I was recently washing my hands inside an establishment that sells coffee. I am not big on calling companies out, especially companies trying to improve… which this company is.
Anyhow, after I washed my hands I went to dry them. This particular establishment has one of those super duper blowing contraptions that dries your hands in seconds. I must admit… I love these machines.
Hand Washing Standard Work
As I stood there enjoying the, um, hand drying process (that could have come out wrong) I happened to notice the sign that explained how all employees are required to wash their hands. Click the image to the left for an expanded view.
This sign went a step further and provided specific instructions. You know, since most people don’t know how to wash their hands. Here are the recommended steps for hand washing.
3. Wash (for 20 seconds)
6. Turn Off Water (with paper towel)
Now, don’t get me wrong… I am a BIG proponent of Standard Work which, I presume, is what this company was attempting to do. But there is one MAJOR problem with their instructions.
No Paper Towels!
During this step the employee is told to turn off the water using a paper towel. I get why they recommend this… but there is one problem. There are no paper towels to be found in this bathroom as the second picture shows!
So, are the employees supposed to come to the restroom with a spare paper towel in their pocket so they can successfully follow step 6?
Again, I happen to know this particular coffee serving company is working hard to improve their business. They’ve even hired some top gun lean consultants to work with them… but they are missing the boat in this particular bathroom.
What do you think?
What are your opinions on this apparent Standard Work conundrum? How would you change the process?