More work for the same paycheck? No wonder your green initiative at the workplace is not working out the way you planned.
In theory, everyone wants to live in a cleaner and greener world, but that enthusiasm deflates rapidly when it involves giving up on one’s comfort.
So, in order for your green initiative to be successful, you will need to sugarcoat it a bit.
Still, it pays off, because going green is much more than a fashion trend. It is a necessity that concerns all of us.
Here are some of the great tactics for you to use in order to inspire your employees to take a more active role in making your workplace a greener, safer and healthier environment.
1. Make the Recycling Easy
The last thing anybody wants is more chores at work. Therefore, do all you can not make recycling a chore. Put the bins everywhere and make sure that they are convenient.
For example, use a plastic bin with a narrow opening so that the plastic bottles and cups have to be crushed to fit in. it will take a little bit of getting used to, but very soon, people will stop thinking about it and just do it.
2. Bring out the Recycling Posters
Honestly, people sometimes just forget. Help them remember. Put a poster on your paper towel dispenser with a sad monkey cartoon saying “two pieces are enough, don’t you think” or something cooler than this.
“Turn off the lights when leaving, please” is a good thing to put on the inside of the doors. “Make up your mind and then open me!” on the fridge, and the like.
Make sure to include a simple sentence below that explain why that is necessary. For example, opened fridge doors waste up to 120 kWh a year. That is enough for 50 runs of your washing machine.
3. Educate Your Employees on the Reasons for Your Initiative: Be Graphic
It is much easier to get involved in something when you know why you are doing it. Explaining the reasons and the effects of recycling and other green initiatives will take you a long way.
Don’t be afraid to get graphic. Present the employees with charts, numbers and the comparisons that they can relate to. For example, play a video about plastic bottles and what happens to them.
4. Offer More Environmentally Friendly Workplace Supplies
If you want your employees to be more on the green side, you have to give them examples of how their comfort will not be affected by these changes.
For example, explain how personalised, awesome water bottles are better than paper cups they use for water.
Show them that their workplace washroom can be thoroughly and perfectly cleaned by using effective, healthy bio-friendly soaps.
Don’t miss out on any opportunity to show them that going green will only change their life quality for the better without causing any inconvenience.
5. Figure Out a Green Dollar Point System
Each time, any of your coworkers do something great, award them with green points or even coins. Figure out the point system together.
- For a great new idea, offer a 25 green dollar coin.
- For the ongoing effort to go green, offer a 15 green dollar coin.
- For constantly separating trash, give out a 5 green dollar coin.
Allow those green dollars to be used for additional perks around the office. For example, 1000 green dollars can earn the employee a day of working from home. Twice as much can earn them an extra day of PTO.
Don’t be worried about losing money on so many days off. Get your accountants involved and you will soon see that the money saved from the green initiatives will cover for the days that your employees weren’t in the office.
6. Make It a Game or Contest
The examples of awesome eco-friendly games and contests around the office are endless. Do your research and involve your employees in choosing the game or contest they want to do.
Let the games begin and watch your coworkers enjoy going green.
7. Make an Example Out of Yourself
It is hard for your employees to believe you really care about something if you are the first one who doesn’t put in the effort for it to happen.
Go on the rideshares and carpool with them. Be the first one to recycle and bike to work. Set the example that everybody will gladly follow.
8. Get All the Certifications Possible
It is always nice to have your efforts acknowledged. Therefore, getting all the green certificates you can get your hands on will be a strong motivating force. Some of the great certificates and labels you can get in New Zealand include:
9. Partner Up with Green Businesses
One of the ways to get your employees to accept all that eco-friendly movement is to make their surroundings environmentally conscious. A great way to do this is to do business with other companies that have an ongoing green initiative.
After a while, going green will become the only way to go and anybody who is too lazy to do it will simply stand out.
10. Make the Earth Day Fun
If you make Earth Day a day when people are really having fun, you will promote it and people will start anticipating it with great excitement.
Once that happens, it will be easy to introduce all the ideas that this amazing day is all about. Make it the best holiday in the office and everyone’s favourite day.
11. Be Open to Initiatives and Suggestions
Perhaps one of the best ways to make your coworkers enthusiastic about the entire idea is to include them in the decision-making process.
Award all the individual and group initiatives and talk through all the suggestions. People are much more inclined to do things they came up with themselves.
Their initiatives can become their pet projects. What better way to become invested into a green project?
12. Help Organising Carpooling or Environmentally Friendly Transportation
The ecological footprint of each of your employees depends, to a great extent, on their preferred transportation method.
If there is no convenient public transportation to your workplace, help your employees organise rideshares and carpools. Everybody will love those because they reduce their expenses, as well as the ecological footprint.
13. Make Seasonal Actions for Variety
Done the same things over and over again can kill enthusiasm. You don’t want that. To prevent it, try to add some variety to your activities. For example:
- Water conservation actions during the summer months
- Insulation efforts in winter times
14. Make a Green Team
It’s much easier to get people inspired when they have a go-to person or a team. Moreover, if they are a part of such a team, they are bound to be in the centre of the activities.
The team can organise activities, come up with the new ones, monitor the workplace and do many more things.
15. Let the Results Be Tangible and Visible
Give people charts, veggies from the office garden that everybody grows together; numbers stating how much paper is saved in the last quarter – in other words, anything that can directly show the progress.
This will give purpose to their actions and inspire them to do better in the future. Let the amazing mechanisms of what motivates us to do something works for you and the environment.
16. Give Your Employees Something to Brag About
Let’s not forget that going green and doing something good for the environment is trendy, as well. Everybody loves to brag a bit, so give your employees the reason to brag about.
- Organise a ‘green’ competition on the city level and win
- Implement the additional PTO for exceptional environmentally friendly initiatives
- Offer to make a contract with local markets to reduce the price of the organic food for your employees
This about the stuff that your coworkers can be proud of. It will inspire them to do more.
It has already been told that you should try to make your eco-friendly initiatives as effortless as possible. Also, setting an example and doing business with other green businesses and make a green network.
By partnering up with Alsco, you will do all these things at once. Here is how we can help you be a ‘greener’ business and how to include your employees in that initiative:
- We offer eco-friendly cleaning agents that can show your employees just how powerful they can be without hurting the environment.
- We offer managed washroom services that take all the work regarding your washroom off your hands.
- We wash uniforms in the most efficient and eco-friendly way, showing your employees that it can be done and boosting their green efforts.
All this is included in a fantastic annual fee that is tailored according to your business needs.
Call Alsco today and get your best quote. Things will get a lot easier from that point on. We promise.
Photo: Dave Fayram