Category: Housekeeping (page 1 of 3)

Safely and Effectively Managing Chemicals Within a Public Facility

Many people have become much more aware of cleaning chemicals, disinfectants and cleaning processes these days. Previously the price point or a fresh scent may have intrigued your interest though now you may realize other chemical factors are so critical in disease prevention in the workplace and at home. 

During my time in the hospitality industry I have been able to find great ways to effectively manage chemical processes and procedures. Here are some practices that hopefully can assist within your facility, home office and everyday housecleaning. 

Smiling hotel cleaner using cleaning cloth to clean air conditioning unit

1. Have a strict policy in place on what chemicals are allowed within your facility. This begins by collaborating with your management, front line operators, procurement staff and vendors.  The majority of time your hotel and facility managers have the knowledge needed to make smart choices based on hands-on experience, as well as guest and client feedback.  Once you have established chemical products, clearly communicate this information with all associates handling them at any given time. A good practice is to post approved cleaning chemicals including, areas of application, manufacturer’s instructions, safety tips and PPE needed for each. 

In addition, read the fine print of your vendor agreements to ensure there are absolutely no chemical substitutions. If there are delays for any reason, they must obtain written approval before sending anything else.  Also, have your receiving and storeroom attendants well-informed on carefully verifying incoming deliveries.

2. Test various products before making a decision and exercise this process when considering a product change. New formulations are coming out all the time and I anticipate this will be happening more often moving forward. As a start, the Environmental Protection Agency has a registered product listing that meet various virus claims. This list is very fluid so continue to monitor updates. For those in the hospitality industry, our chemical vendor partners should have the most up-to-date resources for their product line. Continue to meet with them on a regular basis to find the best fit for your property’s needs.

3. Be a smart shopper looking at every factor impacting your overall labor cost.  Not every spray bottle is created equal. For example, comparisons should take into account everything from first application of the chemical to the finished result. We hear quite a bit about contact “dwell” time.  Associates must understand how long the particular chemical in use must stay wet to be effective, the proper “kill time”, and that it is not a quick spray and wipe. Evaluate and equate what timing looks like as well as other factors to account for such as; safety and environmental considerations to be aware of, required specialized training and PPE, bottles, supplies and mode of delivery.  

4. Along with finding the right chemical, thorough associate training must be conducted before anyone works independently. At times labeling is very similar if buying from the same manufacturer so it is important to retrain all staff during any chemical change period to review specific manufacturer directions and changes in PPE. This is a time when having the right chemical vendor partner that supports the training process is important

Man conducting chemical training

5. Another important tip is checking accuracy of dilutions. Many times facilities prefer concentrated options versus ready-to-use bottles which can reduce costs for yourself and business partners. I am an advocate as well though always train property managers to never put chemistry in the hands of our associates. No matter how skilled and experienced in handling cleaning chemicals, manual pours and mixing is not an option.  It is important to install dispensing stations wherever possible keeping dilutions at a safe and effective level. Ideally your chemical vendor will visit on a regular basis to verify everything is mixing and working as efficiently as possible, keeping your facility in pristine condition. 

Difficult circumstances, like those we are all currently experiencing, can provide an opportunity for a company’s leaders to take a step back, sharpen their skills and return with a higher quality and safer approach to products and services within their organization. If you have any tips of your own, share them in the comments section below.

Project SEARCH Partnership

We believe in the importance of recognizing the positive impact we can influence in our local communities, nationally and globally. That is why The Service Companies is proud to partner with Project SEARCH, a national program with a mission to help young adults with disabilities transition successfully from high school to productive, adult life by placing them in internships and giving them work experience. In Washington DC, Project SEARCH is in partnership with The District of Columbia School System and SEEC, a private, non-profit organization that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In January, we hosted our first Project SEARCH intern, Denise, as a Housekeeping Aide at our client’s luxury hotel property in Washington, DC. Prior to her internship each day, Denise receives classroom instruction focused on effective workplace communication, how to build a resume, budgeting lessons, and travel training along with other skill development that is important in the workplace. At her internship at The Intercontinental Hotel, Denise received step-by-step training from our Room Inspector, Keeva. As a Housekeeping Aide Denise inspects vacant, clean rooms, and ensures that all room standards are met. Denise works side by side with Keeva, who inspects Denise’s room and provides feedback, and with a job coach provided by the local Project SEARCH team.

Amanda Pascoe, Area Manager of Washington, DC, who works directly with Denise, had this to say about working with the Project SEARCH: “Project SEARCH is an amazing program that allows students with disabilities to learn and grow in the workforce. It teaches them basic occupational skills that will set them up for success in the future. Denise has been with us since the beginning of January. She lights up the room when she walks in and works hard with our inspector Keeva to ensure our guestrooms are ready for our guests. She is working hard every day to learn our cleanliness and room setup standards and many she knows already.”

With Denise already a productive member of our team, we look forward to expanding this program to other properties and providing temporary and potentially permanent employment to many Project SEARCH interns.

Our Top Picks from the ISSA Show North America

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Several of our leaders had the opportunity to attend the cleaning industry’s most important event of the year – ISSA Show North America – where top manufacturers and suppliers showcase innovations. Holly Borrego (Regional Vice President of Operations – West), Jimmy Rakowski (Area Vice President of Operations), Ana Rodriguez (Director of Continuous Improvement) and Alan Ching (Director of Operations) walked, tested and brought back some of their top picks from the ISSA Show:

  1. Karcher/Brain Corporation Robotic Chariot iVac – Due out in the spring, this is one of the pieces of equipment we are most excited to see in the field.
  2. Karcher MC-130 plus Sweeper – used for large scale commercial cleaning of parking lots and such, these machines cover 2000 square yards in an hour!
  3. Zan Compute’s Zanitor – A smart facility AI platform for smart  washrooms with advanced sensing and machine learning. Our partnership with Zan Compute enables us to offer this service to our customers on a complimentary basis.
  4. 3M water-based stainless steel cleaner – Not only is this cleaner food safe, most importantly it contains no oil and contains Scotchguard to protect the surface from fingerprints after cleaning.
  5. Space Vac carbon fiber poles – Extending to allow cleaning up to 30 feet in the air without a lift! Space Vac’s kit can attach to a shop vacuum if you choose to buy only the attachments. As you can see, the Space Vac attachments are extremely lightweight.
  6. Makita back-pack vacuum – Weighing less than 10 lbs., this vacuum has interchangeable batteries for continuous run time.
  7. Purell – Purell’s cleaning products with a 30 sec Norovirus kill time are also food safe.

In addition to scoping out the newest technology, our team took part in various discussions and events that occurred throughout the show. Holly Borrego discussed the impact of automation in the cleaning industry, how it changes your RFP response, and the benefits to the business with Head of Business Strategy at SoftBank Robotics America Kass Dawson at “Rethink Your Cleaning Process from RFP to Confirmed Clean: A Conversation”. The Service Companies was also a proud sponsor of ISSA’s Hygieia Network’s 2019 Awards and Networking Reception, in which Holly Borrego participated as one of the founding members of the organization.  Over 1,000 people attended the event at the Bellagio.

Ana shared what she enjoyed most about the experience:

Overall, becoming more aware of what’s out there and getting to know the people that make a difference in the industry was for me the best part. Getting the face-to-face explanation from these innovative vendors on how their technology works was valuable, especially as we evaluate which technologies to introduce within our properties and accounts.”

The Future of Janitorial Services for the Gaming, Hospitality and Facility Services Industries

According to a survey conducted by the IFMA, “poor janitorial service” and a “lack of cleanliness” were among the top three complaints facing facility operations today. These complaints destroy a property’s reputation when shared online and reflect poorly on guest service scores. To combat this issue, management has resorted to pulling staff from other departments to fulfill the janitorial needs of the property. This process is only a short-term fix, as the redistribution of staff creates a lack of productivity in other departments.

Our team of experts have been dedicated to finding the most technologically advanced solution that not only solves cleaning issues, but also improves the guest experience. That is why The Service Companies partners with a best-in-class technology provider to offer smart facility solutions to the gaming, hospitality and facility services industries.

What is our smart facility solution?

Through our partnership with a smart technology provider, we are able to offer a facility solution that uses AI to automate the janitorial process. By installing sensors in strategic areas of the restroom and other public areas, management is able to monitor the needs and cleanliness level of the space, without pulling employees from other departments or hiring additional labor.

How does it work?

By installing smart sensors in or around garbage cans, soap dispensers, faucets and more, management is notified when restrooms and public areas need attention. From a dispenser in need of more paper towels to an overflowing toilet that needs immediate attention, smart sensors send real-time notifications to any smart device for a quick resolution.

In addition, we are able to track usage patterns and traffic flow to project the restroom’s busiest times during the day. This allows management to staff for the need and create an accurate cleaning schedule. Because supplies are replenished when needed, it also saves costs by reducing waste.

What are its benefits?

Implementing our smart facility solutions on property will allow you to experience the following long-term savings:

Time – Instead of checking on each restroom multiple times per day, you get the what, when and where for each janitorial issue that may arise. This allows employees to spend their time attending to other problem areas on property.

Resources – Smart sensors monitor each trash container, toilet paper, soap and paper towel dispenser, and faucet to ensure water and hygiene products are only replenished when needed.

Money – The more resources you save, the more money you save! In addition, the smart sensors eliminate the need to pay associates overtime for spending unnecessary hours patrolling the restrooms areas, along with eliminating the need to hire additional labor to attend to the restrooms.

Status – Negative guest service scores and bad online reviews can be a thing of the past. Notifications from the smart sensors will allow your team to tend to any janitorial issues right after they occur, leaving your facility in prime condition throughout the day.

To learn more about our smart facility solution and the positive effects it can have on your property, contact us today!

Leaders in Service – Alan Ching

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our coAlan Ching 2mpany.

We welcome Alan Ching, Director of Operations at a casino hotel in Laughlin, Nevada, as our newest addition to our Leaders in Service series. A member of our Managed Services division, Alan has been integral to the segment’s success over the past four years. His passion for the job, dedication to service and his associates, along with his knowledge and expertise in the field, makes him a respected leader within our organization. Learn more about Alan as he reflects on what it’s like to work at The Service Companies!

What roles have you held at The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I have been with The Service Companies since January 2015. I started as a Housekeeping Supervisor and have held multiple positions within the company including Housekeeping Operations Manager, Housekeeping Executive, and Assistant Director of Housekeeping and EVS. I have been working as the Director of Housekeeping and EVS Operations at one of our properties in Laughlin, Nevada since June 2017.

What does your job entail?

I am responsible for the overall management of our housekeeping and EVS departments on property. That includes handling finances, scheduling, training and coaching, and making sure our guests have a positive and memorable stay.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love working with associates and guests of different cultures and backgrounds. I also love that everyday is different from the day before. Even when the same associate is performing similar duties as the day prior, the day always brings something new.

How do you stay motivated? 

Providing for my son keeps me motivated each day. I also enjoy watching how hard my bosses work; it drives me to do the same. View More: http://imagodei127photography.pass.us/likeness

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

On my days off, I love spending time with my son. Some of our favorite activities include going to the movies, bowling, and hiking; we do these multiple times each month. I also run a football organization on the weekends where I am the head coach for two youth teams.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies has been getting nominated for both Manager of the Year within the organization, as well as Emerging Leader of the Year for Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career with The Service Companies? 

Two months after I stepped into my current role as Director of Operations, I went back to my previous location to speak with the employees. Without my knowledge, the entire team gathered in the basement and I walked down to a crowd of employees chanting and screaming my name with excitement. It was in that moment that I realized why I love being in this industry: to make an impact on my employees’ lives.

What do you look for in a potential team member? How can they set themselves apart to start their hospitality careers? 

When it comes to line level employees, I look for a positive attitude. You can teach employees every type of skill, but one thing you cannot teach is positivity. As far as management goes, I love helping my associates grow through the company. I want their dedication and work ethic to prove that they have the ability to take on a management role.

Our associates are launching their hospitality careers each and every day. To do the same, apply today!

Case Study: Luxury Hotel Casino in Shreveport, LA

With price, guest reviews and star ratings having more influence in the consumer’s decision making process than brand attributes (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey), guest service scores are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a sold out hotel, casino or resort, and one struggling to sell rooms. Read below how The Service Companies utilized its turn-key housekeeping services to shift guest service scores and improve the productivity of the housekeeping team at a luxury casino hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Situation Overview

The Property is a hotel casino with over 600 guest rooms and suites located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Property has an average room size of 413 square feet per room and is managed by a large American gaming corporation. With low guest satisfaction scores in the housekeeping category, the Property reached out to our team, which was successfully operating the environmental service departments of the public areas and casino, to take on and fully manage the housekeeping department.

 

Challenges

With a limited pool of hospitality professionals in Shreveport, the Property struggled to find quality labor to fill its housekeeping team. As a result, the Property was ranked last in housekeeping of the 40 properties in the parent corporation’s ranking scores.

The average time to clean each guest room was 35.6 minutes and the Property’s customer ranking score for housekeeping room cleanliness was 64.3% ‘A’. Due to the high levels of housekeeping complaints, guests chose to patronize other casinos, resulting in a loss of gaming revenue and an unsupportable situation.

 

Opening Process

Through the Property’s onsite management team, our leadership team worked with the Property’s General Manager to transition the in-house housekeeping department into a department fully managed by The Service Companies. We brought in a corporate lead to oversee the department transition and hired four housekeeping trainers, each handling a different aspect of the department. 59 Property employees transitioned to our team, leaving 28 open positions to fill within a 30-day period.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms. Standards and processes for the department were established and productivity was aligned with industry standards. Training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

 

Results and Current State

Within one quarter of the transition, the leadership and staffing stabilized and the Property’s Room Cleanliness scores increased to 67.8% from 64.3%.

At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2019, the Property received a Room Cleanliness score of 77.2% “A”, which is 12.9 higher than the score prior to transition and 7.2 points higher than the brand benchmark. The current productivity average for a guest room attendant to turn a room is 25.2 minutes (a 29.2% reduction in cleaning time).

 

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2018 President’s Awards & Distinguished Service Award Winners

The President’s Awards and Distinguished Service Awards acknowledge The Service Companies’ top performing associates who have shown great customer service, leadership, and dedication to our company. Chosen by our executive leadership team, the winners of these employee awards are an elite group recognized among thousands of associates in our managed services department.

Recipients of the President’s Awards and the Distinguished Service Awards were evaluated on the following categories: associate, customer, and guest satisfaction, and compliance with company / property requirements and procedures. Our Manager-level award winners, along with the categories above, were evaluated on their implementation of the SHINE campaign and their financial management.

We are proud to recognize the following associates who continue to make our company SHINE!

President’s Awards Winners

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Manager of the Year – Robin Zamudio

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Supervisor of the Year – Donald Petterson

Adrienne TA Winner (1)

Talent Acquisition Team Member of the Year – Adrienne Eckley

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Associate of the Year, Central Region – Erica Weston

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Associate of the Year, Eastern Region – Oscar Pena

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Associate of the Year, Western Region – Felicitas Arrizon-Ledon


Distinguished Service Awards Winners

Gilda Postigo Dist. Svc (1)

Manager – Gilda Postigo

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Manager – Rebecca Burrows

Gertie Johnson SUP Dist. Svc (1)

Supervisor – Gertie Johnson 

Rejane Santos Palm Beach

Eastern Region Associate – Rejane Santos

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Central Region Associate – Terry Anderson

Orlando Rosario Astacio Reno (1)

Western Region Associate – Orlando Astacio

Common Issues We See In Casinos

With over 1.1 million sq. ft. of gaming area under contract and over 15 years of experience providing services to the industry, we understand the unique challenges that commercial and Native American casinos and casino hotels face in their day to day cleaning operations:

  • The struggle to find legal labor due to low unemployment rates, rising wages, and the ongoing “War on Talent”
  • High workers’ compensation and general liability rates/expenditures/exposure
  • Valuable resources are spent managing relationships in union environments
  • Inefficiencies and lack of productivity in non-core departments
  • Maintaining a consistently high quality of service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • High energy usage

These challenges create a large cost burden for casinos, and one option to alleviate these issues is to partner with a well-capitalized service provider (see our previous article on what to take into consideration when selecting a vendor). Our team of seasoned industry experts established a diverse list of services that cater to the common needs of every casino resort.

The Service Companies is the premier provider to the casino industry. We offer managed services, staffing services, specialty services, and engineering services to casino properties across the nation. Backed by a large investment fund, we have the capital to support a casino’s stringent requirements and massive needs and have the years of experience driving productivity and providing solutions that reduce costs and energy.

As part of our commitment to service, our team takes full accountability of recruiting needs, compliance checks, and training to ensure success. To learn more, click on the links to our services above, or contact one of our industry experts at https://www.theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

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Tips For Giving Thanks to Your Associates

We would not be able to provide quality service without the help of our dedicated associates. That is why we have created a work culture that is built on the foundation of associate recognition, celebrations, and engagement. This Thanksgiving, we are sharing some expert tips on how you can give thanks to the associates who work hard to make your business thrive. Want to know the best part about the following tips? They can be used each day throughout the year to recognize a job well done!

  1. A day does not go by without employees giving their all. It is all about leaders giving back and recognizing that hard work as often as possible.
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  1. When guests share positive feedback, or a great service rating, spend time researching who made that possible.
  1. Always post and share customer compliments with your team. Take it a step further by including the associates’ photo and highlight details about the recognition.
  1. Write a personalized note of appreciation.  A simple “thank you” is great, though, be specific in how they made a positive impact.  We expect employees to be detailed with their work, so we should be detailed with their feedback.
  1. We all love a surprise treat now and then. Keep some goodie bags handy for that perfect moment to make someone’s day. You can always drop in your personalized note to make it extra special.  Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 9.32.26 AM (1)
  1. Some accomplishments happen without a manager noticing.  Encourage associates to share and acknowledge other team members whenever possible by creating a post-it board for their notes.
  1. Recognize their special dates outside of work such as work anniversaries or birthdays. More importantly, if they’re working that day, go out of your way to make the day extra special.
  1. Utilize every outlet to share recognition and congratulate team members. At The Service Companies, our leaders have several opportunities to share successes and engage in employee recognition by participating in the following:
  • Mandatory pre-shift meetings each day
  • Weekly recognition in SHINE on You through our company wide SHINE on Shift email
  • #TeamMemberTuesday across our Social Media platforms
  • Monthly recognition of our Top Performers through inspection and incentive programs
  • Quarterly In-brief newsletter
  • Annually through our company wide President’s Awards
  1. With all recognition, be consistent!  Morale can easily decline the moment you forget someone’s special day or don’t recognize a team member’s achievements. Robert Knowles- 70th. Birthday(2) (1)

For more information about how we focus on associate engagement to create a positive work culture at each property, visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/contact/.

Why Should You Join The Service Companies?

When choosing a career path, which of the following qualities are the most important to you?

  • Receiving hands-on training to prepare you for your new role
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • A culture built on continuous training, employee recognition, mutual respect and strong work ethic
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement

Although each person ranks the above qualities differently, all four are key in achieving a happy and sustainable career. At The Service Companies, we not only invest in personal growth and training, but also the future of our associates. Here are just a few reasons why a career with The Service Companies may be right for you!

Training

Starting a new career can be intimidating. That is why we created a training and orientation program for the success of our new associates. Along with hands-on learning, each new team member is given access to our employee portal full of training guides and position checklists to ensure long-term success. Our new hires are also paired with a mentor during their 10-day training period to ensure effective learning on property.

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Benefits

Our associates work hard to make sure our clients and their guests receive the best possible service. To thank them for their hard work, we provide a complete employee benefits package that includes everything from medical insurance to short and long term disability and a 401k matching program. We also give associates enrolled at a college or university an opportunity to receive a yearly scholarship award and tuition reimbursement.

Culture and Associate Satisfaction

The Service Companies is the employer of choice for hourly associates. Our culture is based on recognition, respect and continuous learning. While we work hard, we also have fun. Our associates enjoy celebrations, weeklong events, contests, and friendly competitions year round. We also offer competitive wages and a safe and harmonious work environment.

 

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Growth and Advancement

As one of the fastest growing companies in the managed service industry, and the largest in the hospitality segment, there is a location and position that fits you! With customer locations spread across over 27 states and the Bahamas, and over 50% of our management positions being filled internally, now is the perfect time to join us and grow your career. To learn more about growth and advancement opportunities with The Service Companies, click here!

Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, U.S. Military Veteran, or just looking to launch your career, a job with The Service Companies is a great way for you to start making your impact on the hospitality industry!

Are you ready to join The Service Companies? Visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/careers/ to apply now!

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