There’s a hard-nosed business case to be made for hotels making it easier to tip housekeepers. But there’s more to solid hotel operations than the bottom-line. As Alex Smithers reveals, humanity is great business for hotels.
Tipping. You know housekeepers like it. And why wouldn’t they? Cleaning hotel rooms is not fun work. Sure, there may be positive aspects to the job; an income, and camaraderie with other housekeepers, perhaps.
But the basic facts of being a hotel housekeeper (or maid) are these:
You will clean up the mess of strangers. When you are done, there will always be another room to clean. When you have cleaned one room – however immaculately – you will return the next day knowing there is a distinct possibility that it has been reduced to a train wreck of linen, leftovers, and worse.
You can see why housekeepers might suffer a little trepidation with each door handle they turn, unsure what they will find on the other side.
Imagine then, the pleasure of a housekeeper who, after gaining entry to your hotel room finds not a smoldering pile of rubble and a bathroom awash with unspeakables, but a considerately maintained room and – better still – a tip!
The money itself is useful. It helps your housekeeper make ends meet. It could be the difference between a special treat at the the end of a hard day’s work and the same grinding routine. It could end up in someone’s college fund.
Only the heartless would ignore the sheer good to humanity afforded by tippers.
However, the purchasing power of the money itself is nothing compared to the psychological difference a tip can make.
A tip is recognition.
When the epitome of good service from a housekeeper is invisibility, the world of housekeeping can be a lonely one. Long hours working extremely hard in the hope that you will not be noticed is an unappealing prospect for most people.
But it is what many of us expect from hotel housekeepers.
A tip says, ‘I see you. You have done this for me. You have made my stay here comfortable. You have done me a service, and I am grateful to you.’
That is powerful. In a world of dirty rooms, that kind of recognition and human-to-human connection is a godsend for many. It gets them through the day.
As you’d expect, the more of these small but significant psychological boosts a housekeeper encounters the better his or her day is. It’s good for their human wellbeing.
If nothing else, hotel managers and decision makers should consider the obvious utility involved in making their staff happier. Retention goes up. Hiring expenses go down. The machine that is the hotel runs more smoothly, and experienced staff stay.
Even those without a shred of human compassion or empathy can see clear as day the simple logic involved in making it easy to tip hotel housekeepers.
And those who truly understand the world of housekeeping and hospitality – who empathize with housekeepers – shudder at the idea that hotels might not do all they can to facilitate tipping.
Let your guests know how to tip. Introduce a service like TipZyp into your hotel, so guests can know how to tip easily, quickly, and securely – even if they don’t have cash.
It’s simple to do. It’s free for you. It pleases the guests who want to tip, and you’ll have the enormous benefit of being able to go home at the end of your day and say ‘Today, I made people’s lives better.’