The first active travel season after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic has opened the door to staff shortages that hotels are facing. Having cut staff during the closure period, they are now forced to recruit and train new staff, which is time-consuming and increases the cost of doing business.
Third-party outsourcing of housekeeping services is gaining popularity around the world and can reduce labor costs by at least a quarter. In Lithuania, this service is still a novelty, but “Civinity Solutions”, which provides housekeeping services to hotels, sees business prospects, especially in the large hotel segment.
Many Lithuanian hotels still tend to have their own teams of chambermaids and avoid hiring external services. “Greta Kuklytė, Project Manager at “Civinity Solutions”, says that the main reason for this is the concern about the high quality requirements for hotels.
“Hotels are highly dependent on customer rating, and one of the indicators is the cleanliness and hygiene of the rooms according to the hotel standards,” says Kuklytė.
According to her, it would be most cost-effective for all hotels in Lithuania to have room cleaning services from third countries, but especially for medium and large hotels with large teams of housekeepers.
“The service provider needs to ensure that the hotel’s service culture is maintained, which is why training is provided to staff, with the training modules incorporating the standards of the hotel in question. Typically, experienced staff are hired for housekeeping work, but in today’s labor market, accommodation establishments have to choose unqualified staff, who need to invest in their training but do not always live up to expectations. When purchasing a service, the time and responsibility for training the staff falls on the service provider,” says G. Kuklytė.
It is also worthwhile for hotels with cleanliness problems to buy professional housekeeping services from third parties. Purchasing the service can significantly improve this indicator, as it involves multi-layered control – the work of the chambermaids is checked and evaluated by both the service provider’s responsible persons and the hotel’s representatives.
The main advantage of buying a room housekeeping service from a third party is the cost savings. Given the high turnover of staff in this area and the volume of recruitment and training of new housekeepers, hotels can reduce their labour costs, including recruiting, training and retaining their own team of housekeepers, by more than 25% in the long term by outsourcing the service.
“Hotels have lower occupancy rates during the cold season, but they have to keep a full team of room attendants all year round, as a full hotel can be booked in winter. When hotels buy chambermaid services, they only pay for the cleaned room, so the cost of keeping the staff is borne by the service provider,” says G. Kuklytė.
The salary of room cleaners depends on the number of rooms cleaned, but according to G. Kuklytė, additional financial motivation is necessary in order to keep hard-working, fast and high quality people.
“Civinity Solutions” pays at least 25% more than the minimum wage, and employees are motivated by additional bonuses for quality work, commuting expenses, and free meals during work.
“Civinity Solutions” is an international commercial and public building maintenance company, maintaining more than 6.5 million sqm of space in various facilities in the Baltics, including “Radisson Hotel Group”, Lithuania’s only “Hilton Hotel”, “Moxy Kaunas Center”, “Vilnius Grand Resort”, and other facilities. “Civinity Solutions” is part of the “Civinity” Group, a group of more than 30 companies that manages 13.5 million sqm of residential and commercial buildings.