Marketplace Investigation Shows Importance of Training

In November, 2012, the CBC’s investigative consumer program Marketplace aired an episode entitled “The Dirt on Hotels”. Marketplace tested 54 hotel rooms across Canada for bacterial contamination and other health hazards, and the results seriously damaged consumer confidence in the accommodations industry as a whole. Some form of antibiotic-resistant bacteria was found in every room, and footage of housekeeping staff using improper cleaning techniques that would actually spread contaminants was shown.

Last week, Marketplace aired a follow-up episode: “The Dirt on Hotels: We’re Back!”  

Although there was some improvement in the findings, the episode serves as a reminder that companies who demonstrate a commitment to training and benchmarking practices to National Occupational Standards have the greatest chance of easing the fears of the public and minimizing the damage to their reputation and their bottom line in the face of this type of reporting.

Poorly trained staff can lead to health and safety risks for guests, lost business, and potential legal consequences. Training for hospitality employees from emerit is based on National Occupational Standards, and includes standards, online learning, and professional certification for the Housekeeping Room Attendant occupation.

Especially relevant to this story are the Housekeeping Room Attendant Skills Checklists, which are an easy way to ensure that housekeeping employees are performing skills critical to the job, including cleaning guest rooms. They can be used as part of a formal training program, as an efficient way to conduct spot checks, or as a resource to determine where training efforts should be focused.

Don’t let negative publicity like the Marketplace story threaten your business. Show potential guests that you care about their safety and comfort by investing in emerit training for your employees.