Wednesday, 18 February 2009

From Workplace Unwellness to Workplace Wellness

As a small business I feel rather privileged to have more freedom choosing which areas I want to improve regarding my own business sustainability. But how do large corporations cope? Aside from imposed legislation, what about staff, who needs to be 'converted' in order to make even small steps towards a greener future possible? What if those people - due to a history of workplace unwellness - have not much motivation or loyalty to step up and be part of the change? Successful sustainability depends on corporate culture change. Ergo - HR needs to step up a gear and become truly pro-active and a green leader to facilitate a deep impact.

But no matter if you are a large or small business, here are some of my staff-engagement initiative Tips that might help:
  • Create a 'Green event' calendar with different awareness days/week each month and put together 'sustainability brunches' ever so often, to bring staff together and debate the issues at hand - make collateral vibrant and relevant.
  • Make it personal! Yes, even in the workplace - why not ask staff to bring in their kids for a 'green week initiative' and let the kids assess what they find not ok with the company's green-status... it might even tie in with a school project.
  • Motivate, persist, persist, persist in your green efforts, it needs time and endurance and repetition for these things to sink in and be taken on board.
  • Find free wall space and create a 'Green Wall campaign' (print rooms, canteen etc. where staff are frequently passing through) Stimulating pictures and info should reflect realistic goals, NOT that the whole world is in a dilemma because of global warming (we know that) it's too intangible - but rather make it 'Local' - something staff can relate to easier... and do ensure that whatever you print is eco-friendly, non-toxic or recyclable & mention it, internal PR is essential for this
And here a few more resources reg. HR and sustainability:

1) Sustainability an HR issue - a blog as relevant as ever
2) Human Resource & Sustainability (a work-paper PDF by Ina Ehnert)
Time to give a green light to a sustainable future (article from

1 comment:

  1. Great tips Iris - and worthwhile of course. I just got to find a green wall now in my spare room! ;-)