issues do arise.

To find out more, reach out to ACW Hospitality today