How to Write Memos on Common Bathrooms in Your Business?

Sometimes there is no other way. Neither cajoling nor finding the culprits works, so next up is a step unpleasant for both sides - a written memo on the bathroom door. How to write it so that it fulfils its purpose while not triggering further strife?  

Key question: Is It Really Necessary?

Before you even get started, make sure that a written memo visible to everyone (employees as well as potential visitors to the company) is really the only possible solution. Is it a recurring problem you have tried to solve in several other ways, or is it a response to a one-off incident with an unflushed toilet or rolled toilet paper that may have been just an unfortunate coincidence?

The reality is that bathroom memos inherently do not look good. No matter how apt, witty or graphically clever they are, their message is clear - someone in this company does not know what is right, and someone else probably does not know how to deal with it without everyone knowing about it.

Be Considerate and Do Not Blame Immediately

Even if it is the only solution, there are still a number of ways to write the toilet memo more sensitively and beautifully. The key is not to blame anyone in particular (even indirectly), but to focus on the individual issues that are bothering you.

Does the toilet remain regularly unflushed? Appeal to that. Is the toilet running out of paper and no one is refilling it? Do not blame John from the HR but write a general announcement gently appealing to the overall condition of the restroom while also doing your part to ensure there is enough toilet paper and include in the announcement where employees should look for it when they miss it.

Be Transparent

Employees are more likely to respect your message if you also appeal for general cleanliness throughout the workplace, while emphasising that this is a collaborative effort in which everyone has their role to play. Announcements from a position of authority tend to be even more demotivating, while sensitive appeals to "common comfort" or "even more cleanliness" are both motivating and do not act as an obstacle.

One final tip - be really careful with humour. The days when toilet poems were the rage are long gone, and in a work environment they come across as even more awkward and less professional. Your message should be concise, to the point and reasonably motivating. Save the humor for conversations in the kitchen or office.

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