Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Best Practices for Engaging Employees in Sustainability

A successful sustainability initiative demands the willing participation of employees. Although there are ample opportunities for creative innovation, there are some simple best practices for introducing and cultivating a workplace environment that supports sustainability initiatives.

The first step to engaging employees in sustainability involves setting targets. This means developing clear strategic objectives and then sketching out actionable plans to achieve those objectives.

It is important to provide incentives for participation from the inception. Establish recognition and/or reward programs for employees who contribute to the company's sustainability initiatives.

Announce the program and schedule an inaugural event for employees. Use coordinated communications to inspire and motivate change, while enhancing the company brand. Focus on educational efforts that help employees understand how their individual actions can make a positive impact on the organization.

Promote the program with regular communications and updates. Add sustainability to your company newsletter and educate customers about the company's sustainability initiatives. Remind people that individual actions multiplied many times make a difference.

Empower people at the local level. Be open and transparent about the progress on individual sustainability projects. Develop interactive scorecards and encourage friendly competition among office and regions. Provide opportunities for employees to participate and collaborate, it is good to maximize participation, however, green programs work best if they are voluntary.

Businesses that succeed in engaging employees in sustainability, improve morale and benefit the bottom line while developing a productive collaborative culture.

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