This article describes 3 ways to implement cleaning policies in the workplace.
Throughout this series, we’ve discussed how cleanliness in the workplace makes for happier, healthier employees, but is often not prioritized due to busy work schedules. While employers can educate staff on the benefits of tidying up, sometimes that is still not enough to get everyone on board with daily chores. So how does one enforce cleaning policies in the workplace? A few options to consider include outlining tasks in employee job descriptions, designating time at the end of the day to declutter, and utilizing employee manuals or memos. This way, cleaning is treated like an official part of the job and not just a mere suggestion.
3 Ways to Implement Cleaning Policies
1. Job Description: As an employer, you can set the standard for cleanliness during the hiring process by listing what cleaning tasks a potential employee would be responsible for in the job description. If daily chores are expected as part of the position, employees will feel more inclined to complete them and embrace their new role in the workplace. Be sure to commend them for their efforts just as you would with their normal workload to help reinforce the importance of tidying up and caring for shared spaces.
2. End of Day Declutter: If you want to reinforce a clean desk policy, set aside time for employees to straighten their office. Since it only takes a few minutes, designating the last 5 – 10 minutes of the day will be sufficient for everyone to file their paperwork, lock up sensitive material, and clear out any recycling or garbage. If there’s time, encourage giving personal electronics a quick wipe down to help keep germs at bay. At first, this policy “may be viewed as an extra burden,”1 but as employees get in the habit of decluttering their desks each day, it will only get easier.
3. Employee Manual & Memos: Oh no! You have an employee starting soon and forgot to include their cleaning tasks in the job description. No sweat! There is still time to include cleanliness guidelines in their employee manual, which you can review with them on their first day of work. Since it can be easy to overwhelm new hires with information, create a memo that details your cleaning expectations so that they can refer to it later and confidently take on chores. For current employees, memos are a great way to highlight what areas might need extra attention and if staff duties have rotated or changed.
Even if an employee insists that a bit of mess doesn’t bother them, eventually it will affect their overall wellbeing and productivity, which is detrimental to the whole team. Enforcing cleaning policies through job descriptions, end of day habits, and employee manuals or memos make daily chores an official part of an employee’s position, and holds them accountable for not only taking care of their desk, but shared common areas as well.
To help you get started, download our BIG Cleaning Memo Template that highlights daily responsibilities for both new and current employees.