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Motivating cleaning (class IV) staff, Tamil Nadu
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Subject Area="Infrastructure and Equipment." Objective="Clean and hygienic health facilities."
Details for Reform Option "Motivating cleaning (class IV) staff, Tamil Nadu"

Background: Cleaning of health facilities, especially at government hospitals, has been a challenge especially with regard to keeping the class IV employees motivated. To counter this, a number of facilities have started contracting out or privatising hospital cleaning services. However even here there are sometimes problems such as union opposition or a lack of available eligible and efficient contractors. Action: A not-for-profit hospital in Madurai, the Aravind Eye Hospital, implemented the following initiatives to keep class IV employees motivated: (i) Incentive schemes linked to number of days present for work and quality of work. It was seen that absenteeism was a big problem at this hospital. To counter this, an incentive of Rs 200 a month was given to any employee who was present for at least 25 days of the month. (ii) Good and appropriate equipment and accessories for cleaning. (iii) Initial training and orientation on their recruitment and regular refresher trainings by senior hospital staff (iv) A housekeeping supervisor model was adopted. (v) Tours to five-star hotels and hospitality sectors to show the levels of hygiene expected. (vi) A cup of healthy low-cost drink/cereal soup served at 10am to provide them with energy for their hard manual labour since it was found that most of the employees were unable to afford breakfast. Results: A boost to employee morale which motivates them to keep the hospital clean at all times - despite 2 million patients and another 2 million attendants visiting the hospital and 200,000 surgeries each year.

Cost Judged by the Aravind hospital to be cost effective because a small spending improves the atmosphere of the hospital. The place is clean, people are more motivated.
Place Aravind Eye hospitals at Madurai, (Theni, Tirunelveli & Coimbatore), Tamil Nadu since
Time Frame Not available

Efficiency: Increases the efficiency of the staff and improves their awareness. Cleanliness: Drastically improves hygiene levels, thus reducing hospital infections.


None perceived.


Adequate staff to train the cleaners.

Who needs to be consulted

Hospital managers, trainers.



Sustainable as this is a cost-effective intervention.

Chances of Replication

Replicable if there are training staff and facilities as in this case.




Submitted By

Sara Joseph, Researcher, ECTA, New Delhi. September 2004.

Status Active
Reference Files
motivating cleaners.GIF A cleaner with his supervisor
Housekeeping - Administrators.ppt Powerpoint presentation on housekeeping at hospitals
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