Lead co-workers to clean up their acts

Messy co-workers can make you feel like you’re living in a college dorm. What do you do when others don’t clean up after themselves?

You could turn cleaning up into a game. Two suggestions from Get-It-Done-Guy Stever Robbins:

1.  Put a large, clear container of brownies in plain view. But lock the container and give the key to someone who can see the kitchen. For every dish washed, reward the cleaner-upper with a treat. To a person who washes other people’s dishes, give two or more treats.

2.  Allow each team member to buy several poker chips for $1 each, with each chip worth a point. When a co-worker doesn’t feel like washing a dish, fine. He or she puts a chip in the kitchen “bank.” A co-worker who washes a dish gets to take a chip out of the bank; washing someone else’s dish wins you two chips.

Tip: Keep people from cheating by posting pictures of eyes in the kitchen. Someone looking at you, even if it’s just a picture, nudges you toward socially responsible behavior.

At month’s end, the team can go out to lunch, and the person with the most chips gets to pick the spot. The money in the winner’s fund pays for the winner’s meal. Put up a display of the top five winners for positive reinforcement.

— Adapted from “How to Motivate Employees to Clean Up,” Stever Robbins, Get-It-Done-Guy.