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 happen in overcrowded offices where many of employees share the same kitchen space, restroom, or work near to each other.
In this circumstances, if at least one employee doesn't keep up with his own cleanliness or personal hygiene this may cause huge dissatisfaction among coworkers who starts complaining. This kind of complaints is difficult to handle without having a workplace hygiene policy in place.
A company-wide policy requires your employees to follow personal hygiene, cleanliness, and behavior standards, despite their cultural differences or personal intolerance to certain hygiene factors, that are in line with the company’s business conduct.
These guidelines ensure that most employees enjoy a certain level of comfort in the workplace while their behavior doesn’t offend other co-workers or clients.
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 moves 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 hygiene factors
By following personal hygiene standards each employee helps to maintain a safe and healthy environment in the office.
This hygiene factor 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 there are other job factors that 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 the showerstoyou.co.uk, which conducted a survey that received 932 responses from office workers in range of professions, to find out the biggest personal hygiene and appearance issues 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 that it's easier to handle employees with cleanliness and personal hygiene issues based on what a workplace hygiene policy states. So, it's time to create one.
What should a personal hygiene at work policy include
A workplace hygiene policy should include rules that require all employees to present themselves in a professional manner, with regard to attire, personal hygiene, and appearance. These standards are commensurate with the company's organizational practices of appropriate business conduct, professionalism and dress code.
Here is what a workplace hygiene policy for office workers should include:
Personal hygiene: employees are expected to follow good personal 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 will be 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 employees with personal hygiene issues when you the entire team follows the cleanliness, personal hygiene, personal presence guidelines mentioned in the workplace policy.
So, whenever an employee doesn’t follow the guidelines you can simply point his attention to the policy and remind him that it’s important that all the team follows these rules.
Have you been in the situation where you had to handle complains about smelly employees or other personal hygiene issues? How did do this?
Share with us your experience.