Spring cleaning is a sham. You know why? Because no one has an epiphany every April and realizes that they could stand to do a little tidying up around the office. Trust us, everyone. We’re professionals who have been doing office cleaning and commercial cleaning in South Jersey/Philadelphia for almost 50 years.
Cleaning should be on-going, regardless of the season. With that in mind, we know how hard it can be to motivate employees to do a great job AND keep a tidy workspace. So we thought we’d share a few ideas you can use to get your employees behind an office-wide cleanup initiative.
Decide the Scale of This Initiative
Think about what kind of a project this is going to be. Is this a one-time effort? Will it be ongoing? Once you do, you’ll need to create a few incentives. Maybe the department who does the best gets a vacation day. Perhaps the best cleaners get to decide where the holiday party is going to be this year. Try to avoid financial incentives or anything that would exclude the underachievers because you don’t want to adversely impact morale.
Set easy, achievable milestones that directly address your biggest cleanliness concerns. Make sure you break them down into small steps that a child could understand. For example:
- If your supply closet has too many extra items: By the end of the day on Friday, there will be only supplies (well organized) in the closet.
- If the sink is always full: Do not leave dirty dishes in the breakroom sink for any reason whatsoever (unless it’s approved by the cleanup organizer).
- If there are too many papers in the way: After each meeting, make it a priority to log any important notes, papers and action items within 5 minutes of returning to your desk.
- If some of the senior staff isn’t interested: Everyone in the office, no matter what their rank in the food chain or seniority level, must participate.
Introduce the contest without indicating your displeasure with the current state of office cleanliness. One thing you want to avoid is highlighting your staff’s flaws. Mistakes are often directly addressed by management much more often than successes. The last thing you want to do is make your cleanup project seem like a punishment or a last resort that came about because things got out of hand (even if that’s the truth!). Remember, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.
Designate the Organizer
Pick the most disorganized employee in the office and ask him or her to spearhead the cleanup efforts. This might sound kind of crazy, but it’s a risk worth taking. Chances are your office has at least one employee who is a bit messier and more disorganized than everyone else. Other employees might have reservations about this at first, but they will come around when they see the office’s Linus basking in his or her newfound cleanliness. I think you know what’ll happen next: A healthy sense of competition! You’re probably going to have to do some hand-holding, but the results will be more than worth the effort.
DO NOT micromanage! Remember, this is supposed to be fun, or at the very least as painless as possible. Breathing down your employees necks about another set of tasks they have to complete will only make their lives harder. Have your appointed organizer report to you weekly on the status of your cleaning project. Also, make sure everyone can see that you’re doing your part as well. Of course, exercise a bit of discretion: No showboating! Make sure your organizer is savvy to this point, too.
Hopefully you’ve found this practical and useful. But if you just can’t seem to get the ball rolling, if you just don’t have the time to put in the effort to get a cleanup project off the ground, or you just want a professional touch: Call a professional like Mac’s Janitorial Services to get the job done for you. We’ve been doing office cleaning in the greater Philadelphia area for years. Good luck!