SKOKIE, ILL.—Nominations are open for the first annual Guest Room Attendant Excellence Award, which acknowledges the contributions of guest room attendants (GRAs) at hotel companies across the United States. Sponsored by UMF Corp., the award celebrates the often unheralded workers who serve as the first line of defense in ensuring a safe guest environment. The deadline for nominations is Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.
“As the world faces an ongoing battle with COVID-19, the hospitality housekeeping department is emerging front and center, ensuring guest safety, satisfaction and loyalty,” said UMF CEO George Clarke. “Industry associations and thought leaders have reacted quickly to create thoughtful, comprehensive cleaning and disinfection protocols to help the hospitality industry ensure the safety of all guests and employees. Amidst all of this, hotel housekeeping departments are adopting hospital-grade infection prevention processes as the industry embraces the new normal. As UMF enters its 11th year recognizing healthcare environmental services workers with the Environmental Hygiene Specialist Award, we knew that now was the time to also focus attention on the invaluable contribution of the hotel housekeeping department and, in particular, the GRA. The GRA will play a critical role in guest satisfaction and safety in the post-COVID-19 era.”
According to the CDC, one of the top five recommendations for preventing COVID-19 is to regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. And, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) recently launched its Stay Safe program, an initiative that is “focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19.” An industry expert recently remarked, “Cleaning [in hotels] will become a theatrical performance.” The housekeeping staff will be the lead players in ensuring a safe guest environment.
“Recommendations from organizations such as the CDC and AHLA underscore the crucial role that hotel housekeeping departments, and GRAs, in particular, serve in ensuring optimal cleanliness and disinfection in hotels,” added Clarke. “We created our first ever Guest Room Attendant Award to underscore their importance in hospitality, especially as the industry adjusts to a new way of operating amidst the global health crisis. As new technologies and hospital level infection prevention are trialed and adopted, the GRA will be the trained associate that operates and ensures these new technologies are used effectively to process the guest environments.”
Hotel managers are encouraged to nominate dedicated staff members for the award. The award recipient will receive an all-expenses paid trip for two, including airfare to a location of their choice within the 48 contiguous states. Nomination forms, available at https://bit.ly/304TcI2 should be submitted by August 31, 2020.