Thousands of Walmart employees have adopted greener and healthier habits as part of the company's Personal Sustainability Project initiative.
The much-hailed program was redesigned and relaunched as My Sustainability Plan, which served as the inspiration for a new guide released last week to help companies engage workers to further their sustainability agendas. The guide from consultancy BBMG offers simple and practical steps for firms, as well as tips and advice for conquering the hurdles that can plague any sustainability program.
"It may seem counter-intuitive, but an austere economic climate is a good time to invest in creating and maintaining a sustainable workforce," BBMG founding partner Mitch Baranowski said in a statement. "With younger employees increasingly committed to sustainability as a way of life, organizations that invest in such engagement programs will enjoy better recruitment, higher retention and higher morale."
According to BBMG, an engaged worker is a happier one who will be a productive asset for your company. Aside from working harder, they will most likely stay with your company longer, which can have a positive impact on the bottom since some estimate it can cost 150 percent of the individual salary to find a replacement.
"Green the Team" offers a road map to help companies create a green team and engage their workers:
1. Set the Strategy
BBMG recommends that, like most any initiative, companies create a vision statement that will give workers a clear understanding of the firm's goal and available resources. Companies should also strive to make the strategy actionable for employees, as well as personal. Don't forget to also make it flexible and build in performance metrics so you can track and share results.
2. Build the Buzz
Use guest speakers, eco-fairs, e-newsletters and volunteer opportunities to create excitement and buy-in from employees. Make it both voluntary and rewarding, perhaps with a friendly competition or awards program.
3. Measure the Impact
Use the program's successes to continue the momentum. There a range of metrics you can track to size up the effectiveness of the program, including volunteer hours, the amount of waste or energy reduced, employee awareness or the number of projects to come out of the program.
The free guide is available download (registration required) from BBMG's website.
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