How To Handle Employee Poor Hygiene At Work

Organizations are sometimes faced with issues of employee poor hygiene at work. And ignoring this issue means taking on a deliberate risk. Poor employee hygiene has negative impacts on productivity and can reduce the overall workplace satisfaction among other employees.

As an employer, the responsibility is yours to handle poor hygiene at work when it arises. However, you need respectful approaches to solve this issue. This is to avoid leaving the employees with a very bad feeling and unhealthy self-consciousness. It can be quite embarrassing for any boss to not resolve employee poor hygiene professionally. For the employee involved, it’s pretty worse.

Here are a few tips on how to handle poor hygiene at work, highlighting the approach employers need in dealing with an employee with bad hygiene.

Employee Poor Hygiene At Work

Take your time

Hygiene issues in the workplace are handled gradually because it can create loss of confidence. It’s ideal to take your time and observe carefully before approaching an employee with bad hygiene. In order words, the employee should consistently show poor hygiene to confirm this status before the approach is initiated. One can run out of deodorant or sacrifice bath for more sleep just once. And sometimes, one’s psychological health could contribute to employee poor hygiene.

The manner of the approach should also be carefully thought about, depending on the temperament of the employee, and your relationship with the individual. Whichever way, never assume the position of accusation. Do your best to start the discussion with constructive criticism. Start by appreciating them first to ease their mind before making your recommendation.

Respect the employee’s privacy

Regardless of what happens, you should always respect and protect the image of your employees. Hence, you need to take it private so they don’t feel more embarrassed. Rather than taking passive-aggressive approaches, you should sound kind and compassionate. Moves like leaving them short notes, a deodorant or soap on their desk are all aggressive manners and won’t solve employee poor hygiene.

Have a one-on-one conversation with the employee in a private place, most considerably your office. Employees appreciate respect and honesty. Your approach should show that you value and appreciate them.

Help them with practical advice

Some employees have issues maintaining good hygiene, not because they feel like it, but due to ignorance on what to do. Their struggle with hygiene can be as a result of an ineffective brand of deodorant, underlying health issue, or their clothing style. Instead of rebuking them, give the employees practical advice by showing them how to live better, show concern and you’re your willingness to help.

Follow-up the employee with bad hygiene

Advice and conversations alone won’t get the job done. There is a need for a regular check-up on the employee with bad hygiene. This is to ascertain their level of compliance with your advice. However, it’s important to inform the employee about your plan to always check on them. Let them have some time to adjust and implement the ideas before a follow-up call. Appreciate their effort if the issue is resolved, but if not positive, try developing a new strategy based on how they have responded.

Handling poor hygiene at work should be part of your corporate culture before any campaign can be effective. Poor employee hygiene could also be discouraged by including common hygiene standards such as hand-washing and clean workstations in your employee handbook.

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Jane Harper
Writer. Human resources expert and consultant. Follow @thehrdigest on Twitter

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