how to tell employees to clean up after themselves

How to Get Your Employees to Keep a Clean Workplace

Keeping a workplace clean is vital for several reasons. It creates a pleasant working environment, encourages productivity, and reduces stress. However, it is not uncommon for employees to be complacent in cleaning up after themselves. This can leave the workplace unsanitary and disorganized, resulting in decreased morale and productivity among the workforce.

As an employer or manager, it’s important to motivate employees to clean up after themselves and keep the workspace clean. In this article, we will provide practical tips on how to encourage employees to keep a clean workplace.


Firstly, it is essential to establish the importance of having a clean workplace. A neat and organized workspace can boost employee productivity and increase job satisfaction. On the other hand, a cluttered workspace can result in increased stress levels among employees and cause illness.

It is vital to communicate to employees the consequences of a dirty workplace on productivity and morale. The impact of a messy workplace often results in decreased motivation, decreased creativity, increased absenteeism, and reduced efficiency which impacts the bottom line of enterprises heavily.

Given this point, motivating employees to keep the workplace clean should be every manager’s priority.

Identifying the Problem

The first step towards motivating your employees to maintain cleanliness is identifying the problem. This involves assessing what areas require attention and understanding why employees are not keeping things clean.

Some common reasons may include:

  • Lack of knowledge on maintaining cleanliness
  • Complacency due to inadequate follow-through by management
  • Perception that cleanliness is not their responsibility
  • Lack of accountability for poor hygiene practices

Therefore before getting down to business, having empathy for your team members or staff is critical. Put yourself in their shoes and understand their working environment and expectations. Evaluating employee behavior patterns within the workspace will give you a better understanding of the problem areas that need attention.


Effective communication is essential in motivating employees to adopt a clean workspace culture. Encourage your employees to take ownership of maintaining cleanliness; Discussing it with them helps inspire them to take responsibility for the work environment’s orderliness.

The following are some ways to enhance communication towards ensuring a clean environment:

Establish Clear Expectations

Establish rules and policies focused on maintaining cleanliness.

  • Create designated cleaning schedules/rotations that fit into everyone’s schedule. That way, everyone knows when they are responsible for cleaning, and it becomes everyone’s obligation.
  • Consider designating cleaning responsibilities that align with an employee’s roles and strengths. Including this task as part of their job description highlights its importance and reminds them what they need to do.

Positive Reinforcement

Using positive reinforcement techniques such as rewarding for effort and success, creating incentives, or offering recognition and praise can help stimulate motivation. It is noteworthy to appreciate their efforts concerning maintaining a clean workspace regularly.

Alternatively, make it fun! Some simple actions like providing snacks or gift cards after several successful months of consistent clean workspace can go along way.

Constructive Feedback

If employees overlook certain cleanliness standards, it is critical to address the issue in a prompt, practical, and constructive manner. Offer viable solutions instead of merely pointing out problems during feedback sessions. Encouraging your employees to take responsibility for their actions can further help overcome complacency in maintaining hygienic practices.

Leading by Example

As the manager or employer, you must lead by example concerning maintaining workplace cleanliness; Thus, consistent action from management highlights the significance of ensuring a conducive, organized work environment. Employees are more likely to follow through and be accountable when they see that their managers are also doing the same.

Moreover, assign tasks or responsibilities to specific employees (employees may volunteer) that require regular cleaning schedules in addition to their primary responsibilities.

Regularly discussing what everyone is doing concerning cleaning or organizing during one-on-one sessions or team meetings assures them you care about maintaining a clean workspace significantly.

Education & Training

Employee education and training on maintaining a hygienic environment can help boost morale and create a culture of cleanliness, safety, and hygiene. Therefore, educate your employees on proper waste disposal techniques, handling chemicals safely, taking necessary safety measures, and efficient use of cleaning equipment.

Some areas to focus on include:

Establish proper hygienic practices

Employees need to learn how to maintain basic hygiene such as washing hands properly to prevent spreading germs and illnesses.

Safety Measures

Training on safety measures while using equipment or tools helps avoid workplace accidents and injuries.


In keeping with modern-day trends towards conserving the environment, employees should understand ways they can contribute towards proper disposal of waste products that impact the environment positively.

Proper Use of Chemicals

Ensure staff have proper training in the storage, handling of chemicals according to regulation. Correct use is vital in protecting themselves against potential hazards related to chemical exposure.

It’s critical to hold refresher courses or offer any additional training concerning hygiene practices regularly – this ensures everyone stays updated and informed.

Make Cleaning Enjoyable

Cleaning does not have to be dull and daunting! Making a few tweaks around the work environment can lead to a fun employee cleaning experience rather than a dreary task. To work towards making hygiene enjoyable, you could try the following.

Get Musical

Play some fun music as everyone is cleaning up, raising their vibes while doing what is necessary towards maintaining a clean workspace.

Introducing Fun Competitions

Use competition, gamification, and incentives as pivotal methods of motivation when it comes to getting employees to keep the workplace clean. You can introduce interactive contests relevant to cleanliness that everyone can engage in.

Make Sure Everyone is Involved

Encourage teamwork! Make sure everyone feels included in the process, leveling participation when assigning cleaning tasks. Mingle with your employees and clean along with them; it goes a long way in fostering togetherness and instilling good hygiene habits.

Involve Employees in the Solution

If you want to develop a culture of cleanliness within your organization, it’s essential to involve employees in the solution-finding process. That way, they feel valued and respected as part of the company’s culture.

Here’s how to encourage employee involvement;

Hold Brainstorm Meetings

Hold meetings where all employees can brainstorm ideas on how to improve cleanliness within the workplace. This encourages creative thinking outside of management and works towards building a vibrant culture that prioritizes cleanliness.

Seek Feedback/ Suggestions

Enquire from employees who contributed once solutions have been proposed improves inclusivity and grows trust between employees and management.

Adopt Ideas That Work

Implementing suggestible ideas demonstrates management’s respect for a team member’s input; this fosters respect between managers or employers and employees and gives everyone ownership over achieving targets proactively.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Be mindful that not everyone may take well to change or may prefer existing systems, so flexibility is key! Finding more comfortable ground for all parties involved – this is essential in maintaining employee compliance.

Recognize That Everyone Is Different

It’s crucial to note that different people may have different circumstances, approaches, and levels of adaptability when facing change. Therefore tailor your methods for each individual to get the best results.

Being Flexible with Routine

Designing a workable cleaning routine that works for everyone can make it less stressful and more manageable for employees who may have other obligations to attend to. It is critical to establish communications with those you manage to design suitable yet efficient routines.

Holding People Accountable

Accountability is key! Developing hygiene standards throughout your organization puts employees on notice that cleanliness has been prioritized.

Set Standards

Establish reasonable hygiene standards that all employees must adhere to concerning their workplaces. Make sure everyone understands what is expected of them.

Consequences When Standards Aren’t Met

Enforcing consequences shows consistency and demonstrates a company believes in its ideals of maintaining a clean workspace. Consequences must fit the infringement committed; minor mistakes could result in reminders, warnings, or write-ups, while severe offenses could face disciplinary action.

Follow Through on Any Consequences

Igniting trust between management and employees involves doing the hard things like following through with enforcing feedback and consequences. Doing what you say makes you more trustworthy in the eyes of your team members.


Cleanliness is essential in a healthy work environment. Employee understanding of cleanliness can result in higher quality work production and business overall success. Motivating employees towards a clean work culture is an ongoing journey that needs constant improvement. However, attentive management coupled with proper training, leadership by example, education, communication, accountability, tolerance and fun incentives can put your team members on track towards ensuring a beautifully clean and organized workspace.

7 FAQs About Telling Employees to Clean Up After Themselves

Keeping your work environment clean and organized is essential for the health and safety of your employees. However, sometimes it can be challenging to get everyone on board with keeping their workspace tidy. If you’re struggling with how to approach this issue, here are some FAQs that can help:

1. Why is it important to tell employees to clean up after themselves?

There are several reasons why it’s crucial to keep your office or workplace clean and tidy:

  • To prevent the spread of germs and other pathogens
  • To maintain a professional appearance for visitors or clients
  • To prevent accidents and injuries from clutter or tripping hazards

2. How should I communicate the importance of cleaning up?

One effective method is to have an all-hands meeting where you discuss the importance of keeping a clean work environment. You could also send out an email or memo that explains the benefits of cleanliness and your expectations moving forward.

3. What if some employees resist cleaning up?

If some employees seem resistant to cleaning up after themselves, it’s important to remind them that it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep the workspace tidy. You could also consider incentives like prizes for the cleanest workstations or implementing consequences for those who consistently refuse to tidy up.

4. Are there any cleaning tasks that should be delegated?

If you have a large workspace, it might be helpful to delegate specific cleaning tasks to different teams or individuals. For example, one team could be responsible for wiping down common surfaces like tables and countertops, while another team is in charge of emptying trash cans and recycling bins.

5. How often should the workspace be cleaned?

This depends on the size of your workspace and the nature of your business. However, some general cleaning tasks like emptying trash cans, wiping down surfaces, and vacuuming should be done daily or weekly.

6. What tools or supplies should be provided for employees to clean up after themselves?

Depending on your workplace, you might need to provide things like gloves, cleaning sprays, paper towels, or a vacuum cleaner. Make sure that all necessary supplies are easily accessible so that employees can clean up quickly and efficiently.

7. How can I make cleaning up fun or less of a chore?

You could consider implementing a reward system for employees who keep their workstations tidy. For instance, if everyone maintains a clean workspace for a certain period of time, you could treat them to a catered lunch or other prize. Additionally, playing music or making the cleaning process a team effort can make it feel less like a chore and more like a fun activity.

keys takeaways

4 Key Takeaways – How to Tell Employees to Clean Up After Themselves

  1. Set clear expectations: Make sure your employees understand why it’s important to clean up and what you expect from them.
  2. Lead by example: Show your employees that you value a clean workspace by keeping your own area tidy.
  3. Provide the necessary tools: Make sure your employees have access to cleaning supplies and encourage them to use them regularly.
  4. Offer positive reinforcement: Recognize and reward employees who maintain a clean workspace, and address any issues that arise with patience and sensitivity.

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