Professional Management of Housekeeping Operations / Edition 5

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Now in its fifth edition, Professional Management of Housekeeping Operations is the essential practical introduction to the field, a complete course ranging from key principles of management to budgeting, from staff scheduling to cleaning. With expanded attention to leadership and training, budgeting and cost control, and the increasingly vital responsibility for environmentally safe cleaning, the latest edition of this industry standard also includes new case studies that help readers grasp concepts in a real-world setting.

Instructor's Manual, Test Bank in both Word and Respondus formats, Photographs from the text, and PowerPoint Slides are available for download at

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471762447
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/26/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 406,769
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J.A. Jones is an Associate Professor in the Hotel Management Department of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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Table of Contents



1 The Executive Housekeeper and Scientific Management.


2 Conceptual Planning.

3 Planning to Schedule Workers: A Major Advantage of HousekeeperTeam Staffing.

4 Material Planning: Administration of Equipment andSupplies.

5 Material Planning: Floors, Walls, and Windows.

6 Material Planning: Supplies and Equipment.

7 Material Planning: Bedding, Linens, and Uniforms.

8 Staffing for Housekeeping Operations.

9 Operational Planning.


10 The Hotel Housekeeping Daily Routine of DepartmentManagement.

11 Hotel Housekeeping Subroutines.


12 Swimming Pool Operations and Management.

13 Housekeeping in Other Venues.

14 The Safeguarding of Assets: Concerns for Safety and Securityin Housekeeping Operations.

15 The Laundry: Toward an Understanding of Basic Engineering andOperational Considerations.

16 The Full Circle of Management.

APPENDIX A: Job Descriptions.

APPENDIX B: Hotel Employee Handbook.

APPENDIX C: Bally’s Casino Resort Housekeeping DepartmentRules and Regulations.

APPENDIX D: Ozone in the Laundry.

APPENDIX E: What If (Publication).

APPENDIX F: Excerpts from InterContinental Hotels Group LossPrevention Manual.

APPENDIX G: The Personal Plan.

APPENDIX H: Microfiber Technology.

APPENDIX I: Proteam Articles.

APPENDIX J: National Trade Publications Articles.



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First Chapter

Professional Management of Housekeeping Operations

By Thomas J. A. Jones

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-471-26894-1

Chapter One

Staffing for Housekeeping Operations

* Prelude to Staffing

* Job Specifications

Job Specification-Example

* Employee Requisition

* Staffing Housekeeping Positions

Selecting Employees The Interview Orientation Training Records and Reports Evaluation and Performance Appraisal Outsourcing

Prelude to Staffing

Staffing is the third sequential function of management. Up until now the executive housekeeper has been concerned with planning and organizing the housekeeping department for the impending opening and operations. Now the executive housekeeper must think about hiring employees within sufficient time to ensure that three of the activities of staffing-selection (including interviewing), orientation, and training-may be completed before opening. Staffing will be a major task of the last two weeks before opening.

The development of the Area Responsibility Plan and the House Breakout Plan before opening led to preparation of the Department Staffing Guide, which will be a major tool in determining the need for employees in various categories. The housekeeping manager and laundry manager should now be on board and assisting in the development of various job descriptions. (These are described in Appendix B.) The hotel human resources department would also have been preparing for the hiring event. They would haveadvertised a mass hiring for all categories of personnel to begin on a certain date about two weeks before opening.

Even though this chapter reflects a continuation of the executive housekeeper's planning for opening operations, the techniques described apply to any ongoing operation, except that the magnitude of selection, orientation, and training activities will not be as intense. Also, the fourth activity-development of existing employees-is normally missing in opening operations but is highly visible in ongoing operations.

Job Specifications

Job specifications should be written as job descriptions (see Appendix B) are prepared. Job specifications are simple statements of what the various incumbents to positions will be expected to do. An example of a job specification for a section housekeeper is as follows:

Job Specification-Example

Section Housekeeper (hotels) [often Guestroom Attendant-GRA] The incumbent will work as a member of a housekeeping team, cleaning and servicing for occupancy of approximately 18 hotel guestrooms each day. Work will generally include the tasks of bed making, vacuuming, dusting, and bathroom cleaning. Incumbent will also be expected to maintain equipment provided for work and load housekeeper's cart before the end of each day's operation. Section housekeepers must be willing to work their share of weekends and be dependable in coming to work each day scheduled.

[Any special qualifications, such as ability to speak a foreign language, might also be listed.]

Employee Requisition

Once job specifications have been developed for every position, employee requisitions are prepared for first hirings (and for any follow-up needs for the human resources department). Figure 8.1 is an example of an Employee Requisition. Note the designation as to whether the requisition is for a new or a replacement position and the number of employees required for a specific requisition number. The human resources department will advertise, take applications, and screen to fill each requisition by number until all positions are filled. For example, the first requisition for GRAs may be for 20 GRAs. The human resources department will continue to advertise for, take applications, and screen employees for the housekeeping department and will provide candidates for interview by department managers until 20 GRAs are hired. Should any be hired and require replacing, a new employee requisition will be required.

Staffing Housekeeping Positions

There are several activities involved in staffing a housekeeping operation. Executive housekeepers must select and interview employees, participate in an orientation program, train newly hired employees, and develop employees for future growth. Each of these activities will now be discussed.

Selecting Employees

Sources of Employees

Each area of the United States has its own demographic situations that affect the availability of suitable employees for involvement in housekeeping or environmental service operations. For example, in one area, an exceptionally high response rate from people seeking food service work may occur and a low response rate from people seeking housekeeping positions may occur. In another area, the reverse may be true, and people interested in housekeeping work may far outnumber those interested in food service.

Surveys among hotels or hospitals in your area will indicate the best source for various classifications of employees. Advertising campaigns that will reach these employees are the best method of locating suitable people. Major classified ads associated with mass hirings will specify the need for food service personnel, front desk clerks, food servers, housekeeping personnel, and maintenance people. Such ads may yield surprising results.

If the volume of response for housekeeping personnel is insufficient to provide a suitable hiring base, the following sources may be investigated:

1. Local employment agencies

2. Flyers posted on community bulletin boards

3. Local church organizations

4. Neighborhood canvass for friends of recently hired employees

5. Direct radio appeals to local homemakers

6. Organizations for underprivileged ethnic minorities, and mentally disabled people (It should be noted that many mentally disabled persons are completely capable of performing simple housekeeping tasks and are dependable and responsible people seeking an opportunity to perform in a productive capacity.)

If these sources do not produce the volume of applicants necessary to develop a staff, it may become necessary to search for employees in distant areas and to provide regular transportation for them to and from work.

If aliens are hired, the department manager must take great care to ensure that they are legal residents of this country and that their green cards are valid. More than one hotel department manager has had an entire staff swept away by the Department of Immigration after hiring people who were illegal aliens. Such unfortunate action has required the immediate assistance of all available employees (including management) to fill in.

Processing Applicants

Whether you are involved in a mass hiring or in the recruiting of a single employee, a systematic and courteous procedure for processing applicants is essential. For example, in the opening of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott, 11,000 applicants were processed to fill approximately 850 positions in a period of about two weeks. The magnitude of such an operation required a near assembly-line technique, but a personable and positive experience for the applicants still had to be maintained.

The efficient handling of lines of employees, courteous attendance, personal concern for employee desires, and reference to suitable departments for those unfamiliar with what the hotel or hospital has to offer all become earmarks for how the company will treat its employees. The key to proper handling of applicants is the use of a control system whereby employees are conducted through the steps of application, prescreening, and if qualified, reference to a department for interview. Figure 8.2 is a typical processing record that helps ensure fair and efficient handling of each applicant.

Note the opportunity for employees to express their desires for a specific type of employment. Even though an employee may desire involvement in one classification of work, he or she may be hired for employment in a different department. Also, employees might not be aware of the possibilities available in a particular department at the time of application or may be unable to locate in desired departments at the time of mass hirings. Employees who perform well should therefore be given the opportunity to transfer to other departments when the opportunities arise.

According to laws regulated by federal and state Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPA), no person may be denied the opportunity to submit application for employment for a position of his or her choosing. Not only is the law strict on this point, but companies in any way benefiting from interstate commerce (such as hotels and hospitals) may not discriminate in the hiring of people based on race, color, national origin, or religious preference. Although specific hours and days of the week may be specified, it is a generally accepted fact that hotels and hospitals must maintain personnel operations that provide the opportunity for people to submit applications without prejudice.

Prescreening Applicants

The prescreening interview is a staff function normally provided to all hotel or hospital departments by the human resources section of the organization. Prescreening is a preliminary interview process in which unqualified applicants-those applicants who do not meet the criteria for a job as specified in the job specification-special qualifications-are selected (or screened) out. For example, an applicant for a secretarial job that requires the incumbent to take shorthand and be able to type 60 words a minute may be screened out if the applicant is not able to pass a relevant typing and shorthand test. The results of prescreening are usually coded for internal use and are indicated on the Applicant Processing Record (Figure 8.2).

If a candidate is screened out by the personnel section, he or she should be told the reason immediately and thanked for applying for employment.

Applicants who are not screened out should either be referred to a specific department for interview or, if all immediate positions are filled, have their applications placed in a department pending file for future reference. All applicants should be told that hiring decisions will be made by individual department managers based on the best qualifications from among those interviewed.

A suggested agenda for a prescreening interview is as follows:

1. The initial contact should be cordial and helpful. Many employees are lost at this stage because of inefficient systems established for handling applicants.

2. During the prescreening interview, try to determine what the employee is seeking, whether such a position is available, or, if not, when such a position might become available.

3. Review the work history as stated on the application to determine whether the applicant meets the obvious physical and mental qualifications, as well as important human qualifications such as emotional stability, personality, honesty, integrity, and reliability.

4. Do not waste time if the applicant is obviously not qualified or if no immediate position is available. When potential vacancies or a backlog of applicants exists, inform the candidate. Be efficient in stating this to the applicant. Always make sure that the applicant gives you a phone number in order that he or she may be called at some future date. Because most applicants seeking employment are actively seeking immediate work, applications more than 30 days old are usually worthless.

5. If at all possible, an immediate interview by the department manager should be held after screening. If this is not possible, a definite appointment should be made for the candidate's interview as soon as possible.

The Interview

An interview should be conducted by a manager of the department to which the applicant has been referred. In ongoing operations, it is often wise to also allow the supervisor for whom the new employee will work to visit with the candidate in order that the supervisor may gain a feel for how it would be to work together. The supervisor's view should be considered, since a harmonious relationship at the working level is important. Although the acceptance of an employee remains a prerogative of management, it would be unwise to accept an employee into a position when the supervisor has reservations about the applicant.

Certain personal characteristics should be explored when interviewing an employee. Some of these characteristics are native skills, stability, reliability, experience, attitude toward employment, personality, physical traits, stamina, age, sex, education, previous training, initiative, alertness, appearance, and personal cleanliness. Although employers may not discriminate against race, sex, age, religion, and nationality, overall considerations may involve the capability to lift heavy objects, enter men's or women's restrooms, and so on. In a housekeeping (or environmental services) department, people should be employed who find enjoyment in housework at home. Remember that character and personality cannot be completely judged from a person's appearance. Also, it should be expected that a person's appearance will never be better than when that person is applying for a job.

Letters of recommendation and references should be carefully considered. Seldom will a letter of recommendation be adverse, whereas a telephone call might be most revealing.

If it were necessary to select the most important step in the selection process, interviewing would be it. Interviewing is the step that separates those who will be employed from those who will not. Poor interviewing techniques can make the process more difficult and may produce a result that can be both frustrating and damaging for both parties. In addition, inadequate interviewing will result in gaining incorrect information, being confused about what has been said, suppression of information, and, in some circumstances, complete withdrawal from the process by the candidate.

The following is a well-accepted list of the steps for a successful interview process.

1. Be prepared. Have a checklist of significant questions ready to ask the candidate. Such questions may be prepared from the body of the job description. This preparation will allow the interviewer to assume the initiative in the interview.

2. Find a proper place to conduct the interview. The applicant should be made to feel comfortable. The interview should be conducted in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere where there is privacy that will bring about a confidential conversation.

Excerpted from Professional Management of Housekeeping Operations by Thomas J. A. Jones Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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