When it comes to keeping your company's physical locations clean, employees can either be one of your best assets or one of your biggest challenges. How can you encourage them to be an asset in the fight for cleanliness? Here are a few methods that any owner or manager can apply.
Lead by Example
First, owners, executives, and managers must set the example for everyone. If you show that you care about your business, your work spaces, and your employees' health and safety, some of that concern will rub off on workers. Keep your offices clean and uncluttered, setting aside time in each day or week to do some light cleanup where you work. Then, follow that up by starting a company-wide routine of end-of-day cleanup time.
Help out employees by putting your money where your mouth is. Hire a janitorial service to do the big jobs on a regular basis. Hire extra help for spring or seasonal cleaning. Get the carpets and upholstery cleaned. Wash and care for company equipment. As you work with employees to do the heavy lifting when it comes to cleaning, they will follow your lead with the smaller tasks.
Make It Simple
The easier it is for employees to keep their work areas clean, the more likely they are to do so. You can help make cleanliness simpler by providing tools and supplies, such as brooms, mops, disinfectant wipes, rags, and various appropriate cleaners. Create a designated storage spot for cleaning tools and supplies near every workstation - particularly in areas that are more likely to be a problem, such as near heavy equipment, in the shipping department, or around vehicle maintenance areas.
Another good way to make tidying up easier is to keep a more organized and less cluttered work space. Managers should assess their departments to see where they could reduce the amount of items sitting on the floor, on desks, and on work surfaces. The less there is to work around, the easier time your janitorial service will have and the easier it will be for employees to do spot cleaning.
Don't underestimate the value of communicating with workers the importance of a clean and tidy work area. Tidiness often comes down to safety and health. Debris, liquids, and sticky materials can cause accidents - either for employees or visitors to their work areas. And unsanitary surfaces easily spread viruses like the flu, which can be dangerous for their fellow employees who are older or have compromised immune systems.
Work with employees to find other ways in which they could make their jobs easier by tidying up their work areas. Does a worker spend a lot of time digging through tools to find the right one? Is lighting dim due to grimy fixtures and covers? Do fellow workers have to take time off due to frequent illnesses? Do untidy areas turn off customers or create unneeded conflict between co-workers? By showing how each person benefits from cleaning, more people will engage in it.
Looking for a good motivator? Try rewarding positive behavior. Have a contest to see which departments can improve the most, for example. Use cash or gift cards as a simple reward for cleanliness. Offer prizes for suggestions on how the company can improve cleanliness in specific, practical ways. Or have organized departments mentor other departments to help them find new ways to organize and clean up.
Incentives don't have to be cash, of course. Public recognition before fellow employees, a small plaque, or highlights in the newsletter can often encourage people to give their best. You could offer additional time off or a special treat for departments that get their space organized or pass a spot audit of their work areas.
Which of these techniques could help your employees see the value of being clean and tidy? At Evergreen Janitorial Supply Inc., we work as partners with our clients to keep their businesses clean and tidy. We can help you find the best ways to make cleaning simpler for employees and create a more positive environment for everyone. Call today to learn more.