Yucky kitchen, disinterested employees?

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Keeping the kitchen clean is the bane of an office manager’s existence – from passive-aggressive notes to cleaning schedules, but are people less inclined to clean up when they’re less engaged?

That’s the hypothesis from marketing VP Max Kalehoff, who says just as you can judge the quality of a restaurant by the cleanliness of the bathroom, the state of the kitchen shows the state of mind of employees.

He’s backed up by organization psychologist Ben Dattner: “If people are not washing the kitchen in the workplace, it means that they see themselves more as renters than as owners. It means that they feel transitory, that they're passing through. They don't have a real psychological contract with the company, space, workplace. That's a problem.”

Kalehoff said clean and organized working habits are a prerequisite to consistently producing quality work, and the workplace kitchen is a “metaphor for work quality and mutual employee respect”.

“If you’re on a business’s leadership team, the cleanliness of your kitchen is an indicator of your workplace culture and the commitment of your employees to contribute to enterprise success and value,” Kalehoff said. “If you see it getting messy, you may have underlying problems that need to be addressed immediately. So stop what you’re doing and deal with the problem.”

What’s the state of your workplace kitchen, and how hard is it to keep it clean?

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