Nurturing Your Housekeeping Staff

Leadership Employee Management

All people want to feel appreciated at work, and your housekeeping staff are no acception. Here’s how to show them they’re appreciated every day.

People like to feel appreciated, whether it’s at home or at work. And, when people are appreciated at work — especially in jobs that tend to go unnoticed, such as housekeeping staff — they have a tendency to work harder and yield better results.

New York Magazine jokes that the key to an employee’s heart is through compliments and pizza, but there’s some logic behind it. A study led by author Dan Areily found that employees motivated by the promise of a compliment had their productivity rise 6.6 percent, while employees promised pizza saw a 6.7 percent increase in productivity. Surprisingly, employees working for a $30 cash bonus saw their productivity plummet by 13.2 percent by the second day alone. While this huge drop leveled out during the rest of the study, the overall week ended up costing the company more money and resulted in a 6.5 percent drop in productivity — meaning that, from the employer’s perspective, a cash bonus is worse than offering no incentive at all.

A little value and importance go a long way for employees, and enjoying work and feeling appreciated may do wonders for your staff and their productivity. Here are three tips to keep in mind when fostering a culture of appreciation in your workplace:

1. Focus on Team Building

Individual accomplishments are great and shouldn’t go unnoticed. However, organizations may reap the greatest rewards when they are able to create a true team environment. Building an effective team requires a positive, productive atmosphere where team members know they belong. Team-building exercises are a great way to help increase productivity, improve morale, enhance communications and keep everyone motivated to achieve a common goal.

Team-building activities can go a long way to achieving better workplace relationships, which can then have a positive impact on your company processes and goals. Naturally, team-building means making an occasional investment in activities (making something as a team, going bowling, etc.) designed to form connections between various members. Additionally, these exercises often have a way of spotlighting team member strengths, as well as identifying areas where your organization can help improve an employee’s capabilities. Be sure to explain to your staff the purpose behind the team-building process so that they’ll be themselves rather than trying to impress anyone.

2. Listen, Listen, Listen

A great way to get the optimal return on your organization’s investment is a relatively simple task to complete: Listen to what your team members need rather than making any assumptions. Are they missing certain tools that could facilitate better results? The key to success is to focus on gaining an understanding of what they want, or what they’re willing to utilize on a regular basis.

The biggest mistake people make is to simply create a suggestion box that never garners any action. When your staff has a reasonable request, be sure to take quick action. The goal is to establish an atmosphere where your housekeeping staff feels comfortable discussing ideas that could ultimately lead to a better experience for your guests. When you can’t take immediate action, being transparent about the reasons why you aren’t making a suggested change can go a long way. This serves as an opportunity for positive dialogue to occur — again building trust and respect.

3. Stay the Course

Teams thrive when they have management’s ongoing support. This is why it’s so important to remain consistent with your actions. Be actively involved in helping your housekeeping staff improve. Praise your staff for its successes, and don’t be afraid to work with them as you discover what kind of culture helps them thrive.

The important thing to remember is that building a thriving culture takes an investment. You should not only consider providing your team with the best tools and technologies to do their job, but you should also invest time into making sure they’re supported in their workday and beyond.

Peter Fretty
Peter Fretty

As a highly experienced freelance journalist, Peter Fretty has written thousands of feature articles and cover stories for an assortment of trade journals, business publications and consumer magazines. With a B.A. in Business Management and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Communications, Fretty spent roughly fifteen years working in various capacities in the aerospace, automotive and telecommunications industries. Fretty has since worked with over forty publications as well as co-authored a book with Dr. Shelton Rhodes which focuses on government contracting.