Housekeeping and the Guest Cycle

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We are mainly dissecting the issues posed in Rooms Division; which are specifically the Housekeeping and Front Office departments. As these two departments are one of the key functions in any hotel, because the first contact or impression the guest would experience would be from the moment they enter the hotel. The next unforgettable experience would be the room they would be staying at; it could make or break the guests’ impression of the hotel. Basically, if the Housekeeping did not do a good job in cleaning the room or if the Front Office ‘accidently’ assigned a ‘dirty’ room to them; the impact on the hotel image would be drastically affected. The key topics which would be discussed are the impact on the guest cycle and what measures are to be taken on the issues to be addressed. My findings would be based on readings from either the textbook, journals, my personal views and the internet. References would be mentioned accordingly.

Findings
There are several issues happening at the Blue Ribbon Hotel which needs to be resolved quickly. Let’s discuss the issues Housekeeping has; the Executive Housekeeper does not show a sense of responsibility in her capacity to her associates, she prefers to look after them and dealing with their problems. Room Supervisors has to make up rooms if the room forecast is inaccurate with the actual occupancy. There are also challenges with retaining and attracting room attendants. Lastly, other departments in the hotel are not willing to help out Housekeeping, should there be a shortage of manpower. Over at Front Office, the Front Office Manager has difficulty forecasting the occupancy level. It is either exceeds the previous forecast or under achieved.

Discussions
The guest cycle describes the activities that follow after a customer makes a reservation by either phone or email. Followed by pre arrival, arrival, occupancy and departure. Each stage of the guest cycle is associated with a different department of the rooms division, which goes from creating the reservation, attending to special requests; registration, baggage handling etc right up to the point the guest checks out. Communication is a vital point in the hospitality industry; it is because all departments within the hotel are inter-related. An internal or external guest may have needs or special requests which can sometime involve up to three departments to attend to. In cases like this, communication can easily breakdown and the outcome may be disastrous. As the saying goes, ‘teamwork always wins’. Instead of communicating with Front Office or to deal with the forecasting issue, the Executive Housekeeper enjoys ‘looking after and dealing with staff’s problems’. Rather than ‘taking a step back to assess her own behaviour and how it might be interpreted by her staff’ says David, 2010. It clearly shows that her staffs are not passionate and physically tired with their job k to assess they don’t mind leaving early with less income. Cleaning sixteen rooms per day can really take a toll on someone and especially if they are not motivated by their superior, they feel of no importance to the organization. Housekeeping attendants are line staff in a hotel organization, if rooms are not made up properly, it would have an impact on the guest experience and hotel. If Supervisors are involved with cleaning rooms because of an inaccurate report, who are going to inspect ‘cleaned up’ rooms and make sure they are of quality for the next guest who checks in? Lastly retaining and attracting staff can be a challenge in the Housekeeping department due to the nature of the job and external factors such as remuneration; the Executive Housekeeper should look at innovative ways and update management style to attract new attendants. It would be a added advantage to the organization if they are able to retain staff, as it cuts down on re-training so that supervisors can spend more effort checking the room cleanliness.

Communication is a...
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