Positive Recognition

employee recognition


Survey after survey shows employees consider recognition as one of the top desires in any job. Yet those same surveys show little recognition is received. How much of a leaders success is hindered by their lack of recognition for the work their employees do.

People who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and their ability to contribute. People with positive self-esteem are potentially your best employees. So do you take the time to let them know, or do you just hope they get the idea.

In my experience, employee recognition is scarce because of several factors. People don’t know how to provide employee recognition effectively, so they have bad experiences when they do. Recognition should be timely, specific and in public as much as possible. While “you did a nice job today” is a positive comment, it lacks the power of, “the report had a significant impact on the committee’s decision. You did an excellent job of highlighting the key points and information we needed to weigh before deciding.

They assume that one size fits all when they provide employee recognition. Saying thank you is nice to a point. Written thank you cards are a step up especially when mailed to the employee’s home address. Certificates of appreciation presented at department meetings are also appreciated by many, and can be motivating to the rest of the team. Awards can be another creative way to give recognition.

Finally, employers think too generically and don’t connect the recognition to a specific action, rather say things like “thank you for your hard work.” While the employee may work hard this is not seen as meaningful and rewarding to most, instead it comes across as shallow.

Use the myriad opportunities for employee recognition that are available to you. While salary, bonuses, and benefits are critical within your employee recognition and reward system – after all, most of us do work for money – think more broadly about your opportunities to provide employee recognition.

Floor Finish Dry Time

Most of us understand that floor finish performance is greatly enhanced by allowing adequate dry time. But, few people understand why this is so important and what mechanism is at work.
Floor finish contains many independent ingredients such as water, polymer, resin, wax, plasticizer, coalescing agent and defoamer that, when combined together, form a stable, milky liquid emulsion.

Once applied to a floor, most of the ingredients evaporate. What does not evaporate and is left on the floor is the N.V.M. ”solid‘ portion of the finish (polymer resin and wax plasticizers).

For best results, this evaporation process must be complete before another coat is applied.
When a floor finish does not dry thoroughly and is re-coated, moisture gets trapped between the coats. A uniform, tightly knit film is never achieved. The results can be graying floors, excessive black marking and scuffing, dirt penetration, sticking furniture and difficult buffing.

Two closely related elements of dry time are coat thickness and relative humidity.
Thin coats work best with floor finish because they dry quickly and more uniformly. Persons applying floor finish seem to wait about the same time between coats whether they are thick or thin, so thin coats have a big edge here.

Humidity also affects floor finish dry time. Remember, a lot of water must evaporate for a coat of finish to dry. High relative humidity means that the air is saturated with water. This, in turn, means that the water in the floor finish has nowhere to evaporate. Dry times for a finish can take 30 minutes (on average) to two or more hours.

Happy Environmental Services Week



Happy Environmental Services and Housekeeping week to all the very hard service workers in our industry.

In a department comparison test we:

Serve more people on a daily basis

Save more lives through infection control

Clean up the health care environment than any other

Talk with more patients each day

Handle hundreds more pounds of materials

Report more maintenance items

and the list goes on…

Thank you for all the hard work day after day. Without you, our hard-working staff, we would be nothing. I’m proud to work with such awesome individuals.



Hello Everyone


I’m sorry that I have been inconsistent, or non-existent in updating this website over the past few months. I’m working on so many things I’ve put my time in other areas. Soon I will be adding new content, longer posts that have greater emphasis in learning, team building, and inspiring your staff to greatness.

Remember you can still use the search function to look for information that you need.


Why Measure Environmental Services Quality Daily


Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives. ~Willa A Foster

All hospital environmental service departments have some form of quality assurance process. However often the cleaning inspections are done when it is slow, and are given up when the department gets busy.

The message given to our staff is that we are only concerned about quality when we do not have other work to do.

When the real truth is that the delivery of consistent quality service is what we must deliver and needs to be consistently measure and acted upon.

Here are four reasons to measure quality Continue reading

Improve your relationships with staff

Here are five things that environmental service leaders should do to improve relationships with staff.

Be Visible with Rounding

Rounding should include one-on-one rounds with your staff. Ask what is working well and what they need from you to do a better job.

Appoint a department champion

Identify a department champion who is well respected and works well with other staff. This team member can help with manager meetings and quality inspections. Try to make this a quarterly appointment and have at least one on each shift.

Credit Staff for Success

Frequently show appreciation both privately and publicly. Remember, you can’t overdue praise so get out there and let them know.

Be Transparent

Share and post HCAHPS  and other survey scores. Talk about budget and supply costs. Have an open door policy and share as much as you can. Your staff will appreciate open communication. Some hospitals use a stoplight report to show improvements. Green means completed or meeting goals. Yellow means in-progress and red means it does not line up with goals.

Align Incentives

The annual evaluation is an important tool to get staff back on track. Define their goals with weighted, objective and measurable expected results.


Which Disinfectant Should I Use

Another great question and answer:

Q. Which disinfectant should I use when disinfecting environmental surfaces?

A. Your facility will specify the EPA approved hospital grade disinfectant to use. A good rule is to only use disinfectants registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). See http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/active-hospital-disinf.pdf. Remember to always follow the instructions on the product label. Pay close attention to the purposes indicated on the product label, the proper dilution rates (if provided), the contact time required, the product shelf-life, and all safety instructions for handling and use. Do not mix cleaners and disinfectants unless the product label says that it is safe to do so.

When should the Environment be Cleaned

Another Question and Answer

Q. When should the environment be cleaned and disinfected?

A. Housekeeping surfaces (e.g., floors, table tops) and other environmental surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, when spills occur, and when these surfaces are visibly dirty. Follow your facility’s schedules for routine cleaning and disinfection and for terminal cleaning of rooms when preparing the room for the next resident. Medical equipment that is shared between residents (e.g., blood pressure cuffs) should be disinfected between residents.


Differences between Cleaning, Disinfection & Sterilization

Another good question and answer:

Q. What is the difference between cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization?

A. There is a big difference among these terms.
Cleaning refers to the removal of visible soil and organic material (i.e., dirt, body fluids) from objects by washing or scrubbing with water and detergents or soaps and rinsing with water. Thorough cleaning is needed before disinfection or sterilization because organic material can decrease the effectiveness of those processes. A detergent is a cleaning agent that does not claim to kill microorganisms.
Disinfection refers to process of removing many or all microorganisms that can cause disease, except bacterial spores. There are three levels of disinfection, depending on how many organisms are removed: high, intermediate, and low. A disinfectant is a chemical or a physical agent (e.g. ultraviolet radiation) that kills microorganisms, but not bacterial spores. Disinfectants are also classified as high-level, intermediate-level, and low-level.

Sterilization refers to the complete elimination of all forms of microbial life including bacterial spores. Objects can be sterilized by physical processes (i.e., intense steam and pressure or dry heat) or by using certain chemicals.