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Engaging Employees in Sustaining Environmental Initiatives

Upon receiving approval to implement a strategy designed to help a company meet its sustainable goals, whether the sustainability aspect comprises 80% of the overall strategy or 20%, the litmus test for success lies with engaged employees generating “energy of enthusiasm.”

Efforts to drive engagement in the workplace fall into two main categories: 1. Engagement methods: message generation/communication, information gathering, educating; and 2. Employee actions: what can they do to contribute both at the workplace and personally. Consider the impact on employee engagement of the following steps:

  1. Create an on-line employee sustainability engagement tool which can be used to collect, qualify and prioritize initiatives and help to identify company culture.
  1. Develop an implementation roadmap that takes into account company-wide inputs and segments the implementation plan into short, medium and long-term phases.
  1. Establish metrics/benchmarks which demonstrate the impact of engagement efforts against a baseline and measure progress made towards identified goals.
  1. Implementation/tracking relies heavily on concise, clear and consistent communication about:
  • Program goals
  • Employee roles
  • Anticipated outcomes of employee efforts
  • Feedback/acknowledgements is essential
  1. Review/assess/revise keeps things “fresh” and allows for adaptive responses to strategy, enabling organizations to add/delete/edit according to benchmarks.

As an observation of “opposites,” sustainability strategies regarding the “brick and mortar” of buildings focus on energy reduction whereas sustainability strategies regarding employee engagement focus on energy expansion, as in the “energy of enthusiasm” as more employees become engaged in the “magic” of co-creation and aligned values.

For a more detailed guide, please see http://www.institutebe.com/InstituteBE/media/Library/Resources/Building%20Performance%20Management/Building-Performance-Management_Driving-Behavior-Change.pdf

Nadine Cino LEED AP is the CEO and co-inventor of Tyga-Box Systems, Inc., New York, N.Y.