Employers aren’t the only ones who should be thinking about sustainability. Employees should also be focusing on specific ways in which they can go green and reduce their footprint. But are employers doing enough to nudge employees in the right direction?
5 Ways You Can Encourage Workplace Sustainability
The onus is on you to encourage your employees to develop greener workplace habits. Thankfully, it’s not as challenging as you may think. With the right mentality, you can even make sustainability a fun challenge. Here are a few specific ways you can encourage your employees:
- Implement a BYOD Policy
The average employee in your company has two or three mobile devices of their own. This could include a smartphone, tablet, and some sort of wearable. So, why is it necessary to provide them with additional “work” devices that are virtually identical to their personal devices? Sure, separation of personal life and work life is a common excuse, but aren’t we past that point? With remote working technologies, most people are doing a little bit of work from everywhere.
If you want to save resources and reduce energy consumption, implement a BYOD policy where employees are able to use their own devices at work. If you do happen to do this, make sure you’re aware of some of the security risks and implement policies to keep your company safe.
- Incentivize Paperless Communication
One of the biggest areas where companies waste unnecessary resources is communication. Between printing and copying, mailing letters, faxing documents, posting announcements on the break room bulletin board, and handing out agendas at meetings, it’s easy to run through thousands of sheets of paper in a matter of days.
If you just tell people to stop using paper, you’re going to get some resistance. The key is to incentivize paperless communications. You could gamify the challenge by tracking paper usage through personal employee IDs and giving a prize to the individual who uses the least amount of paper during a given time period.
- Offer Rewards for Green Travel
While not always the most eco-friendly choice, business travel is sometimes a necessary component of running a successful business. But did you know there are ways to reduce the carbon footprint of your traveling employees? This niche is called green travel and is something you should look into.
- Encourage and Organize Carpooling
Do a lot of your employees come from the same area? You should encourage carpooling. In fact, you should organize carpooling yourself to remove any sort of pushback. Even if it’s just for one or two days a week, getting a few dozen employees to carpool can actually have a rather significant impact on the local environment.
- Create an Annual Competition
Some companies choose to create a “green task force” that’s supposed to come up with eco-friendly ideas that can improve the company. While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, you may have better results creating an annual (or quarterly) competition in which employees come up with ideas to save the company energy/money. The winner could get extra vacation days, a bonus, or anything else you deem worthy of their efforts.
It All Starts at the Top
If you really want to make a difference in your business and push people towards sustainable practices, then you need to make sure you’re setting a good example. It all starts from the top, and if employees don’t see you taking sustainability seriously, they won’t either. On the other hand, if you’re implementing green practices into your daily routine, they’ll be more likely to follow your lead. Be the example you want your employees to see.
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