How Your Productive Workforce Can Help Your Sustainability Effort
Just because the blog is called “The Productive Workforce,” doesn’t mean productivity is all we’re interested in. Increasingly, sustainability is becoming an important issue at many companies, not just because it’s good to be green, but because conservation challenges, such as recycling and energy management, are good business practices. And many strong employees consider sustainability a positive factor in choosing an employer. Simply stated: its good for the company and makes people happy.
For many companies, part of the challenge of reaching sustainability goals is engaging employees in the process. Because without employee participation the process is doomed from the start.
Get your employees involved in the sustainability process.
The first step is to involve your employees in the planning process. For sustainability initiatives—just like other initiatives—you’ll find people much more likely to pitch in when they feel as if they have a voice on the direction.
Before you roll out your initiative, include employees in its design. You’ll find many people on your floor really care about sustainability. Lots of them will have excellent ideas. Remember, they’re on the front lines. You may even want to have a contest to get the best ideas.
Consider using a team of employees to do a sustainability audit, observing each of the company’s processes and developing ideas on how to reduce and recycle waste.
Make sustainability an easy chore.
Sustainability should become an accepted part of your culture, not something to be avoided. As you build your plan, make sure it isn’t overly complicated or time consuming for employees who may already feel stressed. The last thing you want is for the effort to become an object of resentment. Again, this is an area where frontline employees will often have more insight than managers. Many employees will be eager to get it right—and help sell it to their peers—so long as it fits into their routines.
Don’t stop thinking about sustainability.
There are always new ways to improve—new ideas about how you can conserve and recycle more and new technologies to help. If you make uncovering and implementing new sustainability measures a part of regular company business, you’ll find your employees will stay involved. And if you attach some compensation benefits for employees who help, you may find your efforts really take off.