Translate literature, initiatives and training into the native languages of your staff.3 Training Use the same style of training for sustainability as you would for other issues.3 Include all levels of seniority The green team should not just consist of heads of departments; in fact, it tends to work better as a multi-level taskforce because more junior workers will see wastage or flaws in the system that senior people may miss.
Translate literature, initiatives and training into the native languages of your staff.
4 Meet every month to ensure continuity and momentum Have an annual plan.
Ad hoc events will also emerge but it helps to start with specific planned events throughout the year.
“They are,” she says, “key to successful employee engagement, offering a framework to express their green values at work, increasing retention, attracting the best talent and educating staff on corporate-sustainability goals.” Philip Newman-Hall, director/general manager of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, near Oxford, England, which is owned by Orient-Express Hotels, advises: “Our green team was initially a staff idea and is made up of people who have a natural interest in the subject. If the ideas come from the team [pictured above], we find they get introduced much more quickly than if it was just a diktat from above.” But it’s not enough to just tap into enthusiasm, it’s important to engage cynical members of staff, too.
From his experience, Newman-Hall says it tends to be the younger employees who are keenest and it is mainly through their “infectious enthusiasm” that other staff become engaged.
2 Harness enthusiasm Don’t force staff to be part of the team.
Try to find “champions” who have a natural interest and enthusiasm for the issues.Dominic Burbridge, the Carbon Trust’s senior adviser to the hospitality industry, advises: 1 Keep it simple Look at your business and identify the top three to five things you want to change every six months.2 Cultural differences Ensure you have advisers who comprehend the issues but can also understand your business, the countries you operate in and the type of people you employ.The more staff believe that being environmentally conscious and working in a sustainable manner is part of the integral culture of a workplace, the more it will become second nature.There are many ways an organisation can help this change of mindset to occur.Employees are then more likely to behave in a consistently sustainable manner, as it becomes part of their daily routine.Spotlight on Hilton Hotels When Hilton won the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of its commitment to sustainability, the hotel group put a large part of its success down to employee engagement.5 Have an open-door policy Encourage all staff to suggest positive changes and then implement the best ones.This shows employees that their ideas are being implemented and that management is listening, consequently raising morale and increasing environmental awareness.Creating an organisational culture that encourages staff to actively pursue energy-saving, waste-minimisation and ethical practices through emotional engagement is key to helping a business reach its sustainability goals.If employees’ values reflect the company’s values, and if staff believe that the company genuinely cares about the same things they do, they will be more motivated and productive.