Green Business Bureau Blog
How to Educate and Involve Employees in Green Business
Businesses nowadays comply with environmental standards for various reasons. The company saves a lot in energy efficient methodologies and at the same time increases sales and profit due to first-rate reputation in greening their business. Business owners are also beginning to realize the value of becoming a green certified business to the community and the environment. In order to do this, companies need to institutionalize green programs within their ranks. Sadly though, this is where most companies fail. In an interview conducted by GreenBiz.com among 20 companies, it reports that:
“The fact is, the environmental managers we talked to — from mostly large companies spanning a range of sectors — seemed singularly frustrated with their lack of success in raising employee consciousness about the environment. And while there are successes, they seem relatively few and far between.”
A business strategy like greening the business requires overall cooperation and support at all levels. Employees at the bottom line need to understand the value of green efforts to themselves and the whole business. Inability to do so risks failure to achieve green business goals and objectives.
Here are a few Green Business Bureau strategies to help you educate and involve employees within your organization.
Start with what your employees already know.
Understand the fact that some employees know better and some do not have any idea about green concepts. If possible, conduct a simple anonymous survey about green concepts to determine employees’ knowledge on the issue. The results will give you clear indications where your employees are and where you want them to be. Do your employees give value to green objectives? Are they passionate about eco-friendly tools or are they oblivious to environmental concerns?
Work towards mindset change.
It is difficult to teach adults a new bag of tricks. In order to effectively implement changes and bring together everyone’s support, you need to focus on what they need and want to learn. Identify and outline problems that survey results illustrate. Draw your education plan on these problem areas. This type of education involves mindset change and a technical approach may not reap beneficial results. Focus on behavioral influence and change. Connect green concepts into day to day activities. This way, you are able to not only educate employees but you also raise their environmental awareness. If you are able to change the mindset of your employees, hence influence their behavior on greening the business, everything else is sure to follow.
Set up Green Teams
What better way to instill green concepts to your employees than to incorporate fun activities in their work life. Set up programs, contests and the like. Solicit their own ideas and allow them to create mechanisms. Let your employees organize the project. Projects should encompass all levels of the business from higher ups to bottom line. This will also boost the morale within your organization. Ownership is the key to success. If your employees own the project, they will most likely value their involvement which would in turn lead to green program success.
Sustain Green Initiatives
Green programs need to be a way of life of your business. It is not just a shot one deal where you expect employees to continually maintain green objectives for the rest of their work life. Make it an all year round effort. Set up specific unit or department just for this program. Employees come and go. You need to be able to institutionalize green projects amidst constant changes. If may well prove costly at start up but it will definitely pay off in no time.