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Jane Steel, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa
Jane Steel is responsible for maintaining the five-star standards across 228 bedrooms and suites at Elite Hotel Group's Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. As executive housekeeper, Steel manages a team of 80, a number that is set to rise over the next six months. Alongside their room duties, Steel and her team oversee standards at the fine dining restaurant, brasserie and golf clubhouse, private dining rooms, spa and leisure complex, as well as 21 conference and function rooms across the estate.
Working closely with the hotel's HR team, Steel develops and implements staff training upon induction and delivers staff development reviews every six months, as well as holding regular one-to-one meetings. She also supports external qualifications and apprenticeships. Employees are COSHH trained to ensure that the department is health and safety compliant. In addition to in-house training, the team is encouraged to undertake NVQs and supervisory courses.
The most important qualities Steel looks for in prospective employees are commitment and an eye for detail. Under her management, she has promoted 13 members of staff, who have worked their way up from room attendants to become senior room attendants, junior housekeeper, assistant housekeeper and senior housekeeper. Staff retention has also remained high at 85%.
The pride Steel has in her team reflects in their work. The hotel is regularly audited by professional bodies, and has been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence three years in a row.
Matthew Long, general manager at Luton Hoo, who nominated Steel, said: "Jane is really the glue that gels the housekeeping team - she is involved at all levels, from recruitment and staff development to managing supplier relations and getting stuck in with dayto- day housekeeping duties. She is well liked, respected and a role model for junior members of the team to aspire to."
What the judges said
"Jane started her housekeeping journey with British Transport Hotels back in 1973 and worked her way to the top, the old-fashioned way, learning traditional skills and modern methods. She has worked for many of the well-known brands in the industry and imparted her knowledge and expertise along the way."
Rachael Parks, Rudding Park, Harrogate
"From the evidence that has been presented, Jane has proven that she possesses a wide raft of skills and experience that has led to this deserved award. She has consistently shown achievements above and beyond her duties. She enhances her own and her colleagues' working experience to the benefit of all who come into professional contact with her. Jane has the total respect and appreciation of the management and staff alike. A thoroughly deserved award."
Jude Gallacher, the Headland hotel, Newquay
Sarah Middlemas Old Course Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, St Andrews, Fife
Magda Pyra, Aviator - a hotel by TAG, Farnborough, Hampshire
Jane Steel Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, Luton, Bedfordshire
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