“The generic approach is like boxing – trying to bludgeon the opponent into submission.”
Attempting to embed a sustainable culture into your business through bombarding employees with ‘green’ emails, instructions and notices, which have no real relevance to their working lives, will simply not work! Yet so many businesses take this approach and hope for the best.
So, what’s the answer to cultivating internal engagement in sustainable strategies?
1) Take off your shoes
… and put yourself in your employees’ shoes instead! Make sure you tailor your messages and approach. Whilst you may have sustainable targets to reach, what difference does it make to your staff? Make it relevant and appropriate to the individual and their own lives and suddenly they’ll be more interested.
2) Give us a KISS
Ultimately we’re a lazy bunch, as such your employees will generally take the path of least resistance. If your staff aren’t engaging and adopting your green strategies it’s more than likely that the green options are harder than the ungreen options. Remember, when it comes to new strategy implementation ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’ (KISS) and engagement will be easier.
3) Pop the question
Which would you prefer, being told what to do or asked your opinion on what you think should be done? Asking questions is a conversation starter; they help your workforce sell sustainability to themselves. We’ve seen it proven over and over again that if you give your staff a sense of ownership of the solution, that solution is more likely to be adopted.
It works with senior management too – a question such as ‘How are we going to deal with our parking problems?’ will get you much further than ‘We must implement a car-share scheme’.
If you’re struggling to engage your workforce in green initiatives, our suggestion is to step out of the ring and reflect on your approach. We think the 3 strategies above can make all the difference, but do you? Perhaps you’ve successfully engaged your workforce in another way? Let us know.