Whether you’re running an urgent care center or a multi-tenant high rise, keeping your workspace clean is a team effort. It’s easy in a group setting to ignore the mess, assuming that “someone else” will take care of it, but that can snowball into even worse habits, resentment, and lower job satisfaction. More on that here.
Getting everyone on board and working together can be difficult, so we’ve put together our seven favorite ways for getting your employees to be a part of the solution, from those that take the least time and/or resources, to those that take the most.
#1 Effective Communication
Start by getting everyone on the same page! Let your staff know this is a priority and why they should care. Set clear expectations, post signage, and send email reminders. Do whatever it takes to keep the initiative consistent and easy to remember.
#2 Provide Trash & Recycling Bins
None of us want to stop what we’re doing, get up from our desk, and move to another room to search for a trash can. Placing them in visible and easy-to-access places keeps them top of mind—meaning an employee will be more likely to get up and throw that empty banana peel away, rather than letting it sit on their desk.
#3 Cleaning Supplies and Equipment
If you want your team to clean up after themselves, the least you can do is provide the supplies. Keep paper towels, disinfectant, a HEPA vacuum, and so on, in an accessible storage place. And make sure everyone knows where to find them!
#4 Organizational Tools & Storage
This one depends greatly on the nature of your work, but if you provide the tools needed for each employee to keep their workspace organized, they’ll be more likely to do so. For example, if your team processes a lot of paperwork, make sure filing cabinets, file folders, and a paper shredder are available. A desk organizer with places for pens and files could also help.
#5 Hire A Commercial Cleaning Crew
If you’re asking your employees to invest their time and energy into keeping the area clean, then you can also invest in a commercial cleaning company. Brad in IT might be willing to dust his own desk, but he’s probably much less willing to scrub the communal toilets. Hire professionals to take care of the real dirty work.
#6 Assign Chores
This one depends on the nature of your work and probably the size of your organization, but there may be certain tasks that everyone should chip in on. For example, you could set a rotating schedule with a different person cleaning out the fridge in the breakroom or schedule a cleaning day where everyone chips in. And if you really want to make an impact, you can lead by example and join.
#7 Consider going paperless
This one requires the biggest commitment of everything on the list, but it provides value in so many areas. It will reduce clutter (you may even be able to get rid of those bulky filing cabinets), reduce waste, and modernize your processes. Remote employees will even be able to access important documents.
Cleaning will never be your employees’ favorite part of the job, but you can choose to make it a positive part of your company culture. Everyone working together to do their part is a great way to build camaraderie. Establish this culture and these practices early! It will be much harder the larger your team grows.
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