Talk to the Expert – Session 4

Training and Start of Shift Meetings

During the fourth ‘Talk to the Expert’ session we heard from callers from France, UK, Austria, and Ireland and we touched on some really interesting topics. For this write up, we will look at two of them: training and start of shift meetings.

‘Talk to the Expert’ are free, one-to-one, 10 minute long consulting conversations. Callers can share their ‘pain’ and discuss housekeeping challenges with a housekeeping expert. The aim of the call is to provide guidance on how make a first step towards solving the problem.
In’s true spirit of sharing knowledge, a summary of some of the discussed challenges is provided in a short write up following the session.


A popular topic came up this week again: Training in the housekeeping department. The Housekeeping Departmental Trainer on the call explained that she was challenged by her Hotel Manager on the way training is delivered in the housekeeping operation. The request to review the training regime is (surprisingly) not driven by the desire to reduce cost, but to increase the quality delivered by the housekeeping function and by the vision of the Hotel Manager to use the housekeeping function as a the route into other departments and more senior positions.
An assessment of the current housekeeping training system was discussed during the call; this review is to ensure that team members are trained and re-trained on all the statutory training topics as well as all the subjects relevant to their current role – with a focus on quality! As a next step, the Housekeeping Departmental Trainer will meet with representatives of other departments to map out career pathways from the Housekeeping into other departments and detail the development requirements.
Ideally online and offline training sessions will be developed or purchased to allow individuals to follow these new career pathways and actively work on their careers. It became clear that tools like online and offline courses, group and individual training as well as cross-training and shadowing are ways to help team members to develop their careers and help the hotel to achieve a greater quality output and staff retention.

Start of Shift Meetings

A very simple question was raised by one caller – an Assistant Head Housekeeper, who was just recently appointed to the role: how can ‘start of shift meetings‘ be conducted differently?
She spend the last years of her career in the housekeeping department working through the ranks and highlighted that the ‘start of shift meetings’ in the morning were the worst part of her job. She mentioned that due to the way the meetings were done, all her positive energy was taken away from her before she even started her shift. During the discussion it became clear, that the meetings always followed the same agenda, the content was very repetitive and the Manager always talked down on the team members.
Just by identifying what made the caller uncomfortable herself, it was possible to come up with a few ideas on how to conduct ‘start of shift meetings’ differently: change the agenda, surprise the team with changing the location, get team members to present important information, focus on interesting content and learning. ‘Start of the shift meetings’ should give energy to the team!


All callers presented a unique set of challenges and demonstrated a real desire to tackle them. All wanted to look at long term solutions that will enable their operations to develop and improve over time. Usually, there is not a quick fix and it is important to understand the whole situation and its underlying issues – there is no benefit of fixing the symptoms only. The participants of the first ‘Talk to the Expert’ session, left the calls with some suggestions on how to move forward and if they require additional support, they know where to find a housekeeping expert.

Are you experiencing similar challenges and want to discuss your options? Please get in touch for a no-obligation discussion and email today.

Next ‘Talk to the Expert’ Session: Monday, 14. October, 2019, from 10am BST