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How to Turn Hand Hygiene into a Workplace Priority

Many studies show the link between workplace hand washing and the success of a business.

Since most people spend more time at work than at home, hand hygiene in the workplace is a major area of concern.

In some workplaces, hand hygiene is not a popular topic. Filing complaints about it can, therefore, be difficult.

Management may not think it is a priority when, in fact, it should be.

In the workplace, you can encounter many different kinds of germs that pose a health risk. Improper hand hygiene causes workers to fall ill, making them less productive at work. It can even contribute to the downfall or success of a business.

Proper hand hygiene is instrumental in reducing 80% of bacteria from the hands. This lessens the risk of contracting common hand-to-mouth diseases, such as influenza. Prioritising hand hygiene ensures the good health of your workers.

The hygiene of your business speaks volumes. It is a form of non-verbal communication to others about how much you value your workers and their health. This helps in keeping up a good reputation for your business.

Prioritising Workplace Hand Hygiene

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This may sound like it entails a boring process of showing workers how to wash their hands. In fact, and hygiene is more than hand washing on its own. It is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle.

The process of prioritising hand hygiene is fun, interactive and informative. Here are four easy ways to do it.

Communication Is Key

The only way to know if your workplace hand hygiene needs work is by communicating with your workers. Find out whether your current hand hygiene regime is effective.

Face-to-face communication causes the temptation to stray off-topic. Instead, use workplace communication channels, such as email, to distribute hand hygiene surveys.

These surveys help gauge workers’ hand hygiene knowledge and their perception of it. A great example is the perception survey by the World Health Organisation (WHO). In these surveys, workers rate their perception of the workplace hand hygiene practices.

Knowing the appropriate changes to make is all in the feedback.

Send out updates on hand hygiene implementations via internal memos. This shows the workers that their opinions are important in effecting change. Keep track of your updated hand hygiene changes by maintaining communication with workers throughout the process.

Incentives, such as paid vacations, encourage workers to improve their hand hygiene. After a time, the habit will stick.

‘’A long healthy life is no accident. It begins with good genes, but it also depends on good habits.’’

Dan Buettner.

This is a win-win situation. Your workers stay healthy, while your business thrives from having productive workers.

In-House Training Sessions

This is an informative and interactive session. They are usually conducted by human resource managers. To shake things up, other workers can conduct the training. This can be on a rotation basis or by picking names from folded pieces of paper in a jar.

Conducting training sessions on hand hygiene is not as common, and that is the beauty of it. Interestingly enough, in-house training is an effective method of education. It reflects the true culture of the workplace by using examples that workers can relate to. Your workplace stays two steps ahead in ensuring the good health of workers.

During these sessions, it’s important to show videos on proper hand hygiene practices. These videos should be catchy and send out the right message. They should use both humour and scientific facts to pass the message.

Be Creative

You can conduct many sessions and distribute many surveys, but your workers may still not get the point. Some may even forget what they’ve learned. So, how can you make it work? By creating a unique experience for your workers. Hand hygiene doesn’t need to be boring just because it is a serious topic.

Play around with the concept of hand hygiene in your workplace to make it memorable. Using funny posters can help with this. Quirky visual reminders help in relaying the message while making it humourous.

According to research, humour makes concepts easier to learn and remember. Making workers giggle makes hand hygiene concepts memorable.

male and female holding hands
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Use posters that remind workers why it is important to pay attention to good hand hygiene. These posters usually have hand hygiene facts. These kinds of posters provide facts about why proper hand hygiene is instrumental in living a healthy life.

Collaborate with workers to come up with hand hygiene slogans or catchphrases. You can make a competition out of it, and ask them to come up with the best slogan. The best slogan wins a prize. This is a creative way to increase participation in hand hygiene matters.

Incorporating these slogans into customised posters makes the message relatable to your workers. This is a simple and cost-effective way to prioritise hand hygiene.

Place these posters near hand hygiene products to make sure they are visible. This is a convenient positioning to promote fast action. Once the worker sees the poster, it prompts them to wash or sanitise their hands.

Desktop Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is not only important in the workplace washroom, but also in the workspace. You can provide hand sanitiser dispensers in the work area to encourage cleanliness.

Studies show that 70% of people who wash their hands use sanitiser instead of hand wash due to the convenience. Placing a small amount on your palms and rubbing it in is easier than running to a sink to wash your hands.

Hand sanitiser placement should be within easy reach and sight. Preferable placement is in communal areas in the workplace, such as in the lunchroom.

When workers see the product in front of them, they are more likely to use it as often as they can. This fosters a good habit of sanitising hands during the workday. This reduces the use of paper towels, which some workers use to open doors and hold telephones with.

Prioritising hand hygiene can be time-consuming. With proper help from hand hygiene experts, it is a smooth experience. They are ready to assist with your hand hygiene needs by advising and providing the right products for your workplace.

Transforming your workplace hand hygiene will happen in no time!

Photo: yanalya

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