Playing To Your Employees’ Strengths and Interests
The standard attitude to raising awareness of sustainability with employees can be parodied as:
“OK, these people are pig ignorant and uninterested in sustainability issues. We’ve got to jolt them out of their complacency and keep badgering them until they get it. Then they’ll be as virtuous as we are and join the revolution!”
And the standard reaction from those employees is:
“Go away and stop bothering me. I’m trying to do my job!”
This is why most culture change efforts fail – they play to perceived weaknesses rather than strengths, and nobody likes that. If you want to interest people in something, you’ve got to make it interesting to them, not to you. Want to engage with engineers? Ask them to help with technological solutions. Want to engage with production staff? Ask them how you can minimise waste at source. Want to engage with product designers? Challenge them to design a breakthrough product with superb operational and environmental performance.
It’s not about you, and what turns you on, it’s about them.
If you do it right, you’ll uncover more secret green superheroes than you’d expect!