How to Encourage Employees to Wash Their Hands

proper washing

The pandemic has shown people how vital handwashing is to prevent the spread of infections. However, caution fatigue sets in. As time goes by, people start to become more lenient in their COVID-19 prevention measures. After all, if they haven’t acquired an infection until now, then relaxing the protocols probably won’t hurt.

This is something you can’t afford to do at your business premises. Your mandate is to uphold strict sanitation and hygiene protocols among your staff to protect your customers and employees. You have to encourage employees to stick to the rules—no matter how tedious they may seem—to keep your premises safe.

Explain the Reason

Your employees probably understand that handwashing is important, but they might not know how important it truly is. That’s why sometimes, they tend to become lenient in keeping these safety measures and their workspace clean.

Make sure that they know the reason behind your strict handwashing protocols. If they are office workers, remind them that studies have found that desktop computers contain millions of bacteria that get onto their hands and get passed on to every surface they touch, including their homes.

If they work in the bank, remind them that paper bills and coins are among the dirtiest things they could touch because they are passed around. Reiterate that they should each do their part to keep the entire office clean.

Hang Signs

Signs serve as a reminder about proper handwashing. You can place a chart that details the appropriate way of washing hands. Research shows that the fingertips and thumbs are often missed during washing, so even if the rest of the hand is clean, the pathogens left on the thumb can make their way into their eyes or mouth and cause infection.

hand washing

If you think your employees have handwashing down pat, hang signs that discourage the use of smartphones. A lot of people bring their phones to the bathroom, but this is an unhygienic practice. First, if the employee brings their phone, they might place it on a contaminated surface, which will make the phone dirty. Second, if the employee touches their phone right after washing, they could get bacteria on their hands from the phone and undo the effort they put into sanitizing their hands.

You can also hang signs that bust misconceptions about handwashing. Sanitation station manufacturer Elakeside notes that many misconceptions still exist despite the worldwide consciousness about hand hygiene, which could put co-workers at risk.

Invest in Good Sanitation Solutions

Finally, to fully encourage employees to abide by handwashing protocols, invest in quality bathroom devices. Consider installing automatic, touchless soap dispensers to enable them to use soap (because not everyone uses it when washing their hands). It’s also advisable to install no-touch paper and linen dispensers for hand-drying because this reduces the risk of recontamination.

Take it a step further and provide your employees with hand sanitizer. These dispensers should be readily available around the office, especially in areas with higher foot traffic, like desks, kitchens, entrances and exits, and lobbies. Apart from encouraging hand hygiene, these dispensers also improve the image of your business.

It’s advisable to invest in rigorous cleaning services, especially in communal areas like the kitchen and reception. Use disinfecting wipes regularly to kill pathogens and prevent cross-contamination. On top of this, it’s best to book a professional deep-clean at least twice a year to remove hidden dirt that could cause health problems.

Your employees play a huge role in keeping your business clean, so make sure to keep them motivated to wash their hands and keep their workspaces spotless. Sanitation requires teamwork, and if you have a dedicated staff, you are well-placed to keep infections at bay.

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