You’ve formed a ‘Green Team’, and have asked your colleagues to make some changes: recycle those Coke cans, think twice before printing, and turn off the lights when you leave for the day. But not everyone is listening and jumping on board as you would have expected.
As many (not most) know, a key component of a more eco-friendly business is an eco-friendly staff. To achieve significant sustainability goals, employees must be aware, eager and active in the pursuit of a green outcome. There are many ways to inspire your colleagues and employees. Here are some tips on how to get started:
- Communicate the change: It is important to be clear that ‘being green’ will require some behavior changes, some which may be easier than others. Be sure to appropriately communicate the sustainability mission and vision (or goals, if you do not have a vision and mission) and the expected changes that may come with it.
- Listen to grievances: With change comes discomfort for some. Many times, the only action that is needed is to show that you are listening and taking into account your colleague/employees’ concerns. Different people have different learning styles and speed — this shows that you respect each person’s pace.
- Set goals: These may be at the departmental or individual level. Clear goals will provide individuals will something to strive for. Make sure that these are appropriate to the individual’s position and that you provide him/her with the tools to achieve these.
- Monitor progress: As I’m sure you’ve heard, what gets measured gets managed(and done, hopefully!), so develop some simple metrics to track progress.
- Acknowledge achievements: When goals have been met, reward the person/persons who have met them. This can be a verbal acknowledgment, a small (green!) gift, or something else that recognizes their efforts.
And above all, don’t forget to have fun (and to make it fun)!!