People not only want to shop with sustainable companies – they want to work for sustainable companies. People seeking jobs are more attracted to companies and organizations that are sustainable, with a focus on green team building to increase engagement.
In fact, a whopping 75% of millennials would be willing to take a pay cut to work for a sustainable company. Considering millennials now make up 35% of the workforce, this is a significant factor when hiring and retaining employees.
In addition, 70% of people say their decision to stay with a company is influenced by a company’s sustainability and 30% have actually left a job because the company was not sustainable. If you are making your company more sustainable, you want your employees to get involved.
Unfortunately, employee engagement in workplace sustainability programs is declining. One of the primary reasons for this is that employees simply don’t know about the sustainability program. However, this is accompanied by a lack of communicating the benefits of such a program, a lack of employee engagement and ownership in the program, and the creation of role-based engagement, which alienates many employees. With this in mind, here are four amazing green team building activities to increase engagement at your workplace.
1. Greening the workplace
The physical workplace can definitely be greener and there are so many ways to do this. You can start off by asking employees to contribute their ideas, then narrow it down and perhaps hold a vote to choose the ones you will focus on in the office.
Greening the office can be as simple as changing to LED lightbulbs and using recycled paper, but you will find there are so many other great ways that involve employees working together, like:
- bringing plants into the workspace;
- growing a garden outside;
- creating a rooftop garden;
- creating new environmentally friendly policies and procedures (such as photocopying policies indicating when printing hard copies is acceptable);
The key is to bring employees together to work on finding and implementing ways to make the workplace more sustainable. You can create teams that are responsible for certain aspects of the workplace and then give employees the freedom to get organized and make their green initiatives happen.
Fundraising has been a traditional way companies have brought team building together with a great cause. When employees form teams and participate in community fundraising events, such as a relay, they can truly get out there and make a difference. However, this type of thing can also be done in other ways.
You can have a casual dress day for anyone who brings in a donation. You can also host a corporate fundraiser and employees can create teams to organize and run it. Make it a fancy evening affair or something more casual. Use only locally sourced food or ensure the dishes are reusable or recyclable. The key is to get everyone involved in whatever fundraising you choose to do.
3. Community cleanup
Your business belongs to a community and you can become an integral and engaged part of that community. One way to do this is to help keep your community clean and beautiful. A great team building exercise to accomplish this is to engage in a community cleanup. This can be done in a nearby park or along local streets or the riverside. You can invite others in the community to join you or you can team up with a local environmental group. You can also make it into a contest. Divide employees into teams and see who can collect the most litter.
4. Tree planting
This might just be the ultimate green team building activity. When you plant trees together, employees don’t just get to bond with each other. They also feel they are doing something good for the earth and they get to contribute to reducing your company’s carbon footprint. Every single tree your employees plant acts as a filter for the atmosphere, pulling out harmful carbon dioxide and replacing it with fresh oxygen. Plus, trees make everything more beautiful.
You can plant trees around your company’s property, in local green spaces, or go bigger and help plant an urban or rural forest. Team up with a local tree planting organization and make a bigger difference. Your employees are bound to enjoy a day out planting trees and having fun in the process. Fresh air, sunshine, and helping the environment are all great ways to bring people together.
Ultimately, no matter what you choose to do to encourage team building through green initiatives, you will find you have happier, more productive employees as a result. You might also find it easier to bring new employees onboard and easier to retain employees. This will improve your bottom line by reducing employee turnover and increasing productivity in the workplace. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
For more information about sustainability branding, check out our eBook "Carbon Offset: Certification, Index, and Labels that Can Support Your Brand".