You may have heard the adage “Expect What You Inspect” at some point during your hospitality career.
An inspection program will provide more detailed feedback to all parties involved with a common goal to continuously improve the service provided to the customer. Whether it is inspecting a casino floor, guest rooms, hotel public areas or corridors, kitchens, vacation ownership grounds, or employee back of house areas, the following practices will assist in implementing a more successful program.
Quality, Not Quantity
During regular discussions with our team, I always share my #1 rule for achieving your expectations: Quality, not quantity! The quality of our inspection process, along with follow through, is more important than tracking large quantities. It is critical that the inspector provides immediate feedback so associates may avoid further deficiencies. As we go, hopefully the feedback becomes more praise and rewards versus critique.
Don’t forget to keep score! Having a point value or goal for each assigned task allows you to track progress. The manager will have a better understanding of what training is needed for an individual or the entire team.
Consistent Analysis of Inspection Form
Another important factor for a successful inspection program is keeping your inspection form aligned with current trends. If you find a substandard area or common deficiencies, a manager should react by placing more emphasis in that area. An inspection form is customized for each property reflecting the layout and furnishings of the various rooms, suites, public space, kitchens, etc., though we have an opportunity to increase point values and focus on the “hot” spots. Review your format often. Your inspection form today should not be the exact form used a year ago.
Create Brand Standards and Benchmarks
In order for associates to fully understand the expectations and be compliant of all cleaning standards, they need to have a clear understanding of the brand standards and departmental benchmarks.
Start by providing every associate with a copy of the current inspection checklist during training and review this before they work independently. Associates need to have a clear understanding of their tasks and desired goals. If at any time revisions are made to an inspection form, be sure to provide a revised copy. A good practice is to post current copies of the inspection form along with room placement photos in a highly visible area within your department for easy reference.
We Are All Inspectors
We are all inspectors and accountable for providing the very best service to our client and customers. It is important that every associate identifies areas that need attention whether it is a cleaning or service issue. We all have a unique eye for detail, so as a team we will see a whole lot more.
Informing Associates for Processes to Address Issues They Cannot Address
All associates should understand the proper channels and resources if they cannot address something on the spot, such as maintenance issues. If something they had reported cannot be handled quickly, keep everyone informed of the projected completion time.
What you don’t inspect someone else will. No matter how seasoned the associate is, everyone needs to be inspected to ensure they are exceeding expectations and reaching desired goals.
Associates are encouraged to frequently inspect their assigned areas with a manager or supervisor so they may share helpful tips with one another.
Listen To Feedback
I’ve inspected thousands of guest rooms during my career and always find opportunities to learn through associate’s and customer’s eyes. Listening to customer feedback and sharing best practices is the best way to move your team ahead and achieve quality and service targets.
In addition to associates being accountable for achieving goals, we as managers are equally accountable for setting associates up for success providing support and coaching along the way.
Once you prepare yourself and team, expect to see positive results!