In the current business environment, there is a great deal of pressure to be green. There is the external pressure from society that emphasizes a better tomorrow. There is also internal pressure that comes from within the business that emphasizes long-term sustainability and profitability.
In this discussion, there is often a great deal of focus on developing green practices for the business. Popular, effective solutions include digitization, energy-saving features on electronics, and various recycling programs. There is not, however, nearly enough focus on the maintenance and evolution of those strategies. The unfortunate truth is that most green practices in the workplace eventually wither and die.
So how do we prevent that from happening in our workplace? Well, a particularly effective approach is performance management (PM). PM is a technology used by all businesses to maintain and improve employees, whole departments, processes and organizations. PM is a series of methods such as performance planning, performance coaching and performance appraisal from Halogen that can manage and improve both behavior and results.
In other words, the way to develop and maintain green practices in the workplace is to treat the green strategy just as you would treat any other component of the business. The three primary phases of any organization development (OD) is performance planning, performance coaching and performance appraisal. These phases combine to be an ongoing and circular process.
1. Performance Planning
In this phase, the company identifies its goals and then potential solutions. It is not good enough simply to choose, for instance, to implement a recycling program. The business must know what it is trying to achieve with that program, which allows it to set goals and quantify performance. As mentioned, this is a circular process, which allows for innovation and experimentation at this stage, since short-term failures are manageable and acceptable.
2. Performance Coaching
Performance coaching is the phase where the supervisor intervenes with managers and managers intervene with personnel to provide feedback and adjust performance. In the earliest stages of the going green process, strategies will fail, be inefficient and require tweaking for that particular business environment. This is the phase where most small businesses fail because they do not train employees, integrate them into the overall process, and listen to their feedback.
3. Performance Appraisal
Ongoing adjustment is vital, but it is equally crucial to perform reflection. Goals allows us to have benchmarks, and those benchmarks allow us to analyze past performance. In the second phase, we’re adjusting on the fly, but this is a much more measured approach that will prepare us to reenter the first phase. In time, our green efforts will be an efficient, streamlined process, and this phase will exist solely to ensure that it remains as such.
Developing green practices is about finding strategies that improve the environment and eliminate or limit any negative effects from our business. Maintaining such green practices requires treating them as business ventures. Only by identifying goals, and assessing and adjusting our attempts to meet those goals, can our business truly achieve green practices that work and are sustainable over the long term.
Image Source: Go Green Shuttle.com