We all know and realise that this is an exceptionally difficult time for hotels. All of them are trying to battle major issues, including their own survival. Some have shown great benevolence to help key workers and open up their hotels and restaurants to the vulnerable in their communities.
The show will eventually go on and the hotel industry will get back on track but it will be different. This change will certainly be temporary until a proper vaccine is found and probably to a degree permanent as buying patterns and guest requirements change.
Hotels are looking right now in how they can be most effective and function once some restrictions start to relax a little to allow them to reopen in some way. Clearly a major part of this refocus is on cleaning and ensuring their hotels are as hygienic as possible, often conforming to strict new guidelines.
Many big hotel companies such as Marriott, Hilton and Accor have partnered with well known cleaning companies to try to rigidly enforce these standards and some tourist bureaus, such as Singapore, have taken a regional or country wide approach. That is good to see and will ensure that guests will have some confidence in returning.
However, the glaring omission is the housekeeping staff itself. Perhaps that will follow but now is the time when hotels need to start to implement this. Anyone of us who have worked in hotels will know that housekeeping staff were already under great pressure, with strict guidelines and targeted on minutes per room clean. They work incredibly hard and are the some of the poorest paid members of the team, often employed by third party agencies.
Even before this crisis, they were one of the most vital parts of the operation. No clean room = no new guests. Now their value has clearly risen enormously.
So, my message is simple:
- Relook at the role of housekeepers
- Make them more of a valued and permanent member of the team
- Pay them what they are worth
- Elevate their standing within the industry
Quite simply, housekeepers are the key workers of our industry. I honestly believe that hotels would receive more confidence and trust from their customers if they made it known to the public that this is a policy they are going to implement.
Please share this and like this so hopefully we can start to ensure hotels adopt this moving forward.