Engaging your employees in your sustainability business!
Greetings from Ecotourism Kenya! Engaging employees in sustainability is a growing trend with significant business benefits. Many of our accommodation facilities have a passionate team of staff who work to ensure your camp, hotel, resort, or lodge is at the forefront of quality and superior customer service. At the same time, there are several properties that have sustainability initiatives mostly with a specific responsible person to run the program. However, is your team of staff engaged in the process? While ecotourism experts agree that there should be someone responsible for overseeing the entire process, we believe that the entire team should be aware and take part in providing the most sustainable operation solutions. This weeks’ Eco-byte is focused on sensitizing the replicable and superior practices in ensuring your employees are part of the business sustainability.
Benefits that you will get from engaging employees in sustainable practices: o Increased savings to your bottom line through resource use (water, energy) efficiency o Employees will be in a position to enhance skills, and contribute to something meaningful o Enhances innovation and increases employee morale o Co-creating sustainability programs with employees also cultivates: trust, ownership, excitement and commitment. o Facilitates collaboration, communication and the exchange of ideas o Offers training on the company’s environmental leadership and product impact o Integrates sustainability strategically and makes it applicable to employee responsibilities o Lastly, engaging employees in your sustainability actions is a desired indicator in the EK’s Eco-rating standard and therefore it will also boost your Eco-rating Certification. What is the best way to engage your employees in sustainability? There are different models been applied by EK’s Gold Eco-rated facilities ranging from designating an environmental day, establishing an ‘Eco Warrior team’, ‘Green team’, ‘Environmental team’ amongst others.
In essence the idea is to have a team of staff leading on environmental sustainability within your facility. This week we challenge each facility to take the lead, engage your staff and create a Green team! How do you start a Green team? Here are a few thoughts: o Don’t create a new department for this; get buy in from all departments, and have a representative from each on the team. o With that said, avoid “appointing” someone from each department. They may (or, may not) want to participate. Do a call for volunteers first. o Include all levels of employees – support staff, departmental heads, managers, and even directors should be on this team. Once the team has been created, encourage them to evaluate your current policies (Environmental policies, Environmental Management Plan etc.), conservation initiatives, and procedures to look for gaps, issues, or areas that have not been covered. Allow them the flexibility (and, the power) to suggest amendments, and create an action plan for improved operational efficiency. Finally, once this has been implemented, encourage them to meet regularly, and report back to the rest of the employees via a newsletter, memo, brochures etc. on improvements, success stories, and next steps. And don’t forget to share it with the public and your clients! “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Henry Ford Spread the word! It’s Smart to be Responsible Compiled by Andrew Karanja Ecorating Program Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on this best practices click on this link:http://www.ecotourismkenya.org/page.php?id=73