While some businesses go green because of a true concern for the environment, others may be eager to tout their sustainable practices for public relations purposes or even to enjoy the financial benefits associated with reduced energy consumption and the like.
You may be thinking about taking big steps to make your business environment and practices more eco-friendly for one or more of these reasons, but there may be other benefits that you have not yet considered.
One important benefit that many businesses fail to initially consider is the positive impact that going green has on their employees. Your employees are vital to the success and profitability of your business. You may be surprised to learn about the many positive impacts that environmentally-friendly practices can have on each of your employees.
The Financial Factor
There are many ways for your business to reduce its carbon footprint and to become more sustainable. Beside the familiar methods, it is now popular to allow your employees to work from home. This reduces your company’s overhead while also providing them with a more comfortable work environment.
You may also invest in solar panels or purchase recycled supplies, which may each help you to save money and this financial savings could have a positive impact on your team.
With more available cash on hand, you have the flexibility to use this money in many ways. Product development and expansion are some options. These can give your employees greater opportunities for advancement within the company.
The financial impact of going green may enable you to provide your team with better benefits, such as a better health insurance plan. Another possible financial benefit for your employees is your ability to provide them with more substantial raises. Your team may not directly feel the impact of your green initiatives, but there can be a positive trickle-down effect that they will benefit from.
Improved Level of Job Satisfaction
While most workers are obviously motivated by money and seek excellent compensation when looking for a job, this is not the only factor at play. Workers generally want to feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment through their daily efforts.
When they work for a company that has a history of polluting the environment or creating unnecessary waste, they may have a neutral or negative feeling about working there. On the other hand, when the company shows a true concern for the environment and is ethical, they may have a high level of job satisfaction.
From your employees’ perspective, they may find more contentment in their position and be eager to continue to work for your company. From your perspective, you may find that employee retention rates are higher because of improved job satisfaction.
Some green initiatives also play a direct role in your team’s physical health. Consider that some companies expose their employees to harsh chemicals. Office environments may have poor ventilation and may have unhealthy indoor air quality.
On the other hand, your green company may not use harsh chemicals and may have healthier, safer practices. The office environment may take advantage of natural sunlight and may even have numerous indoor plants to improve indoor air quality.
These and other factors directly affect your employees’ health and well-being. When employees feel ill regularly at work or when they are concerned about their health, they may be more likely to seek employment elsewhere. They may also have to take more time off work, and this impacts productivity as well as their ability to earn a living.
Better Work-Life Balance
One of the more common and popular steps that some companies are taking to go green is to hire a remote workforce or to allow current employees to work from home at least on a part-time basis.
Remote workers can reduce your overhead dramatically. You may find that the team is more productive as well. From your employees’ perspective, they may save a considerable amount of time each day by eliminating their commute. This simple benefit can save them money, reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions and give your team more time to spend with family.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be challenging for many professionals. Some workers even leave demanding positions when they feel as though their job is creating a burden on their family life or detracting from their ability to care for children.
When you provide your team with the ability to improve their work-life balance, you may find that they are more eager to work hard for you and that they are more likely to continue to work for your company.
A Boost in Productivity
Many of these benefits play a direct role in how productive your employees are in their positions. As an employer, you understandably need your team to be as productive and as efficient as possible.
Employees also may find greater levels of job satisfaction through increased productivity. For example, when an employee is more productive, he or she can accomplish more each day.
Stress related to having too much to do or possibly falling behind can be reduced or eliminated. Employees may also feel more capable of performing job duties, and they may even complete these duties with more detail or with better overall results.
When your team is less stressed, they may be happier with their positions. They may not feel inclined to needlessly work longer hours to complete their tasks. When they are very productive and efficient, they may even be on a faster track for a raise or a promotion.
Some people use extra time freed up by improved productivity to expand their skillset in different ways. As important as it is for you to have a productive team, you can see that there are benefits there for your employees as well.
A Small Step for a Man and a Giant Leap for Your Business
Some companies will make a bold leap forward and make substantial green improvements all at once. Others will make gradual improvements as time and resources are available. You can see that going green can have tremendous benefits for your company as a whole as well as for each of your employees.
Now is a great time to assess your current level of sustainability and to examine ways to improve in various areas. Remember to communicate your efforts to your team so that they are aware of the considerable steps that you are taking. They may even have some great ideas about how the company can improve in this area that you have not yet considered.