Some things a manager may be able to implement him or herself, such as programming computers and lights to shut off when not in use. Bringing in recycling and educating about how to sort can help. In my old office employees were actually required to sort their own trash which caused complaints at first but did increase recycling and reduce waste. The best thing managers can do is lead by example: bringing their own lunches, biking to work, and demonstrating the ease with which lifestyle changes can be made. Some people are very resistant to change and you can’t get everyone on board, but by setting a good example you can do a lot.
Enforcing mandatory green programs around the workplace, such as recycling, composting, and energy conservation, is a good way to teach employees the benefit and relative ease of sustainability. In theory, these lessons would in turn transfer to their personal lives.
Incentives would also be a good management tactic. Sometimes people need to be urged into doing the right thing. It doesn’t have to be monetary. Managers can get creative when it comes to providing rewards for sustainable practice in the work place. For instance, what if there were a recycling competition…whoever manages to reduce the most amount of resources used, or whoever creates the most clever way of reusing an item..could choose a radio station or playlist for a day? (Pre-approved, of course)
Some sort of way to encourage participation and get people to start thinking in sustainable terms. There could also be a competition to suggest sustainable work practices…this would help foster new ideas that may otherwise go unnoticed.
The company or manager should make it as easy as possible for employees to practice sustainability. They should education their workers on conservation methods and encourage recycling and reuse (including making recycling bins very assessbile). They also can offer incentives to their employees. This could include cash, prizes, coupons to local businesses, gift cards, etc.
Incentive programs, company policies, leading by example and making sustainability easy for employees, as the previous posters stated, are all great ways to encourage sustainability. In addition, I think it is important for sustainable practices to be the lynch pin of an organization’s vision. I believe employees will be more likely to view sustainability with more importance. Such an action may also act as an effective recruitment tool for environmentally conscious employees. I believe it is reasonable to infer that sustainability-minded people would gravitate to sustainable organizations. Employees that identify with the goals of an organization will have higher organizational commitment, which in turn will increase employee productivity as an added benefit.
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