Why HR Needs to Lead Internal Green Business Changes

The human resources of any business are the originator and prescriber of company culture. In order to make any changes in company and employee behavior, it will thus be incumbent to ensure that professional human resources are involved and that it drives this process. Something as critical to financial savings and global business sustainability, such as the green business changes occurring today, are thus programmed to fail unless driven and managed by the human resource component of your business.

The green changes that HR should drive

There are certain business changes that employees may need to be guided through if your business wants them to stick. This is where the expertise and specific knowledge base of professional human resources will be essential.

Water-saving

For green business changes, the manner in which any resource is used must be interrogated and improved. Employees and management alike need to buy into the fact that anyone who deals with or uses water on the company site should do so with the ethos and values of the company in mind.

Energy usage and savings

The way that energy is used and the specific company that is used to provide such energy may not seem an HR issue, but staff should be informed as to why the business uses who they do, whether it is because it is cheaper and affects the company’s bottom line and thus employee wages, as well as what the suppliers green credentials look like. Staff should be made aware of the different rates and the companies that offer them, so using apps and sites similar to businesscomparison.com provides a great discussion point and rationale for the energy decisions made by the company.

How HR changes behavior

Human resources staff have been trained in the process of changing and improving staff behavior, and as such, understand the levers of change that can be used. Staff training for improved understanding of energy consumption is arguably the only real way that staff can be made part of the energy choices made by the business. It is also such training that improves the ability of the employee to fully understand the change and work with it rather than against such changes.

Motivation and reward for changes are the simplest way to encourage staff and employees to stick to the changes and improvements in energy usage.

Sustaining the change

Making any energy and resource use changes stick will be testament to the role of HR in the business. Having the idea, making a plan and even implementing such a plan for changes can only work if sustained. The rewards and incentives as aforementioned will go a long way to encouraging sustainable change, but it is more of a mindset change that is required. Once the rewards and incentives for change run out then it is often expected that the changed behavior may not be long-lasting. Thus, employees must be given a sense of autonomy by the human resources team, and be made to believe and feel that they are in control of their destiny and in some way the destiny of the business.

Having a professional human resource team or individual lead on any critical business changes is key for seamless and efficient transitions. Making savings through changes to greener energy or more efficient suppliers is but one of the examples wherein human resources has proven essential for business change.

Jennifer Alex

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