This is a message for all businesses everywhere – you are disgusting.
Well, not all of you. There is, however, a distinct lack of hygiene awareness in many workplaces, and it’s leaving the news media gleeful as they disgust readers with tales of muck, grime and clueless employees.
For a thousand examples of this, just Google the term “hygiene row”. Within a click you’ll be met with tales of egg packing plants, restaurants, doctor’s surgeries and even run of the mill offices hit by hygiene regulators for filthy premises.
While they say that any publicity is good publicity, the inventors of that saying probably didn’t factor the news headline “Factory closed in hygiene row” into their thoughts.
So, what can you do to avoid a cleanliness wrangle of your very own? For a start, try these tips.
Know Your Waste
You might think that bunging everything in the bin without a care in the world is enough to make your premises as clean as a whistle, and to an extent you’d be right. But if you’re dealing with hazardous or offensive waste, you’ll need to contact professionals to advise you on the ideal method of disposal.
Offensive waste isn’t litter that bellows insults at you when you walk past it (as brilliantly novel as that might be) – it’s rubbish that doesn’t quite hit hazardous levels, but still requires treatment and specific disposal.
It’s these grey areas that mean you’re best seeking advice from pros before you dump everything in the same fetid container.
Know Your Regulations
Whether you’re battling against the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Food Standards Agency (FSA) or any other hygiene regulating giant, cleanliness is imperative to the survival of your business.
As awareness of bacteria and poor hygiene practice evolves, so do hygiene laws become more stringent and their enforcers given more powers.
Besides the poor publicity that a run-in with the HSE or FSA will give you, you could also be subject to fines or, even worse, closure. So, know the law inside-out and your business will remain on the right side of it.
Keep Your Staff In The Loop
It’s all very well and good being a singlehanded hygiene maverick of your workplace, but it won’t matter a jot if your employees aren’t following your lead.
No matter where you work, encourage staff to wash their hands regularly, dispose of waste appropriately and keep their workspace tidy and hygienic.
You can do this in a number of ways, placing hygiene guideline posters in bathrooms and kitchens, having regular “refresher” meetings to remind people and simply practising cleanliness yourself. Every great leader acts how they want others to, so stay hygienic and others will, too.