You heave a huge sigh of resignation. You don't want to go in there, but it is now an emergency. You fill your lungs with as much air as possible, wondering how long you will be able to hold your breath, and then you rush into the danger zone. You do what you must do, flush with your foot and go to wash your hands. Luckily, you are nimble and can turn the faucet on with your elbow. You rush out, nearly choking on the scent of bathroom odor and some noxious cleanser that just makes it worse and hard to breathe. That is one disgusting restroom.
This is your facility's restroom, and this is the typical reaction of employees and, yes, customers and clients. You want them to come back, right? You know you have a problem, but do you know what it’s costing you?
What Does it Cost?
- In a recent survey, 70% of Americans say they’ve had an unpleasant experience in a restroom due to the condition of the facility. In fact, 79% cited unpleasant smells in restrooms as the reason for that experience.
- 9 out of 10 Americans see a direct relationship between the quality of a company’s products and services and the quality of its restrooms.
- 88% believe if a restaurant has dirty restrooms, that the kitchen is also unclean.
- For 50% of US adults, unclean restrooms give a negative impression about how the company is run or how it treats its customers.
- Worst of all, 56% of respondents say that if they encounter an unclean restroom, they either will not return to that business or will think twice about doing so.
Impact of a Clean Restroom
Compare that to the upside of a clean restroom:
- Restroom odor control and clean restrooms show dedication to every aspect of the customer experience.
- Employees notice when you care about restroom hygiene. It signals that they are valued and general morale improves.
- Clean restrooms are less likely to be vandalized than facilities that are perceived as dirty and neglected.
Stop the Insanity
Communication - Are the restroom experiences of employees, customers, clients, patients, etc. a priority worthy of focus?
If not – best of luck – stop reading this article and go do something else.
On the other hand, if you agree that clean and hygienic restrooms are important, then it’s high-time to stop sending people off to the restrooms with some chemicals and tools and providing them with detailed training guidelines… “go clean the bathrooms,” or in some cases, the advance training course “clean the bathrooms really well.”
Plan for Successful Outcomes
- Begin with the end in mind. Define the restroom experience your organization expects to provide for employees, customers, clients, patients, and other users.
- Get input from stakeholders to ensure success.With success defined, develop and outline an effective cleaning program to achieve and manage the result.
- Consider the tools, processes, labor, training, and result monitoring required on an ongoing basis for success.
- Kickoff your new program for success by training the staff. Managing a well-defined program is easier and more effective then leading a team without focus or consensus.
- Monitor results immediately following implementation and keep stakeholders informed of progress while also requesting their continued input.
- If budget cuts put labor and cleaning supply costs on the chopping block, resolve to determine the following– How much less important is the restroom experience for our employees, customers, clients, patients, and other users today?
Providing fresh clean restrooms is a valuable part of the strategy for any business. Although it won’t generate revenue or hire the best employees for you, it will help prevent you from losing the ones you have today.
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