Experts weigh in on training for outsourced staff

Time and effort spent may vary, but training is crucial

Panel at the Executive Housekeeper Forum 2015.
Panel at the Executive Housekeeper Forum 2015.

Experts at the Executive Housekeeper Forum 2015 debated the pros and cons of outsourcing support for the housekeeping department, and agreed that training is crucial for the temporary staff members as well.

Citing the outsourcing practice at The Palace Downtown Dubai, executive housekeeper Lakmal Mawella said: “We call the outsourcing company and ask them to bring in 10 staff members if we need five, so we can filter through. And we prefer fresh people who have not been to other hotels, so that we can mould them the way we want.

“Then we start training the next day. A supervisor is dedicated to train them, introducing the staff to key areas of the hotel and procedures in place. For the first two days, they will not perform any tasks but will only be trained.

In these two days, supervisors are responsible to identify the strength of the attendants. And then we train for another five days. So after seven days, we allow them in a room, with a buddy.”

Gloria Hotels & Resorts Dubai assistant executive housekeeper Karthik Kumar added that he doesn’t consider outsourced staff as outsiders but a part of his team. “We have a separate supervisor for the outsourced team, who knows the brand standards and the hotel very well.

"They are part of our daily briefing meetings, and they wear the same uniform as other staff, so it doesn’t differentiate them.”

Moreover, if the outsourced staff comes aboard on long-term basis, they arealmost as good as a permanent employee, said InterContinental Doha the City & Residence Suites executive housekeeper Prabhat Shukla.

“Casual staff that is with us on yearly basis, they're like our colleagues. They are a part of our system and whatever training that staff has to go through, they also have to go through it." 

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