Recycling at work: How do I involve, educate, and motivate employees?
Employee involvement, education, and motivation are critical to the success of your entire waste reduction program. Employee education and program promotion will be ongoing component of your recycling program, so plan and budget accordingly.
At the start of the program, send a memo from senior management announcing the recycling program and requesting the involvement of all employees. The memo might encourage employees to volunteer to become members of the waste reduction team.
Involving employees at the planning stage will give them a sense of ownership, making it more likely that they will support the program.
Obtain feedback from employees. When setting up a collection program, involve employees who work in production areas where materials will be recovered for recycling. They are already familiar with the manufacturing process and might have ideas about how to most successfully collect recyclable materials.
It is also important to teach employees how to properly participate in recycling by providing simple and concise information on what to do.
Employees must also be encouraged to participate on a regular basis. Employees will be more likely to participate enthusiastically if they understand the benefits of waste reduction and recycling, both for the company and for the environment.
Ways to keep employees involved and interested include giving them feedback on program successes and having an awards program.
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