Sustainability, to put it simply, is all about making the best use of the resources at your disposal, avoiding waste when possible, and re-using what you can. Aside from paper, carbon, water, and the like, you can think of your employees as a resource, too. They’re a resource that, when engaged, can help make the company a lot more sustainable. But how, exactly, do you empower them to achieve that? Here are just a few ways you can make better use of the employees in your team to make a more sustainable business.
Make it a core part of your messaging
First of all, you need to make sure that you’re not being shy about your company’s dedication to sustainability. Your entire team should be aware of the fact that you are committed to reducing waste and managing your impact on the environment. As such, you should learn how to communicate your company values often and loudly. This can include putting the words in writing, such as in job postings, in employee meetings, in strategy forecasts, and more. Not only can this put those values in the back of your employees’ minds, but it means you’re also more likely to attract like-minded people who will actively participate in efforts to make the business more sustainable.
Get everyone talking about it
As a business with a social media platform, you have the opportunity to spread not only your marketing messages but also your commitment to green causes through the internet and to a potentially huge number of followers. However, instead of taking care of this by yourself or leaving it only to the marketing team, you can involve people from all roles of the organization. By getting all of your employees to post about what they are doing to be more sustainable, such as through a series of blog posts, then you get everyone a lot more engaged about what they’re going to say and, in response, what they are going to do to be more sustainable.
Make efficient use of your manpower
Now, you’re going to need to have people in the workplace to get stuff done. But are you going to need as many people as you usually do? Remote working is on the rise, and allowing people to stay home can reduce the resources they use on the commute, not to mention the amount of equipment and energy you need to power the office. Employee scheduling software can make sure you never schedule too many people to come into the office and allows you to see when employees can work from home instead. Remote working is becoming a lot more popular in the business world and sustainability is just another reason why.
Take the time to inform them
The vast majority of people are aware of the need for sustainable business practices and the general reasons as to why we should reduce waste. However, if you want your employees to be both more engaged in your existing sustainability efforts and better equipped to contribute to brainstorming such tactics in the future, then you should take the time to have educational talks on specific kinds of waste and the benefits of particular sustainability efforts. By turning the vague concept into more concrete facts, you can make sure that your sustainability goals do not remain nebulous for too long.
Make your case for the company
You can’t simply drill a value into the heads of your employees. Either they are on side or they aren’t. Some people are going to be motivated enough by the shared desire to do good for the environment. However, some people aren’t going to be as motivated by that. If those people are generally invested in the performance of the company, however, then talking to them about how it may affect profitability can be a much better strategy. When outlining your sustainability goals, take the time to make the economic case for sustainability. Tell them how it will benefit the business and they will be more likely to support whatever measures you are taking. After all, the better the company does, the more potential in their own career there.
Give them the room to engage with sustainable practices
If you want to incentivize people to act in a certain way, then making it easier to do so and rewarding them when they do can be a great way to go about it. For instance, if you’re encouraging employees to work remotely, then you can also offer them a discount through the company accounts on things like LED lights that can make working from home more energy-saving. Otherwise, you can also use employee reward systems to encourage things like getting involved in sustainable causes during their downtime. To some people, they would like to be more engaged in sustainable practices, but they don’t have enough practical reasons.