What's the most ignored workplace sign?
By Cate Schreck - Co-Founder of Lightbulb Training Solutions
In my 30+ years of working, I've spent time in at least 200 different workplace staff rooms (probably more) and Australia, it’s time I shared with you the cold.hard.truth. Regardless of the industry, the staff size, the kitchen size or the profitability of the business, the above sign (or something like it) is there. My in-depth research (first-hand experience by me and a couple of recent chats with friends) has shown that the signs are being ignored.
You see them over the sink, on the fridge or a pin up board. They're on fridge shelves, water coolers, cutlery drawers and yes, even on the back of toilet doors. If there’s a dishwasher, the sign reminds staff to put their dishes in it, turn it on or even consider empting it and putting the clean stuff away. These wonderful signs can be bright and colourful, with lovely pictures showing how to wash a plate and how to put it away. Some spell it out in a simple 3 step process 1. Wash the plate 2. Dry the plate 3. Put the plate away. I’ve seen individual staff go on a crusade of cleanliness and hide behind staff room doors and pounce on the dirty spoon offender in true ninja style!! I know, some of us may find that a bit harsh but it’s what your friendly workplace "Super Sanitiser" has been reduced to. Give these clean angels a cape I say!!
As a behavioural specialist, I share the skills that help co-workers get along – with each other and their customers. I train in communication and behavioural styles. I help people understand their own behavioural style and educate them how to become amazing communicators. I train people to become Customer Service Professionals....and yet, I don’t have the answer to how we get Australian workers to read and act on the above sign.
This and many big questions are keeping me up at night so I am posing this question to you Australia. It’s time we came together and used our collective power for good: "How do we get staff to clean up after themselves?"
If anyone has the answer, I bet they have the key to lots of other major workplace annoyances too:
- Empty toilet roll holders
- Missing favourite pens
- Unbalanced fundraising chocolate/lolly boxes
- Rotten food in the fridge
- Milk containers with only enough milk for an ant to have a white coffee!
If your workplace has the solution, LTS will share it across the land. You will be the workplace that we all look up to as the epitome of workplace communication excellence. They will write songs about you, people will want to visit your staff room and parents will tell their kids where they were and what they were doing, on the day this problem was solved!
I'm off to make a coffee - or maybe I'll buy one :)