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6 Tips to “Green” Your Team

April 23, 2014

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Jessica Hope

You understand the extensive, far-reaching benefits of sustainable and green business practices, both for your business and the environment we depend on for life. You need no further convincing – but frustratingly, you find yourself alone in your revelation. The people that you work with, both above and below your level, have no interest whatsoever in changing their ways.

If this situation sounds familiar to you, rest easy: while you might feel alone, you aren’t. There are plenty of people joining the green business movement everyday, but there are plenty more who continue to look upon it with total disinterest. And while this is almost certainly discouraging, you shouldn’t lose hope just yet. 

Give these tips a try, and see if the voice of one can’t change the opinions of many:

  1. Arm yourself with the facts. It’s lucky that where sustainable and green business practices are concerned, the facts are on your side. Find examples of other companies that have been successful in their efforts. Numbers do well here. When you can talk to people about actual profits and actual savings, they are more likely to listen.
  2. Start the conversation. Whenever you find someone willing to listen, talk to them about the facts (see above), and how you interpret that potential for your business specifically. Plant the seeds – but don’t forget to water them faithfully.
  3. Provide incentives. If educating your colleagues about the numbers and impacts isn’t proving effective, implement incentives to get their attention. Employee incentives can come in many forms, from gift certificates to public recognition. Go with something that makes sense for your coworkers – nobody knows them better than you.
  4.  Employ social media. Customers are becoming increasingly conscious of their chosen business’ behavior. They want to know the people they do business with care about more than profit. Use emotional resonance to your advantage, and speak publicly about your efforts for higher social engagement and reach.
  5. Play nice. In order for these tips to truly reach their potential, you will need your coworkers’ cooperation. When you meet resistance, be respectful of the other person’s opinion and willing to discuss reservations. In the end, however, it’s imperative that you be assertive and confident, as this is the kind of attitude that people best respond to.
  6. Practice patience. In some cases, these things will take time. Let that happen. You don’t want to ruin a good thing by trying to force it on others too quickly. If you are consistent and earnest in your efforts, you will get results. It might not happen as fast as you would like, but “eventually” is always better than “never.”

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