An executive housekeeper is in charge of housekeeping operations as well as the training and supervision of the cleaning personnel. He may work in a commercial environment, such as a resort or hotel, or in a residential setting where his job is confined to the household of a private home. Both scenarios require him to ensure the physical area for which he is responsible is maintained in a pristine and orderly fashion.
A successful executive housekeeper requires exemplary organizational skills along with a vast knowledge of how to best clean, maintain, and showcase a property. He may be required to personally perform cleaning and maintenance tasks, but more typically delegates these jobs to his staff. This housekeeper normally develops a schedule and standards of excellence that are expected to be closely adhered to by his staff. Along with his staff, he is customarily expected to have in-depth knowledge of cleaning and maintaining fine furniture and art as well as normal furnishings and accessories.
When a person is hired for this job, he customarily implements a set of policies and procedures based on his superior’s demands and his own principles of cleanliness and order. Scrupulous inspections of the premises are normally part of his daily routine. Noted infractions are commonly expected to be eradicated and not repeated.
Since the work of his staff usually directly affects his reputation and job security, he is generally expected to hire only the best housekeepers. This typically requires careful screening of applicants and accurate assessments of their job skills. He typically reviews the performance of his staff on a regular basis to maintain quality control.
An executive housekeeper who works in a private residence is frequently expected to perform or supervise many duties in addition to housekeeping. These auxiliary tasks often include pet care, grocery shopping, and meal planning and preparation, and may also include laundering linens and clothes and running errands. Some are assigned comprehensive control of the household management budget.
People who perform this job in the hospitality industry are commonly required to schedule their staff for daily duties and special events. Management may call for them to submit regular evaluations of the staff’s performance in maintaining the rooms. They may also be required to advise on inventory replacement for linens and small room fixtures, such as lamps or decorative items.
A high school diploma or equivalent is normally required for this position, and coursework in management or hospitality industry operations is a plus. Most positions in executive housekeeping require significant and documented success in maintaining hotels or large residences, depending upon the job environment.