Staff Engagement and Inspiration
Why is Staff Engagement Important?
- Staff are able to identify inefficiencies, redundancies, and opportunities to reduce consumption and save your company money while reducing your environmental impact.
- Staff are the front-line workers who will be responsible for implementing your sustainability initiatives.
- Staff are your spokespersons that will communicate your efforts to your customers and promote your company’s image.
- Staff who are engaged and informed may mean lower absenteeism, improved staff performance and morale and, subsequently, reduced employee theft.
For these reasons and more, key personnel should be engaged when you embark on a strategic planning process, including defining plan objectives, establishing general reporting relationships, dissemination of information and updates, and environmental management and supervision.
How Do I Get Staff Involved?
- Designate Sustainability Champions and form Green Teams: these individuals will have an improved sense of ownership and will help advance the sustainability agenda from the ground up by promoting initiatives, educating other staff and assisting in monitoring success.
- Provide Incentives: run contests to promote your sustainable initiatives and provide incentives for staff to make environmentally-conscious choices. For example, provide subsidized or free bus passes, sheltered and secure bicycle parking and change rooms to encourage staff to walk, cycle and use public transport, or promote a car-share to and from work to reduce car usage.
- Use Social Media: technology is rapidly changing. Make sure you stay in touch with staff in an up-to-date and relevant format. Try creating a company Twitter or Facebook account to provide staff with updates on your sustainable initiatives or to give them a forum to voice their views and suggestions.
- Promote Team-Building: organize a community outreach event or fundraiser and consider offering your staff paid volunteer time. Look to coordinate volunteering initiatives in partnership with other companies and local organizations.
- Use effective Communication: honour employees who demonstrate high-levels of commitment to stewardship and promote any awards or honours your company receives for its practices or contributions.
Provide continued Training: in addition to keeping all levels of staff informed about your initiatives and policies actively promote environmental education. Coordinate to have local experts deliver workshops and seminars on relevant topics. Education should be an ongoing process.