In the U.S. workplace, employees respect a culture of caring for the environment and often hope to align their core values with those of their employers. How can you create a green culture within your company? What are some ways you can incorporate green activities in your spa to help meet your employees’ eco expectations?
The first way is to have sustainability be part of your mission statement. Improving the social, economical, and environmental wellbeing of your community enhances the lives of your employees and the area in which they live. It is essential companies take action as it relates to their core values when expecting employees to buy into and align those actions with the mission statement. Here are a few ways to do so:
• Housekeeping is typically responsible for emptying the trash. Even if it has been sorted at each employee’s desk in appropriate receptacles, this doesn’t assure proper follow through, and oftentimes, deskside receptacles are emptied together. Instead, have your housekeeping staff separate the recycled bags from the remaining trash and put it aside in the building’s trash area. On a weekly basis, have your team, including managers, take those bags and empty them together in the recycle bin, making sure that recyclable materials are not going in the main trash dumpster and that non-recyclables are not mixed in. Creating a team approach from the top down encourages staff to pitch in and observe the deskside trash cans more closely.
• Offer contests while doing sustainable activities with your team. For example, if you partake in a roadside litter pickup like Adopt-A-Highway, make it fun. Have a contest where whoever finds the most interesting piece of trash receives a prize. Also, don’t forget to personally thank everyone who participated, and send out thank-you announcements from your human resource department to all staff members.
• Initiate a green savings sustainability program. Encourage employees to suggest ways the company can be more green and save money. Suggestions may include using glasses instead of plastic or paper cups in the employee dining room, a program to shut computers down and turn off lights nightly to reduce energy costs, or finding ways to reduce water consumption. Make the objectives measurable, and share a portion of the cost savings directly with the employee who made the suggestion.
• Have your IT department network all computers to a central printer, and set up all systems to print double sided. When employees have to walk somewhere to get their printed pieces, they are less likely to print unnecessarily. Also, employees will gather at the central location and exchange updates and pleasantries, which fosters teamwork and community.
Sustainable practices can be an employee motivator, a recruitment tool, and a positive reinforcement practice for your company culture. Make it easy for your employees to be green, and watch their loyalty grow.
Michael G. Tompkins is an executive recruiter with Hutchinson Consulting. To contact him, call (520) 425-6387 or email Michael@hutchinsonconsulting.com.