Staff refers to all employees within your business. This includes both full-time and part- time staff.
As employers, green businesses have a responsibility to have a positive impact on staff by provide an engaging, safe, and happy place to work.
The positive impacts a business can have can be broken down into two categories; staff wellbeing and staff engagement.
Staff wellbeing refers to the mental and physical health of staff. Workplace dynamics can have a big influence on staff wellbeing within a business.
Staff engagement refers to the level of enthusiasm and dedication a worker feels to their job role and their company’s ethos.
There are several staff-related benefits to having strong green credentials within your business.
General sustainability (i.e., positive social and environmental impacts) is beneficial as green businesses:
✓ Attract and retain staff better – 53% of the UK workforce now considering sustainability an important factor in employment choice
✓ Engage staff better – 74% staff say their job is more fulfilling when the work they do has a positive social and/or environmental impact
Staff-specific improvements, such as initiatives designed specially to improve staff engagement and wellbeing, can also be beneficial by:
✓ Lowering absenteeism and better health and safety – healthy and happy workforces can have up to 41% lower staff absence
✓ Improving customer service and productivity – engaged employees are 17% more productive than their peers
✓ Increasing sales and profitability – highly engaged organisations see an average of 20% higher sales and 21% high profitability than their peers
✓ Creating better home lives – engaged and happy staff have a better family life too!
There are many ways your business can improve its green credentials in relation to its staff. Six top tips that you can implement in your business to improve staff engagement and wellbeing are presented below.
Pay a real living wage
Fairly paid staff are motivated staff. The real living wage is an independently calculated rate of pay based on what people need to get by. Check out their website to find out more. #GreenTourismLincolnshire
Communicate your sustainability initiatives
Zero-hours contracts do not offer the level of financial stability and safety that a permanent contract does. Staff on zero-hours contracts do not have the right to a minimum notice period, protection against unfair dismissal, nor a redundancy payment. Offer staff on zero-hours contracts the chance to go permanent.
Offer a selection of wellbeing initiatives
Wellbeing initiatives promote staff engagement. Try implementing some of the following
(or come up with your own!):
✓ Flexible working (where possible)
✓ Regular social activities
✓ Fitness/gym/sports discounts
✓ Volunteering days
✓ Promotion of healthy eating (e.g. healthy snacks at work)
Ensure staff have the opportunity to develop
Offer staff regular performance reviews (at least yearly) and the opportunity to take part in ongoing career development training.
Enable staff to communicate with management/owners and provide regular feedback
STEP 1 Set up regular (e.g. quarterly) meetings between senior staff and operational teams to facilitate consistent communication (it can be a good idea to give each meeting a different theme).
STEP 2 Encourage staff to provide ideas on how your business can improve and offer constructive feedback.
STEP 3 Produce a clear set of actions at the end of the meeting and give updates on progress at the next meeting.
Engage staff in sustainability initiatives
Create a sustainability champion, or even a ‘green team’ with a representative from each department, who is responsible for leading green efforts within your business. Support this by regularly communicating sustainability progress and initiatives with staff.
Green teams & green champions - Lincolnshire County Council
Creating a Green Team, or appointing a Green Champion, can help to give businesses extra structure and governance to improve sustainability management and help them achieve green aims.
Who is Lincoln Castle?
Lincoln Castle is a heritage visitor attraction with Scheduled Monument status. It attracts over 150,000 paying visitors a year, and over 500,000 visitors enjoy free access to its grounds. It is a major part of the visitor economy in Lincoln and the surrounding area.
What is the business doing?
During the first COVID-19 lockdown, Lincoln Castle started a net-zero emissions project, for which staff were asked to provide input on the green improvements which could be made in the business. This encouraged staff to get involved with sustainability, improving the level of staff engagement.
What can my business do?
Have you asked your staff how they think your business could improve its sustainability? Hold a green meeting or ask staff to complete a green survey to understand where sustainable improvements could be made within your business. Give staff actions to take away to build further engagement.
“The response was amazing, there was such a positive reaction. It opened up a whole new dialogue with members of the team who now see how their input can support the site to reach net-zero”
Kimberley Vickers, Lincoln Castle General Manager
Is your business working towards improving staff wellbeing and engagement? Share it on social media with #GreenTourismLincolnshire