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How to Reduce Employee Turnover in Hotel Housekeeping

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The leisure and hospitality industry suffers from some of the lowest retention rates, averaging 79% annual employment in 2024. 

High hospitality turnover can hit a property’s bottom line extremely hard.

Housekeeping is a labor-intensive, often monotonous, and not exactly high-paying occupation. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if high housekeeping employee turnover is an ongoing concern for hotels.

From small boutique hotels to large hotel chains, this is a major problem that keeps hoteliers scrambling for solutions.

Despite the ongoing challenges of labor shortages and high turnover rates within the hospitality industry, experienced hoteliers know they can tackle this problem with the right strategies. 

That is precisely what we will discuss in this post.

Help New Hires Transition into Team Players

While over 1 million new hires joined the hospitality industry in January 2024, it also lost nearly 781,000 workers, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. 

So make it a point to engage new hires from the moment they accept your job offer to cultivate higher job satisfaction and reduce housekeeping turnover in the long-term.

Hotels can utilize a pre-boarding app or even generic communication apps to send personalized messages to build enthusiasm. 

For example, a welcome video from the team leader, tips from colleagues, a booklet outlining the onboarding process, and checklists for their first day can help new housekeepers, whether full-time employees or gig workers, become team players from day one.  

Once on board, housekeeping managers should prioritize a stellar onboarding experience. 

  • Provide detailed documentation upfront
  • Introduce new hires to the housekeeping team
  • Arrange a welcome lunch to foster team bonding 
  • Check in frequently and encourage open communication

Planned onboarding is a foundational investment that reaffirms your commitment to your staff as individuals. 

Value your Housekeeping Team – Offer Competitive Compensation & Incentives

Retaining housekeeping talent starts with offering competitive compensation. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospitality workers earned an average of $467 per week in April 2024. Meeting or beating this benchmark will strengthen your employee retention efforts. 

Don’t forget to account for your location when setting compensation levels.

While raising wages beyond a point may not always be feasible, especially if you are on a shoestring budget, you can always get creative with incentives and recognition programs. 

Hotels can use a platform where housekeeping team leaders and colleagues can acknowledge outstanding work. Small, public awards like digital badges or “Employee of the Month” can boost motivation. 

You can also gamify incentives for the housekeeping employees; offering gifts for positive guest reviews or better KPIs, for example, can also encourage friendly competition and highlight exceptional performance.

Cultivate a Sense of Belonging to Combat Loneliness

Housekeeping managers can help staff combat the sense of isolation that comes with the role. 

You know from experience that the majority of their workday is spent alone, moving from room to room with little interaction with colleagues or guests. 

This loneliness can quickly breed disengagement and high turnover. 

So, ensure housekeepers feel like valued members of the team, not just solitary workers. 

A great solution is to implement an app or messaging platform specifically for the housekeeping staff. 

This creates a virtual shared space where housekeepers feel connected to the larger hotel family; they can receive quick announcements from supervisors, ask questions, share successes, and stay updated with the latest happenings at the property.

When housekeeping staff feel supported and part of a team, they are much more likely to stay engaged and committed to their roles.

Show Housekeeping Staff their Career Path and Help them Navigate it

One major cause of turnover in hotel housekeeping departments is employees feeling stuck in a dead-end job with no opportunities for growth. Housekeeping managers can prevent this. 

Don’t just tell them how they can progress – show them. 

Have housekeepers at each level of seniority explain their journey and what it took to reach that role. Hearing it straight from those who walked the path makes the possibilities feel more tangible.

Lay out the specific criteria and expectations for advancing to higher positions. What skills, experience, and benchmarked achievements are required? Spell out potential pay increases as well. 

Make it clear there is room to learn, grow, and move upward within your organization. 

When housekeeping employees feel supported in their career journeys, they are far more likely to become engaged, loyal employees.