In our last blog, we discussed 7 ways to motivate your employees to participate in a “clean office,” culture, and the first thing on our list was communication. If you don’t share your expectations with your team, they won’t be able to meet them.
This will vary greatly by industry. A manufacturing plant or a healthcare facility will likely have a much longer and more detailed list of rules—monitored both by management and the government—when compared with a call center. And you should keep in mind, the more there is for your employees to remember, the harder you’ll have to work to enforce said rules. Be intentional about those that you choose to implement.
To get you started, we’ve put together a few examples of policies that we recommend you consider, to ensure everyone in your workspace is on the same page.
Establish when certain tasks should be completed.
Getting everyone on the same schedule is a crucial part of making cleaning a cohesive process. A list of chores without a timeline or assigning responsibilities is far too vague to be successful. Who should do what and when? An example of this could be setting a standard saying that each person’s workspace should be straightened up on Fridays. This way, everyone starts fresh on Monday morning.
Establish where food and drink are/aren’t allowed.
This also depends on your industry and company culture. Many office spaces choose not to restrict food and drink to certain areas, but for some, this could negatively impact their operations and/or customers. For example, if you’re a pharmaceutical company, it’s probably not a good idea for an employee to be eating chips before handling prescription medicines.
Establish basic kitchen etiquette.
Along with bathrooms, kitchens and break rooms see the most mess. As these are usually communal areas, policies that govern etiquette are crucial. A few common examples could include: washing any dishes you use, disposing of uneaten food in the trash, rather than the sink, and removing any leftovers you might have in the fridge before the weekend.
Establish a centrally-located resource compiling these policies.
For many companies, this will likely exist in some digital format, stored on the intranet or a shared drive. Much like the trash receptacles, this is much more likely to be used if it is easily accessible. Don’t forget to update this regularly!
Establish a “suggestion box” for your employees.
Create an avenue for employees to submit suggestions, complaints, and supply requests. Those on the ground will have the most information on what is happening day to day. They can inform you when your commercial cleaning crew hasn’t been meeting expectations when you’re almost out of toilet paper, and if there’s a leaky window. Give your team a voice, and they will be more invested.
Establish a policy review process.
Perhaps you over-estimated the time your employees have to dedicate to cleaning communal spaces. You may have sent reminders and then warnings asked managers to speak with their teams, and gotten nowhere. In the end, it might be your expectations that need to be changed, up to and including adding to the duties your professional cleaning team owns. Periodically review these policies and update as needed.
While it is important to establish a system around keeping your workspace clean and organized, these policies should not be set in stone. Your needs will change as your team grows, if they shift to more remote work, as the seasons change, and so on. Be willing to re-evaluate these policies and communicate with your employees about what they need and what they can contribute. After all, you’re all in this together.
Along with documenting these policies, you may want to assign an owner or owners to manage this process. They would be responsible for monitoring the suggestion box, doing quality checks, purchasing supplies, and so on.
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