How to Change Behaviours in the Workplace to Think More Green
Over recent years going green has become a hot topic. But what does it mean and how does it affect businesses? Going green is a lifestyle change. There is an increase in consumer demand to go green and companies are beginning to make a concerted effort to reduce their negative impact on the environment; this can be anything from reducing utility costs to recycling.
Changing behaviours can be difficult to overcome, especially when something has always been done a certain way. If you are running a business and are trying to change its old habits and think greener, simply telling your employees about your new idea won’t help you to meet your green targets. You need to encourage them and here’s how…
Leading From The Top
Leadership affects morale, team spirit and productivity. It is not uncommon for companies to have a green or eco-team. Although we encourage this, it can make it appear that going green is someone else’s job. Leading from the top is the best way to communicate that it is everyone’s responsibility to make environmentally conscious decisions like turning off the monitor at the end of the day.
Being the role models within many organisations, leaders of the company should be the first to adopt new practices. Along with this working in a position of authority comes with a level of responsibility and leading by example is without a doubt crucial for a company to make positive progress in their green campaigns.
As well as leading from the top, employees need to know exactly what they are working towards. The creation of SMART goals provides structure and guidance throughout a campaign. They also allow you to better identify what it is you want to accomplish. Having personal targets for staff which are based on individuals’ habits will be more effective and coincide with your overall organisation aims.
For any scheme to work, positive reinforcement is essential. You need to use positive reinforcement to connect your staff’s green behaviour to an immediate positive outcome. Incentivising green behaviour can be a powerful tool. For example, you could say something like, if we reduce our energy bill by 10%, we can have an open bar at the Christmas Party. That would be something to work for!
Moreover, effective leadership is also required for positive reinforcement because leaders need to firstly acknowledge the desired behaviour and secondly encourage it. By having a leader recognise the encouraging behaviour changes amongst staff it will allow positive reinforcement to keep up the momentum and help staff continue to feel engaged.
Introducing new schemes or polices into the workplace can be difficult but we hope that this blog has highlighted the steps to help encourage positive changes into your workforce. Afterall, there are so many positives of becoming a greener and more sustainable organisation. Not only will you have happier workers but a happier wallet too!