6 Ways to Encourage your Staff to Maintain Good Workplace Hygiene
Good hygiene at work is critical to stop the spread disease and infection at any time, and now more than ever. Not only is this part of any organization’s duty of care to its employees and visitors, but it is also in their interest: illness and absenteeism can cost businesses significantly in lost productivity. Additionally, workplaces can be a centre for transmission during a pandemic, so proper workplace hygiene to stop the spread of infection is also part of their responsibility to the community in general.
There are many things businesses and organizations can and should do to promote good hygiene in the workplace, such as regular and thorough cleaning and proper waste disposal. However, they cannot maintain exemplary workplace hygiene without their employees’ complete participation. Any organization is only as strong as its weakest link, so businesses must make efforts to ensure their staff members maintain good hygiene in the workplace.
Tips over How to Maintain Good Workplace Hygiene.
- Encourage Regular Hand-Washing
A key part of proper hygiene in the workplace is regular hand washing. We carry viruses and bacteria on our hands that we then pass on to others when we touch common objects or surfaces. In fact, around 80% of all diseases are transmitted through touch. Regularly washing our sanitizing their hands can prevent employees from spreading germs throughout the workplace.
Train your staff in how to properly wash their hands — which means for 20 seconds with soap and running water — and reinforce this with signs above the wash basins. Also make sure that washrooms are well stocked with soap or hand wash. You should also supply hand santizer and disinfectant wipes to your team so they can frequently sanitize their hands and disinfect surfaces. A great idea is to put travel-sized hand sanitizer on every desk.
- Train Your Staff
It is critical that you educate your team on health risks and the hygiene measures that can prevent the spread of infection. Be sure to communicate clearly with your team about current health risks and recommended hygiene practices. Use current information that is relevant to the season and your industry. Keep communication two-way: encourage staff to raise concerns and ask questions.
- Reinforce Information with Signage
Although training is essential, it doesn’t last forever. It is also important to reinforce this information over time. A great way to do this is by using signage throughout the workplace. Posters and signage is subtle yet effective way to remind your employees of the importance of hygiene.
Posters and other information should be placed in key places around the workplace, including bathrooms and break areas as constant reminders. These could cover topics such as good respiratory hygiene, proper hand washing techniques, and cleaning recommendations.
- Use Technology to Minimize Risk
There are also some structural things you can do to promote better hygiene practices in your workplace. The development of technology has assisted greatly with this. For example, you can implement equipment and tools that will reduce the need to touch surfaces and therefore lower the risk of transmission of viruses and bacteria.
These include double swinging push doors that reduce the need to touch door plates or door handles, and motion sensor lights instead of light switches. You may be able to address this by implementing certain broad policies, such as an employee dress code. It could also be necessary to have a gentle conversation with certain individuals.
- Encourage Good Personal Hygiene
Maintaining good hygiene not only depends on what your employees do at work, but also their habits at home. It is important that your staff develop good hygiene habits in their personal lives so that hygiene issue do not carry over into the workplace.
Any issues in this area, of course, can be very delicate and difficult to address.
- Make Sure Employees Eat Only in Designated Areas
One of the biggest offenders when it comes to poor hygiene in the workplace, believe it or not, is food. It is not uncommon for staff members to eat lunch or snack at their desk or other work areas. In fact, this is becoming increasingly common as pressure increases in many workplaces, and people work through their lunch breaks in order to meet deadlines.
However, this is a disaster for hygiene. When staff members eat at their workspace this scatters bits of food and debris, which in turn encourages the growth of bacteria and other germs. To avoid this, you should insist that staff eat exclusively in designated areas such as the break room or kitchen. Taking a break will also help with your employees’ mental health and productivity!