Club Mahindra – Housekeeping is not just a cleaning operation

Noorul Hussain joined as Corporate Executive Housekeeper, Mahindra Group on 07th June, 2006 at the Corporate Office. He reports to the Head – Operations and looks after the Housekeeping Initiatives of Resorts. He is a Hospitality Management Graduate with over 25 years of Experience with various companies. His last assignment was with Hilton Towers (Formerly Oberoi Towers) as Executive Housekeeper at Mumbai. 

In as exclusive interview with Sharmila Chand, Noorul Hussain, Corporate Executive Housekeeper, Mahindra Group, discusses the crucial issues related to Housekeeping.

Excerpts:

How important in your opinion is Housekeeping to hospitality?

Cleanliness and hygiene is an essential prerequisite of any good hotel. Upkeep of the entire property to the appreciation of international standards is a challenge. An efficient housekeeping team plays an important role to achieve these goals. It is rightly called the ‘Backbone’ of hospitality industry. 

What is the modus operandi of housekeeping operations of your hotel?

Service standards are almost the same like any international hotel. A little extra care is given since there are families with children staying regularly.  Unlike the regular hotel, our guest rooms are provided with a kitchenette with microwave, cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery etc., which are maintained by Club Mahindra Housekeeping. 

Do you perceive any new trends in housekeeping? Please comment on the latest housekeeping scenario.

More and more educated people are coming forward to join housekeeping. There are institutions which are specializing jobs. Good quality machines and equipments both Indian and imported- are easily available for reasonable prices. Good quality and easy to use cleaning supplies are also available with the support of training from the manufacturers. 

Housekeeping, as complex as the function, requires rigorous training. How much of an emphasis does the hotel place on this?

We at Club Mahindra strongly believe that regular training adds to the skill of the employees. There is a dedicated training department in the resorts guided by the Corporate Training Manager. On the job training by the unit Housekeepers is an ongoing process. 

How significant is the role of training in this area of management?

There is a well designed management training program of one year for a person recruited to be an Executive in the Housekeeping Department. The trainee is exposed to the entire process of Housekeeping functions besides a short exposure to all interrelated departments.  Suitable training programs are in force for supervisors and attendants before they are assigned to actual operation. 

How does India compare with the international scenario with regards to housekeeping?

We have already grown and comparable with any good international hotel chain as far as housekeeping is concerned. Good quality Housekeeping machines and equipments are easily available with a choice of local and imported machines. However peoples need to change their mindset, as a section of society is still not comfortable choosing a cleaning profession. 

What elements you take into account to recruit staff in Housekeeping dept?

An eye for detail, taste for cleanliness, service with a smile and good attitude are considered important.  Previous experience is, of course, an advantage. 

What is the role of the housekeeping staff in the context of security?

Housekeeping staff has free access to every guest room. Their honesty and sincerity is important. In some areas like guest rooms and corridors they are the only source of security who keeps caution about strangers moving around. As part of the training, they are educated to follow the procedures of safety and security of guests, hotel property and employees.

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