What Is Housekeeping Management? (Definition And Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The housekeeping department is responsible for the cleanliness, regular maintenance and visual appeal of all rooms, public areas and surroundings. Housekeeping management involves organising, directing and supervising the housekeeping department and housekeepers to help them work efficiently. Having a basic understanding of housekeeping management and the primary duties of a housekeeping manager can help you prepare for a career in this field. In this article, we learn 'What is housekeeping management?', explore the primary duties and important skills of a housekeeping supervisor and review some related frequently asked questions.

What is housekeeping management?

Before choosing to become a housekeeping supervisor, it is essential to first understand the answer to the question, 'What is housekeeping management?'. Housekeeping management refers to managing equipment and supplies, time and schedules and duties and chores of the housekeeping department.

The housekeeping department is a very important part of the hospitality industry. It involves maintaining entire hotel areas, including rooms, back areas, public spaces and general upkeep of staff uniforms, hotel linen and guest clothing. Outside the hotel industry, housekeeping management is demanding in hospitals, at offices and on cruise liners.

Related: What Is Material Management: Definition And Primary Objectives

Primary duties of a housekeeping supervisor

Housekeeping supervisors are responsible for managing the housekeeping staff in hotels, universities, office buildings, schools and other facilities requiring routine cleaning and maintenance. The job involves housekeeping experience, excellent observation skills, attention to detail and verbal and non-verbal communication proficiency. Here are some of the primary duties of a housekeeping supervisor:

Providing training

As a supervisor, one of your key responsibilities is to train the housekeeping staff. This includes educating new employees about the organisation's policies and procedures, its cleaning and maintenance procedures, the location of supplies and the facility's layout. The ability of an employee to perform their job is usually the outcome of the quality of training they receive.

Scheduling

Supervisors manage work hours to ensure that employees get fair working hours and arrange for time off as required. They ensure that competent and knowledgeable employees cover every shift. They can pair less-experienced employees with more experienced ones or rearrange their schedules for proper staffing during the busy durations of the day to manage increasing business volume. A supervisor delegates specific tasks and responsibilities to qualified employees as required. If there are any absentees or for other unforeseen circumstances, the supervisor may arrange for a replacement or temporary staff to cover the shift.

Giving instructions

Supervisors provide clear and specific instructions to the employees. They inform the housekeeping employees about the safety and security regulations and company policies. They make sure to deliver the instructions clearly and accurately for better housekeeping and customer satisfaction.

Managing equipment and supplies

A housekeeping supervisor is in charge of inventory and supply management. It is their responsibility to ensure that employees have all the necessary tools to do their jobs efficiently. They are also responsible for maintaining equipment like vacuum cleaners and floor polishers. They track and audit the use and availability of resources for effective management.

Ensuring exemplary customer service

Ensuring excellent customer service is also the role of a housekeeping supervisor. They require maintaining an atmosphere of politeness, professionalism and openness. They are responsible for listening to customer complaints and suggestions and providing constructive feedback to the employees.

Conducting performance evaluations

Housekeeping supervisors do performance evaluations of the housekeeping staff. They measure employees' performance to analyse who requires training and who can take more responsibility. They provide constructive feedback to employees who require improvement and appreciate employees who perform well. If an employee is not performing well, a supervisor may give provide training to help them improve their performance.

Resolving conflicts

Supervisors listen to their employees' complaints and concerns. They are responsible for resolving any conflicts among employees. If required, they also provide mentoring and counselling. If a dispute arises, the supervisor counsels the employees involved and utilises the company's best practices to mediate an acceptable resolution. They are also responsible for documenting disciplinary actions and frequently provide their manager or the business owner with regular employee status reports.

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? Using This Practice At Work

Important skills for a housekeeping supervisor

Here are some important skills for a housekeeping supervisor to succeed in the role:

Communication skills

Communicating effectively in both verbal and written form is important for a housekeeping supervisor. Their role involves communicating expectations, suggestions, constructive feedback and company regulations and policies clearly and professionally. Housekeeping supervisors keep written records of daily activities, employee progress and required supplies, which require good written communication skills.

Attention to detail

Attention to detail means observing and reviewing work with a keen eye while performing your job efficiently. Having strong attention to detail is an important skill for a housekeeping supervisor as they manage the entire team and inventory of the housekeeping department. Inventory management and schedule making require good attention, as it is essential to ensure excellent customer service and company reputation.

Customer service skills

Good customer service skills allow housekeeping managers to improve company reputation and revenue. They communicate with customers, request feedback, and use it to improve customer service and meet customer expectations. They oversee housekeeping employees and ensure employees do their work efficiently for customer satisfaction. Having great customer service skills helps them manage employees in a way that ensures the best guest service and provides maximum customer satisfaction.

Problem-solving ability

While managing the housekeeping department in big hotels or offices, the supervisor may encounter different situations. If the housekeeping staff is on leave and the department lack staff or there is any mismatch in the inventory, it is the housekeeping supervisor's responsibility to manage such situations. With problem-solving ability, they can efficiently address any issue raised in the department.

Related: How To Develop Your Skill Set: A Complete Guide

Organisational skills

Housekeeping supervisors with organisational skills can manage multiple works at the same time. With strong organisational skills, they can reduce management risks and improve the quality of operation. A housekeeping supervisor typically requires multi-tasking abilities, along with managerial skills, to efficiently supervise and manage the team and department.

Teamwork

Exceptional people skills are important to managing and coordinating the team. A housekeeping supervisor with good teamwork and people skills can efficiently manage the team of housekeeping staff to meet customer satisfaction. They also collaborate and interact with other units of the hotels or offices to instruct the housekeeping staff to clean and maintain those units. Good teamwork results in better time and resource management.

Related: How To Develop Effective People Management Skills

Time management

Another critical skill for a housekeeping supervisor is time management. They establish employees' work schedules and specify when and how they can work. They also implement policies and procedures regarding breaks and leaves and maintain a record of employee attendance. Performing all these duties requires better time management.

Leadership skills

Housekeeping supervisors are responsible for overseeing employees' work and motivating them to better perform their work. They are also responsible for arranging meetings, allocating work and encouraging collaboration among teams. Strong leadership skills allow them to efficiently coordinate tasks and direct teams to ensure cleaning on time and proper maintenance of rooms and other areas of the building or compound.

Related: Leadership Roles (With Examples And Functions Of Leadership)

What is the average salary of a housekeeping supervisor?

The national average salary of a housekeeping supervisor is ₹18,210 per month. There are various factors, including skills, experience, qualifications, company and job location, that affect the salary of a housekeeping supervisor. Candidates with relevant experience in housekeeping or management departments can expect higher pay. You can consider garnering some work experience by doing internships or jobs or pursuing a higher degree and certifications to increase your earning potential.

Some frequently asked questions related to housekeeping management

Here are some FAQs related to housekeeping management:

What are the two types of housekeeping?

The two types of housekeeping are institutional and domestic housekeeping. Institutional housekeeping refers to housekeeping services in commercial residence establishments like hotels, resorts, inns and apartments, or other commercial buildings such as offices. Domestic housekeeping refers to housekeeping services in a house covering rooms, kitchen, dining area, reception area, grounds and the other common areas within the house.

Is housekeeping management a good career?

As with any other department, housekeeping provides an opportunity for an individual to build a successful career and advance to various levels of management, including general manager. Along with a good career, it can also be a satisfying career if you enjoy management and customer interaction. The career growth of a housekeeping supervisor includes housekeeping manager, director of housekeeping and general manager.

What makes a good housekeeping supervisor?

Along with being an expert at developing and implementing strategies to enhance the departments' performance, a successful housekeeping supervisor also possess excellent management abilities. They can ensure that operations run smoothly by adhering to established standards. To become a good supervisor, you can work on developing and enhancing skills that are relevant to housekeeping management.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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