A housekeeping supervisor is in charge of all operations related to the maintenance and upkeep of rooms used for living quarters, dining and meetings. She may supervise cleaning personnel in convention halls, educational institutions, hotels and hospitals. Her job normally requires her to inspect premises in addition to directing the activities of the staff.
Effective scheduling of her staff is one of the housekeeping supervisor’s primary concerns. Making sure the appropriate staff is on duty ensures work is done properly and guests and patrons are satisfied and comfortable. Meticulous and regular inspections by the supervisor can quickly spot inefficiencies. She may correct them through better scheduling or improving the skills of her staff.
A well-trained staff is also vital to the success of a housekeeping supervisor. She is normally responsible for screening, hiring and firing the staff. On-the-job training is usually her responsibility as well. It is commonly her job to make sure the work of each staff member meets all agreed upon standards of quality regarding orderliness and cleanliness.
In addition to staff management, the housekeeping supervisor is commonly in charge of inventory maintenance for her department. She orders cleaning supplies and arranges the repair of maintenance equipment, such as sweepers and floor polishers. If this equipment needs to be replaced, she is often required to submit the proper requisition documents to management for approval.
If customers or guests register complaints about the cleanliness of the facility, the housekeeping supervisor is normally the person who investigates the grievance. If she deems it a valid criticism, she determines which employee is responsible and takes appropriate actions. These may include reprimands, retraining, demotion or dismissal.
Besides overseeing daily maintenance procedures, the housekeeping supervisor often conducts comprehensive inspections of the premises. She may regularly do a walk-through of each room, lobby and hallway to determine if any furniture, fixtures or internal structures need repair or replacement. If deficiencies are noted, the supervisor submits a request for replacement or repair.
Good oral communication skills are necessary to excel as a housekeeping supervisor. She must have a good rapport with her staff as well as other department supervisors and purchasing and management personnel. Diplomatic and tactful interaction with guests is sometimes required to satisfactorily resolve complaints.
Written communications are also a significant part of a housekeeping supervisor’s job. She is commonly required to record operations data for management review as well as compile reports on her department’s performance. Requests for increases in budget allotments, personnel or supplies normally require good writing and grammar skills.
No formal education is required for this position. A significant number of housekeeping supervisors are former housekeepers from the private sector. Other supervisors are often former housekeeping staff members who achieved advancement to their position based on exemplary job performance.