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Outsourcing: make sure you get it right

Why good communication is vital in the journey of moving from an inhouse operation

Deciding whether to outsource housekeeping services is a pivotal choice for hotel management and housekeeping executives. This decision impacts not just the bottom line but also the quality of guest experiences and the morale of current staff. Outsourcing can offer significant cost savings by reducing overheads related to hiring, training, and maintaining an inhouse staff. It also allows hotels to adjust more flexibly to fluctuations in demand, scaling the workforce up or down as needed without the complexities of direct employment. However, the challenge lies in ensuring that the contracted service meets the hotel’s standards of cleanliness and guest service.

Any drop in cleanliness standards or personal touches can affect guest overall satisfaction

Contracted services must meet the hotel’s standards of cleanliness and guest service – as Atlas staff ensure at Corinthia Hotel London
Atlas business development director Natalie Coleman

Atlas FM provide market leading cleaning services to some of London’s finest 5-star hotels. Their business development director Natalie Coleman says: “Experience has taught us that there’s a risk that an external team might not embody the hotel’s values and service ethos as strongly as inhouse staff. “Communication is vital in the journey of moving from an inhouse operation to one that is outsourced, or indeed integrating a contractor with an inhouse service. Any disconnect can potentially affect the guest experience negatively, which is paramount in the hospitality industry.” Atlas have found that the support provided to clients during the integration of outsourced staff with the existing, potentially hard-pressed, inhouse housekeeping team is vital and a shared commitment to quality is essential to prevent a divide between inhouse and contracted staff, which could further strain the work environment and affect service levels. Moreover, the impact on guest experience is a critical consideration.

Coleman explains: “Guests may not directly notice the difference between inhouse and outsourced housekeeping services, but any drop in cleanliness standards or personal touches can affect their overall satisfaction and their likelihood of returning or recommending the hotel to others. “In conclusion, while outsourcing housekeeping services can offer cost savings and operational flexibility, hotel management must weigh these benefits against potential impacts on service standards and guest experience. Any decision to outsource should involve rigorous vetting of contractors to ensure they can meet the hotel’s quality standards and integrate smoothly with the existing team to maintain a cohesive and guest-focused service environment.”

A shared commitment to quality is essential to prevent a divide between inhouse and contracted staff
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