Hiring and retaining housekeeping staff in today’s market can be challenging. But with the right strategies in place, you can do more than just attract great hospitality talent—you can create a loyal housekeeping team that stays year after year. Here are five steps Heart of the House uses to attract and retain talent, and you can too:
Housekeepers work hard. While most people spend their weekends and holidays relaxing, housekeeping staff typically spend theirs cleaning rooms and serving hotel guests. Housekeepers not only deserve a competitive wage; in this tight labor market they expect it. With the busy season bustling, and the demand for quality housekeepers doubling overnight, make sure your compensation offering is attractive to both prospective housekeepers and existing staff.
While wages are important, the number one reason housekeepers leave an employer is lack of communication. Your housekeepers want to hear from you (more often than you think), and, more importantly, they want to be heard. To improve retention, don’t just take time to talk to your housekeepers. Take time to listen. What is working for them? What isn’t. Ask what you can do to make their job easier, safer, and more fulfilling. Keeping your housekeeping staff happy isn’t about having all the answers. It’s about asking questions and encouraging conversations. And when you offer open communication at your property, you’ll not only retain staff, but you’ll also attract new housekeepers who want to have a voice where they work.
Is there a best way to attract and retain housekeeping talent? An employee recognition program might be it. Publicly appreciating and celebrating your housekeepers has many benefits. First, you’re letting staff know that their hard work and dedication to service matters. Not just to you, but to your guests and to the entire hospitality industry. Second, it motivates other employees to go above and beyond. Why? Because with an employee appreciation program in place, they know their efforts won’t go unnoticed! Third, employee recognition is an incredible tool for recruitment and retention. It makes workers want to stay, and it can attract housekeepers who feel underappreciated in their current job. Lastly, appreciated housekeepers perform better, which means cleaner rooms and higher satisfaction scores for your hotel.
The hourly nature of hospitality work creates an impression that it’s a “gig” or a “job.” But your housekeepers don’t feel that way. They want a career that provides security, fulfillment, and opportunity. A room attendant may aspire to be housekeeping supervisor, and a supervisor may dream about one day becoming a housekeeping manager. Take these aspirations into account when hiring and nurturing your staff. Give them a path to follow and then support them along the way. You’ll attract a team of housekeeping talent that stays because there is room to grow – with the promise of a career, not just a job.
Hoteliers and housekeeping managers pay special attention to staff safety. We take precautions, perfect procedures, and ensure our housekeeping teams always have the proper PPE. But protection doesn’t have to stop there. Housekeepers also need help protecting their health and finances, and that’s where benefits come in. Offering your staff the protective benefits of health, dental and vision insurance gives them peace of mind. It not only helps keep their families healthy, but it also helps protect their wages. When your housekeeping staff feels safe and cared for, their loyalty increases. They happily share their experience with other housekeepers who may not have a safety net, and who would love to have an employer that offers one.