Imagine that you are an office manager overseeing a department of 25 employees. One day, an employee comes to you and complains about his coworker's unpleasant body odor and how difficult it is to work with him in the same area.
How would you handle this situation?
Generally, this kind of situations happens in overcrowded offices where many employees share the same kitchen space, restroom, or work area.
If at least one employee leaves the facility dirty it starts accumulating. The unhygienic workplace increases the dissatisfaction among coworkers and they start complaining.
Here is when having a workplace hygiene policy comes in handy.
A company-wide policy requires that all employees follow personal hygiene, cleanliness, and behavior standards, despite their cultural differences or personal intolerance to certain hygiene factors.
These guidelines ensure that all employees benefit from a safe working environment.
That’s your main job, as an HR manager.
You need to maintain a safe and healthy environment in the workplace to ensure that employees focus on the most important tasks that move the company forward.
The question is how do you create a personal hygiene policy in the workplace and what do you need to include in there.
Keep employees satisfied at work with satisfying hygiene factors
By following personal hygiene standards, each employee helps to maintain a safe and healthy environment in the office.
This is one of the two motivational factors that keep employees satisfied at work according to Herzberg’s Two-Theory of Motivation.
In 1959, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioral scientist proposed a two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory, which states that there are some job factors that result in satisfaction, while other job factors prevent dissatisfaction.
According to Herzberg, the opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”.
Herzberg basically meant that job factors can be classified into two categories:
The importance of cleanliness and personal hygiene in the workplace is also supported by showerstoyou.co.uk.
They conducted a survey that received 932 responses from office workers in a range of professions to find out the biggest personal hygiene issue they faced in their workplace.
The findings from the survey interestingly revealed that bad body odor was the biggest personal hygiene and appearance issue that employees face in the workplace at 70%.
Now that I hopefully convinced you that it's easier to approach an employee about his personal hygiene issues based on a company-wide employee hygiene policy. So, let's create one.
What should a personal hygiene policy include
A workplace hygiene policy should include hygiene and appearance rules that every employee must follow during his employment in the company.
Here is what a workplace hygiene policy for office workers should include:
Personal hygiene: employees are expected to follow proper hygiene in the workplace during regular business hours for the duration of their employment.
Dress code and uniform: staff that maintains regular, in-person contact with customers are required to wear appropriate business attire.
Grooming and facial hair:
Employees must maintain the workstations clean
Over to you
It's easier to handle complaints about personal hygiene issues once everybody knows what is the benchmark of hygiene mentioned in the workplace hygiene policy.
So, whenever an employee doesn’t follow the guidelines you can remind him that everybody should follow the employee hygiene policy guidelines.