Floor manager has tidy career
From an early age, Carter Lam Wing-fung, a floor manager at The Langham Hong Kong hotel, had a predilection for cleaning spaces and tidying rooms. A career in housekeeping, therefore, seems perfect for him.
On finishing his A-levels, Lam applied to the Swiss Hotel Management School and majored in hotel and tourism management. He worked as an intern at The Langham, a five-star hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, during his studies. On graduating he was offered the job as a floor manager.
“I focus on the quality control of rooms. I oversee about 120 rooms and make sure each is up to standard. I chose this job because I enjoy clean environments and neat spaces. Being in charge of housekeeping allows me to maintain a tidy place for guests to relax,” he says.
Lam begins work every day at 8.30am and starts by organising what rooms to clean first. “Next I read reports and make special arrangements if we have VIPs visiting. I then attend the morning briefing to find out the events taking place that day. After meetings, I will inspect rooms and see if there are any problems with the facilities and furniture that need to be reported to the maintenance department. I will also take orders from the front desk and see whether there are any special requests from guests,” he says.
With so many rooms to maintain, good time management is very important. “Knowing how to prioritise and complete tasks on time is a challenge every day. For example, I need to allocate room attendants to first clean the rooms that have guests arriving soon. If there are too many rooms to clean, I might need to borrow staff from other teams to get the job done. I communicate closely with the front desk to know when and what guests are coming in,” he says.
Many people think that housekeeping mostly involves working when guests have left their rooms or after they have checked out, but Lam thinks housekeeping should involve more personal contact with guests. “We seem to work mostly behind the scenes, but I want my staff to be more outgoing. I encourage them to communicate with guests. I ask them to find out their likes and dislikes so that when they next visit, we can do our best to serve them,” he says.
Having just started his career in the hotel industry, Lam is keen on learning new skills to enhance his career development. “In future, I want to climb the ranks of the housekeeping department. I am very lucky that the hotel can provide me with training to help enhance my career. So far I have learned a lot of skills in housekeeping and management,” he says.