Over my many years in business, I have worked alongside many large and small companies to set up their new recycling programs. Although there are differences depending on how big your company is, there is one thing that remains consistent in setting up a new recycling program with employees. Getting your employees ‘buy-in’ to the program is probably the most essential component to being successful. Now obviously your incentive program and abilities will depend on your budget, but here are six great tips that will work regardless.
If you have a few hundred plus employees working for you, then that means your parking lot is a valuable place for incentives. One great aspect of using this approach is that it costs almost no money at all to do. Assign 2 to 3 parking spots towards the front that are specifically allocated for your “Green” Employee of the month. While it might not seem like that big of a deal, when you have to walk a long distance to get inside (especially when it's cold), this will surely get people incentivized and trying harder each month to do what you're asking of them.
- Pizza party
If you're in trying to incentivize employees but only have a small budget to work with, Pizza parties or a free lunch can go along way. Just set out your specific goals that you have for the month and if they are able to meet those goals, hold a little private party for them to celebrate. Not only will they work harder for the free launch, but it will also work on the psychological level for them to have a friendly competition within the company.
- Redeemable points
This works really well, especially if you have a little bigger budget to work with. Come up with a specific point system that people are able to build up points over time and redeem those points for specific prizes. The more points you earn, the better the prizes gets. This way when you are walking by a specific area and see an employee doing something good, you can use positive reinforcement to give them points. Others will see this and soon follow suite. This is also beneficial because it leaves the employee in control for what they do and don't want to spend their point on. Some people will go for instant gratification and redeem their points at the lowest level, where other employees will store and save up enough to get what they really want. Either way, they are in control.
- Public recognition
You might be surprised but this one can actually go a really long way when getting employees to take the lead on a new project. Finding time once a month or once a quarter to gather everyone together and have your boss or owner of the organization publicly recognize a specific employee (or group of employees) for their efforts will definitely result in higher morale and a shift in culture.
- Vacation day
If you have bigger goals that take longer to achieve (like six months or a year) then this incentive will work well. Giving your employee an extra vacation or sick day is always effective. This is also good for long-term projects because it keeps them focused on the prize, even if it takes longer to achieve. It's very similar to employees that earn vacation or sick days for every X number of days they work throughout the year.
- MONEY, MONEY, MONEY!
While this incentive might not be for every company, it is by far the most effective way to get what you want. There are endless possibilities of how you can structure this, but it is definitely the one that will work every time. Money drives the world, economics, and will surely drive your employees to put in extra effort on a project.
Let me know your thoughts on this and please share other incentive programs that were implemented at your work. Thanks for reading and please submit any questions or ideas you might have about your recycling program.
As always, thanks and have a GREEN day everyone!!!
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