Stories

Managers – how to speak to your team about hand hygiene 

Before the black plague took over England, kissing was a symbol of status. Those of equal social status kissed on the mouth, while those of lesser status kissed the hand, the knees, and ultimately the floor. The lower the status, the farther away from the lips the kiss was bestowed. After the black plague had broken out, people avoided kissing in an attempt to slow the spread of the dangerous new disease – resulting in the handshake we know today.

Leadership in management positions is also reinventing itself as the business world struggles with a global pandemic unseen in decades. The arrival of COVID-19 is changing the business world, and managers must adapt to these new times. Many managers are faced with challenges like handling staff meetings over video calls, managing a team that’s dispersed across different cities and getting all of the staff member’s heads in the game, when their head is clearly with their families in these trying times. However, those challenges will be a thing of the past as new trials take place over time. One of these soon to be trials will be proper hand hygiene in the workplace.

Changes are made, sometimes irrevocably, when the world is faced with a challenge of this magnitude. The kiss-turned-hand-shake of medieval times has taught us that much. Managers should always be one step ahead and know that as the world changes, business changes with it. The post-COVID-19 world is going to look different, and hand hygiene is going to be at the front of both the consumer and the worker’s worries. 

Here are some tips to help you address hand hygiene with your team:

It’s important to educate your team on the significance of handwashing. Soap can break down the structure of many viruses, and a thorough hand wash can prevent an outbreak in the workplace. As most managers know very well, to get a team to a certain goal, they must be “sold” on the importance of reaching that goal. With hand washing, the understanding of the “why” is nearly as important as knowing the “how”. We’ve written a simple explanation that can help with understanding why soap and handwashing work so well.

Explaining how to properly wash hands. The process of handwashing may seem obvious to most adults but the number of people who don’t wash their hands thoroughly enough can be shocking. Neglecting a patch of skin or leaving jewelry on can lead to virus and germ residue, which are then admitted into the facility. There are many explanations available online, but we recommend this one from the CDC.

Keeping an open and honest line of communication is key in most businesses, let alone managerial positions. Managers, you need to make it extremely clear to your staff that their safety, as well as the client’s safety in many cases, is quite literally in their hands. Some employees tend to skip crucial protocols (you know who they are) in an attempt to make their lives that much easier. Hand hygiene is something that is not easily dismissed, and that needs to be known to all of your staff members.

Soapy offers an easy solution with the CleanMachine’s facial recognition feature. The smart machine uploads the data it has gathered from users’ handwashing routines onto the Soapy Wisdom platform. That way managers can easily distinguish who is properly washing their hands and how to minimize the risk of infection inside their facility. The CleanMachine also dispenses the exact amount of soap and warm water required per wash, signaling unwashed areas and measuring the time needed for a proper wash. This saves time and resources such as electricity, soap, and water, adding up to hundreds of dollars a year in savings. 

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