Keeping a workplace restroom clean

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about restroom rules:

I work in a place with about 50+ women and they do not know how to keep the restroom clean. You would think that working with that many adults they would know better. A suggestion I had at work was to come up with a paper listing and reminding women how to keep the restroom clean. This would hang on every stall door. I am just stumped on what needs to go on them without being mean about it. Can you give me some ideas?

Signed, Need Ideas Of What to Say

Dear Need Ideas Of What to Say:

Put on your thinking cap. Yes? No! If you are the one and only one to do the thinking, that pits your wit against those who can argue, “Who is Ms. Keep It Clean To Tell Us How To Behave”? You are to be commended for thinking up and speaking up about what should be just good manners. And it would be great if you could start a campaign that motivates your 50+ women to good hygiene and just plain consideration for the next person. It is such thinking as yours that has sparked laws against littering and graffiti. Most change in public awareness comes about because of someone who is mad about what is stinks. So the issue is not that you should not think up persuasive Keep It Clean post it notes.

The issue is what will generate ownership in Keeping It Clean. What might best enlist 50+ women is Keeping It Clean? Here are several ideas to add to those you already have: · Make it beautiful and colorful. Your HR director might spring for paint and good lighting. · Have monthly showing of paintings by local artists at the door of the restroom. · Take turns arranging flowers; possibly some flower arranging club would welcome an invitation to display their creations outside the restroom entrance. · Have a cartoon Keep It Clean contest. Get my point? Surely several of you have talked about what you don’t like after seeing the filth that is left in your restroom. So why not get 50+ women put on their brainstorm bonnets?

Turn a staff meeting into small breakout groups with a no-squelch brainstorm attack on the question: What Might We Do To Keep Our Restroom Clean? See how many ideas each group can list in 6 minutes. Collect the lists. Then type a long list that includes every suggestion made by the breakout groups. At next meeting, distribute the total list at your next staff meeting and request that each employee give 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars to each idea. Before your next meeting, have a committee compile those ideas that have the most 4 or 5 stars. Now, your gang of 50+ have ownership. They can now vote on what of those ideas they want to make happen and plan how to.The very process of breakout groups brainstorming should raise consciousness of how you all feel about not wanting to enter a dirty, smelly, unsanitary restroom.Of course there are other ways than the few suggestions you and I might have. And that is the point of this approach. Will you send us the lengthy list that your 50+women generate and/or a report of what you do? I’ll attach it to this Q&A. Working together with hands, head, and heart means that we want what is clean, looks and smells good, and shows that we want to leave a place better than it was when we entered. Such acts take and make big WEGOS.

William Gorden