The green challenge for HR managers

Environmental sustainability is everyone’s business. No matter what you believe, the idea of making the planet a cleaner, healthier place is a goal that we can all work towards cooperatively.

Businesses, with their focus on returning their investment, ensuring growth and continuing financially sustainable means of production, are not always at the forefront of environmental policy. Many also utilise large amounts of natural resources in their production phase – or in the case of mining companies, the resource is their product. It is important that companies realise the impact they can have, and work towards softening their impact to become more sustainable.

With CEOs and other senior executives concerned primarily with the day-to-day operation demands of a company, HR is an ideal place to look for the implementation of methods that promote sustainability and conservation. With an ability to communicate with every member of staff, and proven track record of implementing new strategies for issues like cooperation and management, HR professionals are the obvious choice.

Putting your green foot forward

Making the leap with green initiatives can be daunting, especially when you must convince your superiors of the necessity. Here are some of the benefits that going green can have on a workplace:

  • Improved employee morale
  • Stronger public image
  • Increased consumer/customer confidence
  • Employee loyalty and brand recognition
  • Increased workforce productivity, and
  • Employee retention.

As human resources superstars, you have the ability to persuade those in charge, then connect with your company’s employees for the best results.

Green – the colour of efficiency

Sustainable practices can often lead to greater efficiency. Moving company data to a solely electronic system, and encouraging email communication over paper memos can do wonders for information retrieval. No longer will you have to search through mountains of files – all the information is at your fingertips. Superior electronic systems also enable teleconferencing and telecommuting, leading to reductions in the carbon footprint of employees and, therefore, the company.  

Human resources can facilitate these changes by examining the company and targeting specific departments sequentially, so that the change to an electronic management system happens gradually, with adequate time for handovers. For more complex systems, their logistical backgrounds will be very useful for encouraging employees to skill up and attend training seminars.

Gradually green

Both executive and employees can be reluctant to change, despite knowing the benefits. Patience and enthusiasm will go a long way in enticing the company to remain committed to its ‘green’ direction. HR can assist in this process by ensuring everyone has access to as many support systems and advice as necessary. Leading by example is also a powerful tool. If you embrace sustainable management practices, it won’t be long before others are following your lead.

If you’d like to learn how to combat these challenges and more, why not consider a Master of Human Resources Management with RMIT. Our Student Advisors are always on hand to help you to skill up or embrace a new direction, contact them today on 1300 701 171.