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Madelyn Wilson

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Employee Engagement as a Way to Go Green


The upsurge of ethical consumerism with growing global demand has emphasized the need for sustainable resources. Besides, it has pushed businesses to tie their identity around a positive corporate image. If managed effectively, employees can provide the momentum towards this vision. However, to make this happen, organizations need to work on a proper employee engagement strategy rooted in their green drive.

Companies need to engage employees in team-building activities to make perfect business sense. In addition, it is a source of legal and ethical compliance. Indeed, employees are willing to pay more for products adhering to green criteria. In addition, it helps create talented pools of employees seeking environmentally sustainable employers. On top of that, it helps cut costs and reduce waste.

How to know if employees buy into the green strategy

Employees who are eager to embed the environmental drivers of their organization into their routine should show various signs of engagement. For example, they can participate in any fundraising campaign to improve a place or facility. Also, they take care of carbon emissions weighing the options to cut the reliance on fossil fuels. What's more, they also advise others to behave ethically.

Ethical principles lie at the centre of every decision and choice for such employees. Besides, the right choice at the right time and their lifestyle blend into their company’s sustainability mission. For example, they cut resources and avoid activities that may add to the resource waste. Furthermore, they proactively enable their co-workers to join the green mission through their wise counsels.

Top-to-bottom approach

Mostly, employees draw their motivation to engage in green activities from examples already set. So, the journey starts from the leadership. The management should obligate the directors and managers at higher levels to become the guiding stars for people. They should exhibit the vision of sustainability through their routine activities, such as engaging in plantations and using bicycles for the daily commute.

There should be clear policy statements for the employees to follow at the business level. For instance, from corporate values to strategic objectives, everything should demonstrate the company's seriousness towards meeting the environmental targets. If these policies exist only on paper and are not manifested through leaders’ behaviour, employees may take it for greenwashing. Thus, having its toll on their engagement.

Make processes environmentally efficient

A big blunder most companies end up with is that they solely talk but do not walk the talk. To put it simply, they have policy statements that create an angelic view of their business while letting their wasteful processes mock their claims. For this reason, companies should take active measures to establish their routine practices along the lines of sustainability.

Companies can ideally begin by installing renewable energy solutions. Similarly, they can reduce the lead times by sourcing material from local or nearby suppliers. Another potential source of engagement will be to facilitate flexible work schedules, which adds value to renewable energy solutions. Besides, allowing employees to work from home will significantly help reduce emissions and waste, positively impacting engagement being a valuable by-product.

Let them experiment with employee engagement

A certain amount of autonomy granted to the workforce can do wonders. Let employees use their team-building skills and complement each other in green initiatives. It will not only help the company gain momentum from their collaboration in its mission of emission and waste reduction, but it will also ensure a high level of camaraderie, vital to get the momentum going.

Train the workforce

For an employee, being excited to be a part of green initiatives is one thing, and being able to deliver is another kettle of fish. What's more, organizations should endeavour to close the gaps between commitment and capability through proper training. Both on-the-job and exclusive training sessions can work and boost engagement if they are well aligned to employees’ learning needs.

How to Approach Training

Trainers need to create awareness among employees about the need for making green choices. First, each employee has to go through a comprehensive orientation that walks him through the expectations attached to their particular role. Thus, it is vital to highlight all the tangible and intangible rewards of staying green in their day-to-day activities to take the motivation to another level.

Training programs should also accompany evaluation to ensure each employee feels comfortable. Moreover, they can also express where they feel there is more need for improvement. The anticipation of being assessed will keep employees on their toes. It will make them pay more attention to every single point. Trainers should ask their employees about the importance of minimizing emission, reducing waste, recycling, and other basic dimensions. This will ensure everyone joins in.

Bottom-line about Employee Engagement to Go Green

Employees need the motivation to join their organization’s environmental sustainability campaigns. The ultimate route to such engagement spans from exemplary leadership to well-directed orientation and training programs. Besides, allowing the employees to experiment can catalyse these efforts and speed up the journey to green goals. In a nutshell, keeping the employees engaged to go green requires a multifaceted direction and action plan.


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