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Motivating Your Employees to Go Green

greener employeesAt a recent panel discussion at which I was a part of, questions seemed to keep popping up about how to get employees on board for a “go green” initiative.

Some of the human resource directors in the audience expressed how there were certain departments, or individuals within particular departments, that were not on board with the program. Others expressed how they have 90%-100% participation and commitment at their work. How was such a wide degree of participation possible?

Now, I have already mentioned how to start a “go green” program at work, which you can read at this link.

The consensus among the panelists was that the “carrot and stick” method was the best approach, by far. Greening a business takes time and patience. Like I had mentioned previously, baby steps work best.

Peer pressure seems to be one of the strongest motivators. So is ease of participation. If there are employees who do not throw out their soda cans or recycle their paper products, low cost recycle bins or stations placed in the break room, in the IT room, in visible and well-trafficked locations around the office will surely increase the recycling rate.

Be sure to make participation fun, with imprinted water bottles, biodegradable coffee tumblers, reusable utensils, etc., that carry your Be Green theme or slogan on them. Also, offer points for participating, both in terms of individual and group participation. Contests for most waste recycled per week, least amount of paper used per office, most car-pool miles, etc. will encourage others to stress the value of full commitment.

In addition, make sure to look for other ways to reduce waste and improve energy efficiencies, such as setting all office copiers to print double sided copies, making sure all replacement light bulbs are CFL and having an energy audit from your local utility and implementing those recommendations.

Switch to vendors and suppliers that are eco-friendly and use recycled or organic substitutions.

Once your office participation rate grows, it will eventually reach a tipping point, where every department is looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Eventually, all new hires will need to “buy in” to the green initiatives and non-committal employees will eventually be replaced over time or they will eventually “see the light”.

Going green is more than slapping up a Go Green banner and having a kickoff meeting. Going green is a behavior that will grow as time goes on. Have your employees offer suggestions, keep it promoted, and keep it fun.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow…today.
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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and environmentally-friendly promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive eco-friendly advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any company interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

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