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Get Your Employees To Work Like Nobody is Watching

Posted by Insightlink on 10/23/15

And Make Work a Happier (and a Greener) Place

Did you know that a single calorie travels 1000 miles to get from the farm to your plate?

Considering the cost and environmental impact, no wonder many of us are making a greater effort to shop and buy local foods in season. Many of us look for ways to do our part to help reduce global warming in our homes but how many of us work for organizations that don’t seem to care? And how many of us wish we could put a stop to the waste we see at work every day?
What does this have to do with employee engagement? It turns out it has a lot to do with it and a good example of this is the hospitality industry.

As it happens, the hospitality industry is in a bit of a jam. On one hand, they are major contributors to global warming because of the waste and energy they need to keep us warm, or cool, fed and clean. In addition, it is estimated that 2 pounds of food per person per day is simply thrown away instead of being recycled or composted. Multiply that times the number of guests staying in hotels across the country and the waste is staggering. No wonder discerning guests are becoming picky about where they stay these days.

Many hotels have already started to make big changes and what they have found is that their commitment to the environment has an even greater impact on their employees. Let’s face it, all these green initiatives take people to make them happen. Recycling, reusing and reducing doesn’t happen unless people sort the garbage, compost the food and turn off the lights. Hotels like the Marriott and Hilton Inn know that their employees are the heart and soul of these initiatives. And studies are being done that prove that hotel sustainability programs actually increase levels of employee engagement. Taking action and improving employee engagement levels can sometimes be challenging but more and more companies are realizing that sustainability initiatives are highly appealing to employees and can be core to driving overall engagement levels.
Even more fascinating is what Andrew Savitz says in his book Talent, Transformation and the Triple Bottom Line: ‘For companies with sustainability engagement initiatives, the overall employee engagement rate increased, even for those employees who didn't participate’. So having a sustainability program in place has a ‘halo effect’ on engagement for all employees.
Sustainability engagement initiatives save an organization money and improve employee engagement rates but they can also increase revenue. Caesar Hotels did a study with the Harvard Business School and found that customer loyalty and satisfaction – their overall experience and willingness to return to one of its hotels or casinos– is directly linked to employees' level of participation in sustainable activities at work.

Caesars Entertainment launched its influential CodeGreen, program which relies on engaged employees to drive the change. It has resulted in numerous certifications and awards for engagement, supply chain, water, and energy programs. They attribute their success to having highly engaged employees who have made a tremendous environmental impact. And they have made a tremendous contribution, as from 2007 to 2012, Caesars reduced electricity consumption per square foot of air-conditioned space by 20%. By the end of 2012, the company reduced carbon emissions to the atmosphere by 12% and diverted 24% of waste away from landfills. Much to be proud of.

So if you have completed your employee survey and you are faced with next steps and action planning, consider developing your own sustainability program and perhaps you will find that your employees want to contribute and make a positive environmental difference at work and are motivated to make a change. Investing in sustainability could be a driving force behind making your company a greater success.



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