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Focused Incentive Programs – Housekeeping

- June 17, 2019 by Leslie Stoll, CSP, ARM (View all posts by Leslie)

Incentive programs improve safety performance when focused on issues you’re trying to improve. In my earlier 2018 article, I wrote about basing incentive programs on measurables other than injuries. In this post, I’ll expand the topic by discussing successful programs focused on housekeeping.

When we were young, many of us received an allowance for cleaning our room and doing basic chores. That same principle can be effectively implemented at your business to encourage safe and clean work areas!

Let’s start with the issue of clean vehicles. A clean vehicle is a safer vehicle. A vehicle with dirty windows and lights can hinder the driver’s ability to see hazards.  When the interior of a vehicle is messy, it can be distracting.  In the event of a crash, unsecured items in a vehicle can strike the occupants.  If a messy vehicle is a problem for anyone on your team and you can’t seem to motivate them to keep it clean and organized, it may be time to start a challenge. A vehicle inspection program for housekeeping may be the motivation needed.  The inspections can be done on a set schedule or randomly.  I like the idea of a set schedule since the goal is not to catch someone being messy but rather to motivate them to clean up.  You can acknowledge the winner(s) after every housekeeping inspection in a newsletter or by posting their names on a safety board. If your employees need more motivation, you can add a reward incentive,too.

The same style program works well when employees have designated work areas or equipment – such as welding stations, dedicated machinery, service bays, work carts, etc.  I’ve seen a housekeeping contest work well in a car dealership. For their program, a team of employees tour the facility every Monday to conduct a housekeeping inspection of each work bay. The service technician with the cleanest bay is awarded the housekeeping award and a gift card to a local restaurant.  That technician is placed on the judging team for the following week (thus, preventing the same person from continually winning). I’d love to see this program expanded to their sales team desks!

Construction sites can be a little more challenging to implement such as program, but limiting your judging to the storage areas or job boxes could work well. A job box based inspection can be expanding beyond housekeeping to audit the job box for first aid supplies, incident forms, and toolbox talk sign-off sheets.

As we all work to convert our injury-based incentive program to one that promotes safe behaviors, this is just another option to consider.