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Madeleine's picture
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If you have a housekeeper (or if you worked as a housekeeper) what sort of bonuses do you give/would you want for really good work/good work ethic?

Last time I jumped the gun and gave a raise and it came back to bite me when the work declined.

I'd like to give this kid a bonus for being quick, efficient and quiet.

Not sure how observant she is as I haven't seen anything egregious that she missed.

Will know better next week when I'm doing the cleaning when she's off.

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  one of my 'girls' was really awesome -- stuck with me year after year.  the last year i was there, as the season wore on, i offered her  a night's stay (we had a lot of one nighters being a stopping point before heading to an island on a ferry.)    i told her she could reserve the room on a night of her choosing and she could have the day off the next day.  or she could stay two nights at the end of the season when everything was winding down and closing. she chose the two night stay. 

you'd have thought i gave her a million dollars.  when she checked out, she left a tip!

i don't know your staff situation - but something else i did was this.  as i took stock of the sheets and blankets and things - if they really weren't top shelf any more for paying guests, i offered them to staff.   in a very gentle way i would show them the linens and tell them why we couldn't use them for guests any more.  they knew that i used the bed linens myself that weren't perfect, so there was no shame in it.  right from the beginning we were left with threadbare linens from the po's. 

also breakfast leftovers - at break time, staff were welcome to sit down and have some. mostly it was muffins, bacon and hard boiled eggs.  also, i made more than enough coffee so they were welcome to that. not in the guest rooms or for a continuous snack, but at break time.  or they could take them home.  actually, the trash man, the laundry service man and the egg people all would sit and have coffee.  bonuses - it made the place look very busy even if we weren't - and my 'service people' always showed up as promised. 

Madeleine's picture
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We used to offer the breakfast leftovers, too. Now we rarely have them as dh cooks single servings.

The extra bedding and furniture and a couple of older a/c units went home with the housekeepers, too.

All to the good!

Madeleine's picture
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We skipped the bonus and went right to the raise. 

Country Girl's picture
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I would recommend that you write her a really nice note telling her how much you appreciate what she's done so far, and then give her a gift card for gas, groceries, ITunes, or the movies. 

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There is only ONE BONUS a housekeeper would love, MONEY. Being nice, giving her/him things is all well and good, show me the money! They need it, give them money.  

Everything else is just nice. Perks.

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Generic's picture
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Reminds me of my parents, who used to have Thursdays as pay day... and then wonder why Friday was the day with the highest absentee level. I moved pay day to Friday.

The problem with cash is that it doesn't feel like "something" you got for free, it's just more cash in your wallet. But it's also the thought that counts... http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/03/forget-about-that-cash-bonus/

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Madeleine's picture
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Dang. Gift cards don't count? 

Generic's picture
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Honestly, I think they do, but not if they are run of the mill for stuff they would normally buy. So a gift card for gas or groceries might not. But for an indulgence they should. (And I already showed you where to get gift cards for a discount, so they have more bang for the buck.)

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Jon Sable wrote:

Reminds me of my parents, who used to have Thursdays as pay day... and then wonder why Friday was the day with the highest absentee level. I moved pay day to Friday.

The problem with cash is that it doesn't feel like "something" you got for free, it's just more cash in your wallet. But it's also the thought that counts... http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/03/forget-about-that-cash-bonus/

Its the difference between having the power cut off or passing inspection on your car buying new tires. For chambermaids, cash is best.

Generic's picture
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When they get random amounts as tips, I don't think they really appreciate the cash. The tip envelope is Las Vegas. But that's my opinion.

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I might have missed the answer to this question, but how old is she?

Does she have to drive to work or does she walk?
 

As far as tips go, one of the places I worked put ALL tip money from rooms into an envelope and at the end of the month divvied up the money based on hours worked. But it was a larger staffed inn: laundry girl, kitchen help, housekeepers, and outdoor beautifier. It worked in that situation, but might not work in every one's.

Madeleine's picture
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College kid, she drives.

gillumhouse's picture
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I vote gas card. Massage etc might be nice but maybe she # 1 - does not have time to use it  #2 - is one who does NOT LIKE a massage (surprise but some people do not). Cash will get mixed in with tip money and fo who knows where, but when she goes to the gas station with that card, it will feel great to keep her wallet in her pocket. She will remember she got a bonus.

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Great idea - gas prices are killing everyone.  When I went out tonight I cringed when my gas tank warning light beeped at me - another $75 out the window.  I'm sure it's even worse for someone only making housekeeper wages.

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MtnKeeper wrote:

Great idea - gas prices are killing everyone.  When I went out tonight I cringed when my gas tank warning light beeped at me - another $75 out the window.  I'm sure it's even worse for someone only making housekeeper wages.

I almost agreed with this then gave it some thought over breakfast... I made $1.10/hour while working summers in college. I was paying $1/gallon for gas. My car got 15 miles/gallon.

Housekeeper is making $11/ hour + tips. Paying $3.80/gal for gas. Driving a car that gets 25 miles/gal.

Who had it worse? Eye-wink

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Madeleine wrote:

MtnKeeper wrote:

Great idea - gas prices are killing everyone.  When I went out tonight I cringed when my gas tank warning light beeped at me - another $75 out the window.  I'm sure it's even worse for someone only making housekeeper wages.

I almost agreed with this then gave it some thought over breakfast... I made $1.10/hour while working summers in college. I was paying $1/gallon for gas. My car got 15 miles/gallon.

Housekeeper is making $11/ hour + tips. Paying $3.80/gal for gas. Driving a car that gets 25 miles/gal.

Who had it worse? Eye-wink

Was you tuition the same price as hers? Also the tax rate on $1.10 per hour was less than the bite on the $11. One has to look at the whole picture to compare - rent, food costs, insurance costs.. I love it when I get a gas gift card.

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Wasn't planning on going thru the whole thing because we were just talking about the price of gas and how it's so much worse now relative to what someone earns. But it really isn't worse now relative to what someone earns. And what kind of mileage a car gets.

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I've been thinking about giving our housekeepers a gift card for a massage or facial or something nice and relaxing like that. Figure they could definitely use it after working as hard as they do! 

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We used to start our housekeepers at $1 dollar per hour LOWER for the first month, then give them a raise to the going rate if they were performing. I had a few who never got the raise. 

We did an annual holiday bonus of $200 or $300, depending on average hours worked and performance. This was usually a slow paycheck time of year so it was appreciated.

We didn't touch the tips except on the rare occasions where we turned a room, and then we just held them for the housekeeper.

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The bonus is a great idea, rather than a raise.  My last housekeeper has two kids so I gave her a dollar an hour raise last year (along with paying her for times she had to leave to go to kid games which were bonuses in my opinion as I certainly didn't need to pay her) and she then started leaving early.  I asked her what was up and she said "Now that I make more an hour, I can work 4 less hours a week and make the same money."  Stupid me, I was trying to help you get ahead and be able to take your kids to the movies or out for dinner here and there.

Maybe if the housekeeper has to have a day off for a reason, you can give her that day with pay in lieu of a different bonus.

Madeleine's picture
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I used to like sick days at work but now when someone has a sick day it means I have to work! Eye-wink

We've already told her that if she doesn't show up all the tips for that day are ours.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

We've already told her that if she doesn't show up all the tips for that day are ours.

 

GOOD ONE!

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

We've already told her that if she doesn't show up all the tips for that day are ours.

 

GOOD ONE!

We say that right after we tell her all the tips are hers even on her days off. Give and then as they are realizing how generous that is take away if they think oh boy, I get the tips even if I don't show up!

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Tips on days that no one works but us are put in an envelope.  If there are no tips that week left in the rooms, we can pull some of that money and give it to the housekeeper.  Also, we don't have tip envelopes but a nice mounted photo of the Lodge saying that our housekeepers (with their names) work really hard to ensure that their room is ready for them but if they find that they need anything, please let us know.  This way the guests know that we have housekeepers and the tips have greatly increased since we added those - which they appreciate.

Madeleine's picture
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We have a picture of the inn, also, with what sounds like the same blurb you have!

We only have the one girl so she gets all the tips even if I do the cleaning. Unless, like I said, she doesn't come in, then it's all mine!

I have no idea if she's getting tips as we've told her not to tell us or we have to take taxes out. My guess is no tips yet. 

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and END OF SEASON bonus.

A TIP ENVELOPE is a great bonus. yes

I am happy for ours to show up, and she has a great attitude. Cleaning DEEP is not happening. I have a quilt I had to SHOUT out today, and spiderwebs and more. She has put two quilts on a bed, on top of a blanket. I could go on but I won't bore you. She shows up! THAT is half the battle!

Madeleine's picture
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We do an end of season bonus. There is also the tip card in place.

I want to do something now to say we appreciate the help.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

and END OF SEASON bonus.

A TIP ENVELOPE is a great bonus. yes

I am happy for ours to show up, and she has a great attitude. Cleaning DEEP is not happening. I have a quilt I had to SHOUT out today, and spiderwebs and more. She has put two quilts on a bed, on top of a blanket. I could go on but I won't bore you. She shows up! THAT is half the battle!

 

My hubby wanted to put out tip envelopes and I said they were tacky.  Am I wrong?   We don't see too many tips.  

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You are wrong. We bought a box of envelopes from the dollar store. We designed a nice front for them with the house logo. They say "For Housekeeping" and they are in each room.  Some people leave nothing and some leave very nice tips. A few have handed us, as innkeepers, tips right to our hands or sometimes they have given us gifts.

When asked what the usual tip is, we say that we leave it up to the individual, but the standard is about $3 a day. Often guests will leave their "silver" which around here can easily be a few dollars.

We did, at one time, have to tell guests not to leave pennies, but that isn't a problem any more. Some guests didn't realize that leaving pennies in a tip has a meaning around here.

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My mom works as a housekeeper still and was occasionally getting pennies, even from guests that she had nice conversations with and for those rooms she had worked hard on. She's a very detailed, thorough housekeeper! It made her curious though and she looked it up online. Apparently some people leave Housekeepers pennies as a way to say "sorry, can't afford a tip but thank you anyway!"  

Anyone else heard of this? I know in restaurants, it's sort-of a slap in the face to leave a server a penny.

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sorry, I spent so much on my room, wine, dinner and show, beach access and flight, I can't afford a tip.   BS

Generic's picture
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Doesn't matter if it's face up or face down around here, it's considered an insult, even if it's just part of the tip.

egoodell's picture
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From my years in the restaurant business, a penny heads up is a thank you for great service. heads down the other. don't know if it's still the case or not.

Riki

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Madeleine's picture
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Face up or face down, if it's sitting on top of a $20 that's a heck of a big difference than just a penny left behind.

Madeleine's picture
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"Sorry, can't afford a tip" is BS. What's a tip for housekeeping? $2? If you're that broke go camping.

It's an insult is what it is. 

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Madeleine wrote:

"Sorry, can't afford a tip" is BS. What's a tip for housekeeping? $2? If you're that broke go camping.

It's an insult is what it is. 

We know, and I will say it again, like a broken record. It is the hard working people who leave the biggest tips, every time. Those who have a credit limit up the wazzo and drive hundred thousand dollar vehicles will leave nothing, or $2.

Had it happen this weekend, again. A one nighter left $20, working class people, and the rich and famous who reviewed places in Malibu among others, left nada. Oh but they left a mess. Does that count? The working class people made their bed and left the room super tidy.

Then, the housekeeper said when she saw the other people didn't leave a tip, and that our youngest helped with the room "I will split my other tip with her, that is only fair"

See what I mean! That is awesome.

In other news, she asked if she could bring hubby by as he was off, I said of course. She showed him around, pride. I was super pleased.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

and END OF SEASON bonus.

A TIP ENVELOPE is a great bonus. yes

I am happy for ours to show up, and she has a great attitude. Cleaning DEEP is not happening. I have a quilt I had to SHOUT out today, and spiderwebs and more. She has put two quilts on a bed, on top of a blanket. I could go on but I won't bore you. She shows up! THAT is half the battle!

 

My hubby wanted to put out tip envelopes and I said they were tacky.  Am I wrong?   We don't see too many tips.  

I said that, too, but we got with the program quickly! Yes, we have a tip  CARD, not an envelope. Nice little note in it about the housekeeper and it's ok to tip. (Lots of people think the young housekeepers are our kids.)

We used to put the card in an envelope addressed "to our guests". The tips were better with the envelope but I'm running out of envelopes!

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A gift card or cash. For younger people, if they are on Apple then iTunes. Otherwise we have done different things, like movies or groceries. Sometimes it's a few extra bucks or let them have first shot at stuff we donate, etc. 

 

Madeleine's picture
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Movie tix would work. Good idea. Maybe a pass to the state park beach in the summer.

 

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I am not the one for experienced advice but:

Consider offering a end of the month bonus for doing things you feel they are going above and beyond the norm.  This will be an incentive rather than a given such as a raise. 

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Copperhead wrote:

I am not the one for experienced advice but:

Consider offering a end of the month bonus for doing things you feel they are going above and beyond the norm.  This will be an incentive rather than a given such as a raise. 

Above and beyond.

Now if they did that the answer would be easy!

Incentive to show up, incentive to do the job. It is a pretty bad place we live in if we have to do this, bonus for showing up. But it is nothing new under the sun, a hired person will never do the job of someone with skin in the game. 

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