Everybody seems to be trying to preserve the future of mankind these days. It is, after all, becoming a rather pressing matter, considering how appallingly we treat our fragile planet. As mentioned in previous posts, all London Boroughs have various residential recycling initiatives in place to help with sustainability. But what about the workplace? It seems that a different approach is required in order to getting employees to do their bit for the environment.
Motivation to recycle is rather more challenging at work, especially when most employees are already busy and highly focused on work-related goals. But there are ways of getting around this. First, it’s important to let your workforce know how important recycling is to you. Most managers concern themselves with profit margins and sales figures. Although this is understandable to a degree, it is a rather insular method of running a business. So educate employees about the reasons for recycling. This can be done through meetings and seminars and then followed up by factsheets about how waste effects the environment. These can be strategically placed next to your disposal facilities with a rubbish removal company.
For most companies, money is the name of the game. So try to make a connection with your profit-seekers by explaining the amount of money which can be saved through recycling each year – you’ll be talking their language and using a context that should rather familiar to them!
Make your recycling system as simple to use as possible. Many people become confused by the sheer number of items that can be recycled along with the various different containers they should be disposed in. For example, there’s a bin for paper, a bin for cans, a bin for food waste and so on. To get around this, try using one bin for all recyclable materials and pay for the items to be sorted later. Be sure to place such a bin next to the usual waste-facilities so as to prevent your employees going on a hunt to find it. If they’re having trouble finding any recycling facilities they are going to be more likely to use the nearest bin, especially if they are hard-pushed for time.
Polystyrene and plastic cups should also be avoided. Instead, encourage your employees to bring their own mugs or cups to the office. The burden on landfill sites will be lowered significantly if this kind of practice was observed by more people.
Another way to change employee behaviour is to incentivize your recycling efforts. Create a competition between departments with set, measurable goals of waste recycling. Those with the highest rates of recycling should be rewarded. Creative recycling could also be recognised. These approaches can prove very effective in making positive changes to employee behaviour.
Also try to encourage your workers to conceive ideas and strategies for encouraging colleagues to join in green challenges and then reward them accordingly. After all, most people want to do what’s right for the environment, but sometimes they need a little encouragement! Hopefully, the above suggestions will be of help.