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Hotel housekeepers play an integral role in operating a pleasant and memorable hotel. The housekeeping staff is responsible for thoroughly cleaning each room and all common areas, washing towels and linens, emptying trash, vacuuming and mopping floors. The team also stocks supplies -- such as towels, shampoo and soap -- in each room. This job requires professionalism, customer service skills and the ability to work well within a team.
Educational and Training
Hotel housekeepers are typically trained on the job by a supervisor or senior housekeeping staff. The training is hands-on, and involves shadowing the trainer and performing more and more duties independently until training is successfully completed. While there are no certification or formal education requirements, a high school diploma may prove beneficial, especially in areas where competition for this job is stiff. The Bureau of Labor notes that housekeepers with previous customer service experience may be more attractive job candidates to employers seeking to quickly fill positions with quality applicants.
Hotel housekeepers stand and walk during most of the work day, so this position requires a measure of fitness and physical stamina. The job involves a great amount of stooping, bending and lifting during routine cleaning, making beds, and in some instances, moving furniture to clean underneath or around an item. Hotel housekeepers must also be able to continuously push heavy supply carts from room to room without strain.
Customer Service Skills
From the front desk clerk to the housekeeping staff, all hotel employees contribute to the customer experience. While housekeepers may not always have direct contact with guests, their job performance and efficiency have a direct impact on the customer’s visit and overall opinion of the hotel. The housekeeping position in itself is a customer service job: housekeepers are required to provide excellent customer service by greeting customers when encountered and simply by performing well on a daily basis.
Working as a hotel housekeeper can seem like a thankless job. The housekeeper, often unseen, cleans up after guests and other employees, and typically doesn’t receive tips like valet drivers and other staff. This job requires a commitment to personal bests and upholding the hotel brand’s image at all times. Honesty is one of the most important requirements for this job. Guests must feel comfortable leaving their possessions in an unattended room without fear of theft. Communication skills and dependability are also required for this position. The housekeeping staff communicates throughout the day about cleaning charts, supplies and other job-related matters. The housekeeper is also expected to report any maintenance issues discovered during routine cleaning.
Olivia Johnson covers issues relating to the U.S. workforce and human resources. A professional journalist since 2001, she has worked in print and broadcast media for news outlets including ABC affiliates in Tennessee and Alabama, CBS Radio News, Westwood One and public radio. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and is currently based in Tennessee.
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