Laxman Singh, Executive Housekeeper at Radisson Blu, Goa
Mr. Laxman Singh passed out from IHM and started his career in 1993 in an international chain. He worked in a number of hotels including Taj in Gwalior and has also worked in Hyderabad. He has also worked as an Auditor in Housekeeping in ITC following which he joined Radisson Blue Hotel in 2012 and is currently the Executive Housekeeper.
This has been Mr. Singh’s passion. It is what he likes do. He has always been a little artistic. He says, “I always wanted to do something new and different. Even before I joined the industry my mother used to ask me ‘Why are you arranging the dining room or the bedroom like that?’ So I like maintaining things clean and tidy and that has always inspired me to do my work better.”
One of the challenges he says he faces is with regards to the staff. He expressed, “They need to be trained so that they can handle the work in the department. Another challenge would be the language barrier with employees that come from different states. They may not understand or take time to get accustomed to the language of the region. So you need to manage with that. If you can manage a situation then you will definitely overcome it.”
This is a very beautiful industry. You are handling a human being and serving them. So a personal should be there. You need to care of your guest. Just like a baby, you need to put extra care and concern while taking care of a guest. You need to ensure that you don’t miss anything. You need to give attention to detail. This will make the guest happy and bring them back and they will remember you.”
He mentions that the guest has paid money to stay at your hotel. They like the details, the small things that you do. “You need to have the best equipment to give the guest a good experience but a personal touch is required. Like I said before you just need to take care of the guest. Smile and show you care. Give them something unique.”
With regards to hygiene he says, “Earlier people were not concerned about the hygiene. But now the scenario is different. You have sanitizers, gloves, masks, shields etc. that one needs to wear before doing anything. So you have to be clean because now people are concerned about this factor. Hygiene now means fumigating the rooms, the lobby, constantly washing your hands etc. So now we are moving from personal touch to un-touch service.”
Mr. Laxman handles his guests’ complaints by a simple strategy. He says, “Basically you need to listen to the guest. The guest is upset and angry because they did not get what they expected. So he wants to tell someone about it. He needs to feel that there is someone who will listen to him. Note down the problem and commit if you are able to. If you cannot commit at that point then discuss the issue with your team and then come back with the solutions. That will increase the satisfaction level of the guest.”
There are many team building videos, videos for improving skills but one also need to have fun at work to do better. According to him a balance is necessary for the survival and for the well being of the employees and that balance helps employees to perform better.
Lastly his message to the students and reader would be, “You need to understand that Housekeeping is not only about cleaning and mopping. It is much more and beyond that. One small mistake on your part while working could lead to a disaster with the guest. So students need to understand what department they are interested in going ahead once they join the industry. We need to increase the level of housekeeping so that students feel proud to join the housekeeping department. People are forced to go to a hospital but they willingly and happily come to a hotel to feel relaxed or to celebrate an occasion. You need to give that wow factor and give them beautiful memories to remember.”