Human Resource managers can play a vital role in helping businesses reduce their carbon footprint and attract new employees by developing strategies to save trees, energy and consumables.
Companies are increasingly focused on protecting the environment through initiatives for cleaner manufacturing processes and reducing energy and waste. In addition to saving money, earth-friendly policies can make them more desirable employers.
Job seekers have their eye on what companies are doing to address climate change. They are looking at a company’s green policies, the role the company plays in society during the pandemic and whether it offers a better work-life balance. Going green has an impact on the market and how companies are viewed by those who follow them, like them and want to work for them.
Lower pay OK
Seven out of 10 employees would be more likely to choose to work at an environmentally conscious business, a 2019 study found, and many said they would take a pay cut to do so. The survey of 1,000 employees at large U.S. companies was commissioned by Swytch, an Austin, Texas-based clean-energy platform.
HR management can advise operations, the finance group and the marketing team on what candidates are looking for in a potential employer, including its green reputation.
Implementing green policies can include such simple changes as providing employees with reusable cutlery, cups and plates and eliminating disposable items made from plastic, paper and Styrofoam in the break room; turning off lights and computers at the end of the workday; and buying refurbished furniture.
If you’re planning to create a green office for your business, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has several recommendations:
- Make locally produced healthy snacks available to the workforce.
- Place recycling and composting bins throughout the workplace.
- Bring live plants into the office and position employees’ workstations so they can see natural light.
- Use LED lightbulbs and automatic sensors to turn lights off when work areas aren’t being used.
Digital technology has changed the way we live and work. In step with a move by businesses toward greater sustainability is digital transformation. Digitalization can encompass changes including a move from paper manuals to electronic versions in PDFs posted on a company’s website, instant messaging and holding virtual meetings. Handbooks, policies, enrollment forms and employee files are being scanned and saved to the cloud to eliminate the use of paper.
Streamlining processes so they’re more efficient and effective is good for productivity. A Human Resource Information System (HRIS), such as Workday, is software that provides a centralized database for many HR functions. The downside is that as roles in HR change, some employees may need to be assigned to other positions. Eventually, robotic applications may replace some workers.
Artificial intelligence on the scene
Artificial intelligence is the wave of the future. AI already is being used in the recruiting field. Resumes are being screened by software to sort out applicants who aren’t qualified for the job before being reviewed by a manager. Employers who receive hundreds of resumes for a position don’t have the time to review them all. An automatic tracking system saves them time and money.
Applicants also may be screened on a laptop or digital device by a machine that asks questions and records their answers before talking to a manager at the company.
The software can be used at companies of all sizes.
Green Human Resources Management (GHRM) encompasses policies, practices and systems that encourage employees to make environmentally friendly decisions, resulting in an environmentally sensitive and socially responsible business. Small steps leading to sustainability, such as turning off lights and computers and using recycling bins, need employee buy-in to be successful.
Going green is good for the company, its employees and the environment. If you would like some advice on transforming your company into a green, digitalized workplace, I’m here to help.
50+ Job Seekers schedule
The 50+ Interactive Summer Event Series, in collaboration with Encore Boston Network and funded by AARP, includes: Let’s Have Some Summer Fun – Job Search Jeopardy, from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 24; Reinvention Boot Camp: Talk to the Pros from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 26; and Age Friendly/Diversity Inclusive Employer Forum, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 23.
The Massachusetts Library Collaborative meets from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays of the month from July through December.
The Latino/Hispanic 50+ Interactive Workshop Series meets from 1 to 3 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. The next meetings and topics are:
- Aug. 11: Get Ready for your Interview: Prepare!
- Aug. 25: Get Ready for Your Interview: Practice!
- Sept. 8: Create a Job Search Plan
- Sept. 22: Job Search Tool Box: What’s Missing?
The 50+ Job Seekers Networking Group’s workshops and meetings are virtual. The virtual doors open 15 minutes before the program starts. Pre-registration for first-time participants and advance registration is at https://50plusjobseekers.org/outreach/registration/
Those who are already registered with the program will receive an email about the 50+ Job Seekers workshops.
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