Steering the open ocean of a company’s sustainability initiatives can be a thrilling yet daunting task. Industries are moving towards sustainable practices through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Quality, Health, Safety, and Environment (QHSE), and innovation departments, or by launching carbon neutrality programs and zero-waste policies. Thus, companies are bound to crash into waves that cause change or disruption.

Greenfish wants you to ask yourself: how disruptive is my attempt to create a positive flow of communication in my company? Do I have the right tools to induce behavioral change? How should I “wet my feet” for actions to take on employee engagement on all levels? This ultimately will drive the level of awareness, involvement, and commitment for behavioral change as second nature among your employees. Ready to “take the jump” on engaging your employees and focus on a crucial part of your business case for successful investments?

Make your investments live in your organisation

According to current research, engaging employees by promoting a sustainability mindset is one of the key distinguishing factors leading to greater success.[i]

The right communication about your initiatives and business model changes allows for a flow of information, internally and externally. First, it is important to create awareness within the organization at all levels: from Executive Committee to blue collars. Involvement and commitment of values arise from proper dissemination of information.

Diffusion among colleagues can help create a certain standard for behavior within the company, which will ultimately have an effect on that colleagues’ own network of individuals. Thus, the behavioral change can start with one team or one department leading to a change in the corporate culture and to positive effects on the society.

The sustainability mindset as second nature

Greenfish helps companies focus on the unexpressed reasons of an issue impacting all aspects of their business case by understanding what actions are needed to induce change.

The Greenfish strategy uses the Sustainable Value Creation framework to prioritize where you can have the most impact from your investments. Management engagement is of course a crucial part of a sustainability strategy but focusing solely on the top-down approach without the bottom-up engagement will not gain the full potential of your people and corporate investments.

Finding the unexpressed reasons from a bottom-up approach enables those who experience the problems on the field to address issues that are not likely to be brought to light by management. After evaluating and analyzing the situation from interviews adapted to specific groups and original list of root causes, actions around challenge areas are discussed.

The positive takeaway are the ideas articulated with the help from our consultants after an in-depth review of field activities, derived to tackle the main reasons for your issues.  This is the basis for our action plan. Issues can be safety on the field when operating machinery, lack of pride among workers, to monitoring the amount of water your company uses.

Finally, to make sure change is implemented effectively, trainings give your employees the specific tools that lead to actions, establishing their motivation within your organization.

Greenfish realizes that second nature is the output from these efforts. Second nature is when employees have implemented the change actions and are flowing well with the daily company activities. There is an inherent standard operating procedure in place without any actual push from the management.

Concrete actions your company can use to further engage your people investments

Once you start to wet your feet by getting ideas flowing towards attitude change, you may just get used to the temperature of the water and stay on the edge. This can be the case with implementing the unexpressed reasons, positive takeaway, and second nature in order to fix sustainability issues on all corporate levels. However, it is important that you act that way too, that you take the jump.

Many organizations can have a certain ambition and attitude about climate issues, carbon neutrality, or zero-waste initiatives. However they do not necessarily act upon the mindset in their entire organization and with their suppliers, partners, and customers. Moreover, certain attitudes may take time to reflect the overall actions of a company. Therefore, it is important to act as early as possible on the behavioral change. In particular, the global environmental challenges we are facing, must be addressed NOW and we must work together to have people committing to new attitudes: it is time to take action.

  • Nudges to start simple

    Nudges are actions that can cause behavioral changes, oftentimes through games, which help achieve change in a subconscious manner. Nudges can help direct your employees toward a goal or idea such as better recycling practices in the office building, extended back home.

  • Visible KPIs to involve everyone

    Another action is to connect coherent company objectives with professional KPIs as indicators for good practices within the company.
    An example that your company can achieve to have the impactful wave is to ask employees to provide ideas for environmental problems within the organization. This can be linked to the employees’ KPIs and overall company goal. It will instill a greater sense of pride and activity for the corporate culture. What better people to improve the company’s sustainability and energy management than the ones who already work?[i]

  • Positive reinforcement as the ultimate motivator

    Last but not least, it is important to keep a positive outlook on difficult activities. Positive reinforcement among colleagues enables them to stay motivated during this transition to be more sustainable, whether personal or professional. Films like Demain show that a doom and gloom outlook is not the way to awaken society on how society must act, instead it valorizes sustainability initiatives in a positive light and highlights the importance of these activities. Not only is it important to exchange on positive initiatives in place and engagement among your team but also in the way you speak to them. Approaching team tasks in an overly critical or threatening manner does not help achieve company objectives in a better or more efficient way.

Greenfish method for behavioral and mindset change is to help your company find the motivation to not only induce an attitude shift but also create action plans for sustained value creation. Investments and innovations are not only about great ideas, green technologies and financial benefits, they are equally about employee’s commitment

Greenfish is there to raise awareness, involvement, and commitment in your organization. Are you ready to dive into mindset change projects and ride the wave of positive impact?

Toutia Daryoush – Project Assistant at Greenfish
Laurence Jonkers – Project & CSR Coordinator at Greenfish
Pascal Heuschling – Senior Project Manager at Greenfish

[i] Using Sustainability Initiatives to Spur Employee Engagement, Sustrana White Paper
[i] Employees provide ideas to environmental problems in the company / https://www.environmentalleader.com/2017/05/employee-environmental-management-ideas-really-save-money-heres/