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Unlike the housekeeping director or housekeeping manager, the supervisor works one-on-one with housekeeping employees to ensure hotel rooms, lobbies and all public spaces consistently receive a rigorous and thorough cleaning. The supervisor knows her employees and encourages them to step up their work ethic when it lags or to voice an opinion or observation about other employees and departments. While the supervisor may help with cleaning and recruit and train new employees, the supervisor's important role comes in maintaining a professional, helpful and content housekeeping.
Cleaning supervisors coordinate, schedule and supervise hotel janitors and cleaners. By assigning tasks and inspecting hotel rooms, lobbies, restaurants and bathrooms, the supervisor assures that all employees accomplish chores to meet hotel standards. The supervisor's role is vital to a hotel's reputation--if any room has full wastebaskets from the previous guests, a dining room has crumbs and peas on the floor from last night's dinner, or a mouse scurries across the lobby floor, the supervisor take responsibility. It is the supervisor utmost priority that the hotel is constantly vacuumed, tidy and fresh.
Because housekeepers in large hotels tend to work in teams--consisting of workers who specialize stocking, vacuuming or cleaning--supervisors check in on teams to ensure quality work. If one worker is out sick or one housekeeping team is understaffed, the supervisor immediately makes sure that chore is handled by another employee who can fill in. Some housekeeping supervisors may help cleaning although their other duties may make lending a hand difficult.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2010-11 report on building and cleaning workers, housekeeping supervisors conduct inspections. These weekly or monthly inspections--decided upon by the supervisor or hotel general manager--ensure that the hotel building consistently meets the hotel's sanitation and cleanliness policies.
The supervisor also check in with housekeeping staff to make sure employees work professionally and efficiently as a team. In hotels, one member of the housekeeping team is generally responsible for reporting electronically, via a hotel software program, when all rooms are cleaned.
Supplies and Inventory
The housekeeping supervisor--not the hotel nor housekeeping manager--orders and stocks all cleaning supplies. The supervisor also runs weekly, bi-weekly or monthly inventory stocks, so that all housekeeping staff has the supplies and equipment it needs to accomplish beautiful, thorough work.
Housekeeping supervisors may also take responsibility for screening and hiring new employees. Because the supervisor knows the ins and outs of a housekeeper's job and daily itinerary, the supervisor can screen out job applicants who do not fit the job description or have the right work-ethic based on her impression. The supervisor may also train new employees and retrain employees slacking in their work.
The supervisor also recommend promotions, department transfers or layoffs. Supervisors, more than the human resources or the general manager, assure that the quality of employees is high as he is the one who sees the workers in action most. The supervisor may also prepare reports regarding room-occupancy numbers, employee hours worked and housekeeping supply and equipment costs. Accounting managers rely on for accurate expense reports.
2016 Salary Information for Janitors and Building Cleaners
Janitors and building cleaners earned a median annual salary of $24,190 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, janitors and building cleaners earned a 25th percentile salary of $20,000, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $31,490, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,384,600 people were employed in the U.S. as janitors and building cleaners.
Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.