Mar 21, 2014
For decades, the hospitality industry has paid room attendants (RA's) based on the number of rooms they have cleaned (often referred to as the ‘credit system’). There is some logic to this, after all, shouldn't an RA who cleans many rooms earn more than someone who cleans a few? The answer is a resounding 'no'! Simply put, not all room 'cleans' are created equal. It is quite conceivable that one room could take a long time to clean while another (identically-sized) room could be far easier to clean, on any given day. It is a fundamental flaw of the system that it compromises quality by incentivising RAs to hurry through their cleaning assignments to earn more money.
Let's compare this system for renumeration with some other areas in the hospitality business. Would we pay wait staff based on the number of tables they serve in a month? Or receptionists based on the number of guests they check in or check out? Of course not - because we know that to complete their jobs with excellence is a multi-faceted challenge and not simply based on a single metric. For wait staff and receptionists, we might also look at customer feedback and the ability to collaborate with team members.
So, if this system is fundamentally flawed, then why have we persisted with it for so long? One argument is that housekeeping really doesn't get enough managerial attention especially when you consider that it represents such a large expense to the hotel. That means renumeration methods have not been scrutinised over the years and we are left with an antiquated system.
But there is probably a more important reason; the absence of data related to housekeeping operations. You can not manage what you can't measure!
There are very few systems which can realistically predict the time needed to clean a room based on a diverse range of factors such as the reason for travel, length of stay, demographic profile of guests and number of guests in the room - all of which have a significant correlation to cleaning time.
However, when you can predict estimated clean times, housekeeping assignments can be allocated to your RAs in the most optimum way. RA performance can be evaluated relative to an accurate benchmark, not just an average clean time or some other arbitrary measure. That's good for the hotel because transparency and efficiency are increased. It is good for the RAs who are allocated reasonable workloads AND they can be rewarded when they excel at their work. It also highlights training opportunities and areas for continuous improvement which leads to more motivated and empowered staff.
For more information on the new Optii Keeper - and how it can transform your housekeeping management - please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org