Maintaining a clean and organised workplace is essential for any organisation, as it can significantly impact employee productivity, morale, and overall business success. However, ensuring that the office remains tidy and clutter-free can be challenging, especially if employees don’t take responsibility for keeping their workspaces clean. You may already engage the services of a professional cleaning contractor, but it’s still important to make your staff accountable for cleaning up after themselves between visits. Here are some effective ways to engage and encourage employees to help keep your office clean.
Set Clear Expectations
The first step to getting employees to keep the office clean is to set clear expectations. It’s a really good idea to create a workplace cleaning policy that outlines the standards for cleanliness as well as what employees are expected to do to maintain a clean and organised workspace. Make sure that this policy is communicated effectively to all employees, including new employees when they start work at your business. Set guidelines for office cleanliness and hygiene and reinforce this with signage posted in prominent locations reminding employees to clean up after themselves and to keep their workspaces tidy. Explaining the benefits of maintaining a clean workplace will go a long way towards achieving it.
Create a Cleaning Schedule
An effective way to ensure that the office stays clean is to assign certain cleaning responsibilities to different employees. Create a cleaning schedule that outlines the tasks and responsibilities of each of them. Make sure to occasionally rotate these tasks to avoid boredom and resentment setting in. This can be done on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the size of the office and the number of employees.
Provide the Necessary Tools and Supplies
Make sure that your office is well-stocked with the necessary cleaning tools and supplies. Provide bins in convenient locations and ensure that they are emptied regularly. Stock the kitchen, canteen or staff room with cleaning supplies, such as paper towels, disinfectant, and washing up liquid. Ensure that there is a vacuum cleaner and a mop available for floor cleaning. When employees have access to the tools they need, they are more likely to take responsibility for carrying out the tasks assigned to them.
Provide clear guidelines on how to use these supplies properly and safely, and make sure they are easily accessible. For more heavy duty tasks and regular professional-standard cleaning, consider hiring a cleaning service.
Lead by Example
Leadership sets the tone for workplace culture, and managers must lead by example when it comes to cleanliness. Set the tone and take the time to clean your workspace and common areas (such as the staff room or meeting room) yourself. When employees see their leaders prioritising cleanliness, they are more likely to follow suit!
The key to ensuring that employees understand the importance of maintaining a clean and organised workplace is to communicate with them regularly. Take the time to remind them of the workplace cleaning policy whilst highlighting the importance of cleanliness for productivity and the good reputation of the business.
Encourage Team Work
Encourage collaboration among employees as a way to keep the office clean. This could involve setting up a system where employees take turns cleaning common areas or assigning each team member a specific task to complete each day, such as wiping down the kitchen counters or emptying the bins. When employees work together to keep the office clean, they are more likely to take pride in their workplace.
Make it Fun
Some people find that cleaning can be a chore, but it doesn’t have to be! Make it fun by turning it into a game or challenge. For example, set a timer and challenge employees to clean their workspace in under five minutes. Making cleaning a fun (and relatively short) activity can make it more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Provide Incentives that Celebrate Cleanliness
Providing incentives is an effective way to motivate employees to keep the office clean. For example, you could offer a prize for the cleanest workspace or the team that consistently maintains a high level of cleanliness. Incentives could also include recognition in team meetings or public acknowledgment of an employee’s efforts in cleanliness and hygiene.
If employees consistently fail to keep their workspaces clean or adhere to the workplace cleaning policy, there should be consequences. You need to send a clear message that cleanliness is a non-negotiable aspect of the workplace culture. While it may seem harsh, enforcing consequences can be an effective way to get employees to take responsibility for keeping the office clean.
Emphasise Health and Safety
A clean workplace is essential for health and safety reasons. Emphasise the importance of maintaining a clean and healthy workspace to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Encourage employees to take responsibility for their own health and well-being by keeping their workspace clean and hygienic. Issue antibacterial wipes so that personal equipment can be sanitised regularly, reducing the risk of contracting viruses through contact.
Address Issues Promptly
If there are any cleanliness issues in your workplace, address them promptly. Spills should be cleaned immediately so reduce the risk of stains setting in. If any cleaning problems are resolved promptly, it can prevent them from escalating, and encourage employees to take responsibility for their own workspace.
Training can be provided to employees about proper cleaning techniques and hygiene practices. This can include how to properly sanitise surfaces, how to dispose of waste, and how to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure that all employees are aware of these guidelines.
Encourage employees to provide feedback about the cleanliness of the office. This can be done through regular surveys or suggestion boxes. Listen to the feedback provided – the opinions of your staff are important and must be acknowledged. Of course, there is the danger that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ if you have a large workforce, and it could be easy for cleaning tasks to slip down the priority list if they’re busy. You may find it easier to employ a professional cleaning contractor to keep your workplace clean and sanitary.
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