As a new leader in the workplace, what are you going to do about it?

This situation may come up more than you think and is usually handled poorly. I have seen horror stories about how personal hygiene issues have been dealt with in the past so let’s get this right.

The damage of not doing anything about it can be extensive and have a negative effect on clients, customers, and co-workers, so it is important for you to respond appropriately when presented with these situations.

A 2013 study explored the effects of poor hygiene on productivity and found that 75 per cent of workers struggle to work alongside someone with bad body odour and 64 per cent find it difficult to work with a colleague who has bad breath.

So smelly co-workers do significantly impact productivity and potentially isolate themselves from other employees. The longer you leave it before telling them, the more damage is caused.

Telling someone they must change their personal hygiene habits is always a tough issue to tackle but ignoring the problem puts other employees in an unpleasant work environment.

So, how do you handle an employee who smells?

Watch the video that goes through the steps you need to take as a leader in the workplace to deal with this issue, and remember it is a very common issues that is rarely dealt with well, so its up to you to make this right.

Finally, perhaps the most important thing to remember as you approach such a highly sensitive topic is that you care about the other person and want to help him or her address the issue without feeling humiliated. Keeping this in mind will go a long way toward setting the tone and helping an awkward discussion go quickly and smoothly.


Tina Cini
Managing Director – Five Corners Tailored Training Solutions

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