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International Housekeepers Week Ideas
International Housekeepers Week is traditionally celebrated during the second week in September. Recognized worldwide since 1981, the week honors the efforts and dedication of professionals who maintain a clean, safe and healthy environment for their employers and the public. Housekeepers work in schools, health facilities and office buildings, as well as in the hospitality industry and private homes. Often their efforts go unnoticed or are taken for granted. International Housekeepers Week is an opportunity to show these workers who make our lives comfortable and safe how essential they are and how much they are appreciated.
Because the annual event lasts a week, there’s plenty of time to say thank you. Front desks and staff lounges can be decorated with banners and balloons displaying words of appreciation. Because housekeepers often work in the background of day-to-day operations, a “wall of recognition” in a public area is one way to express appreciation. Hang pictures of staff members who go beyond their job description along the wall with a small biography and description of what they do at the facility. Consider providing recognition in newsletters and on websites.
These are a traditional way to show appreciation, but there are other ways to show gratitude as well. Gift cards to shopping malls, stores and restaurants and passes to movie theaters can be enclosed in letters of appreciation. Hire a massage therapist to give each staff member a 15-minute massage of the neck and shoulders. Gratitude can be shown with personalized gifts such as coffee mugs, T-shirts and pens.
Treat the housekeeping staff to cakes, cupcakes and other baked goods. Fruit baskets and finger sandwiches are another idea. Arrange banquets and luncheons throughout the week to give all staffers a chance to take part in the celebration. Breakfasts, luncheons and banquets provide numerous opportunities for presenting awards. Change roles and have the managers and other department heads serve the food.
Add some fun to the week’s celebration with games among the housekeeping staff. Games can be relevant to their daily work, such as which staff member can make the most beds in a certain time or who can fold the most towels. Puzzles, word games and baking contests are popular activities. Present the winners with chocolates, goodie baskets or candles.
Housekeeping Appreciation Week Ideas
Housekeepers play a crucial role in a positive guest experience at a hotel, motel, inn or resort. Cleaning service is a labor-intensive job that doesn’t come with the accolades of other industries, and that’s why each September, hospitality managers across the nation observe International Housekeeper’s Week by taking the opportunity to show appreciation for their housekeeping staff. Options for celebrations include gifts, games and parties.
Find ways to give back to your housekeeping team to show that you value all of their hard work. One way to give back is to hide small gifts in cleaning areas during their regular shift. They’ll find the thoughtful surprise and feel rewarded for a job well done. Another idea is to hide fake money, or fun bucks, in commonly overlooked areas prior to each cleaning shift. At the end of the week, they’ll enjoy exchanging the fun bucks for cash.
Letting the housekeeping staff kick back while someone else does the cleaning shows them how much you appreciate what they do. Organize a car wash, during which housekeepers relax with refreshments while managers and supervisors wash the their cars. You could also have the managers take on a percentage of the housekeeping duties for the week. This gives the staff a break and time to enjoy being appreciated.
3Games and Prizes
Break up the monotony of work with games and prizes. Each day, prepare 10 trivia questions related to housekeeping and post them where the cleaning staff can see. Let everyone know they have until the end of the day to submit their answers. The team member with the most correct answers wins a prize. Another game the team may enjoy is inspection poker. Each person draws one card from a deck of cards after passing each inspection. After each member has five cards, the team member with the best poker hand wins a prize.
4Gifts and Recognition
Giving out goody bags is one way to show appreciation to your housekeeping staff. Fill the bags with custom-branded merchandise such as key chains, coffee mugs and candles, or purchase from a company that sells gifts geared toward housekeepers. Another way to make the team feel appreciated is to hold an awards ceremony. Order certificates or plaques for each member of the housekeeping staff and if it’s in the budget, have the plaques engraved.
Trash Can Relay:
- Run to trash can, insert trash bag and tie around trash can, run back, tag next player who runs down and removes old bag, drops into the can, and ties new bag around can; repeat. Fastest time wins.
Dust Mop Relay:
- Measured amount of styrofoam peanuts, ping pong balls or other measurable debris scattered in front of dust mop; players push debris around cone and back, tag next player. Fastest time wins.Dust Mop Ski:
- Players stand on two dust mops, holding poles in hands and skis around cone and back, tag next player. Fastest time wins.
Trash Can Wheels Race:
- Trash cans are removed from wheel base; players sit on base and are pushed/pulled around outside of cones back to finish line, tag next team of two, around again to finish line.
Spray Bottle Shoot:
- Players have one empty squirt bottle and one 5-gallon pail of water. Object: fill targets (clear bottles with fronts cut out) with water. Player squirts for 30 seconds, hands squirt bottles to next player until time elapses. Target containing most water determines the winner.
- Players have one large car-wash-type sponge, 5-gallon pail of water, and empty small pail. First player soaks sponge and runs to next player, who runs to next player, who runs to last player who wrings sponge into empty pail and tosses back to first player. Repeat until time elapses. Small pail with most water determines the winner.
Housekeeping Appreciation Week: 10 Ideas to Reward Your Team
Create an official Housekeeping Appreciation Week 2019 T-shirt, sweatshirt, mug, or tote bag for your staff, just for them. Not only will they appreciate the gift, it will also give housekeeping professionals a deserved sense of pride.
Gift cards are always welcome. Anything from local coffee shops, to gas stations, to massage services, to restaurants, to movie theaters, to big box stores like Target will go over well.
Say thank you with flowers! Order a bouquet for each staff member. Choose a local florist or an on-demand delivery flower service like Bouqs or UrbanStems.
A genuine, personal thank-you note will show your housekeepers how much you appreciate and rely on them. If an individual housekeeping professional has gone above and beyond the call of duty, acknowledge them in company emails or your hotel’s blog. The Mandarin Oriental, New York makes sure to call out these selfless acts of kindness, referring to them as “MoWOW moments.”
A few celebration tips to keep in mind
- Schedule any celebratory events at different times, since housekeepers may work shifts at varying times. Hold events during working hours not after work — for maximum appreciation.
- Don’t limit housekeeping appreciation to just one week! Consider scheduling a monthly massage day, movie night, or catered breakfast.
- Even if you have only one or two housekeepers, take the time to show them you care. They are the backbone of the hospitality industry.
What are the activities of housekeeping?
Why do we celebrate housekeeping week?
What are the basic housekeeping skills?
Common hard skills needed to be a good housekeeper include:
- Carpet cleaning.
- Deep cleaning.
- Window treatment cleaning.
- Bathroom and bedroom cleaning