Article: How Green is your HR?


How Green is your HR?

Here are some innovative steps which can help your organization towards increased productivity, employee retention, cost reduction, psychological empowerment and brand recognition.
How Green is your HR?

"Please consider the environment before printing". You must have seen this message on a thousand emails. Have you actually pondered upon the motive behind? Taking care of environment is not someone else’s job. And it’s here that the Green Human Resource Management (GHRM) has played a small initiative to nurture the nature to have a better future for our businesses.

As goes the saying, “you cross the bridge only when you get to it”, GHRM has come into play heralding the dawn of a new green corporate world. 

According to an SHRM survey, about 68% companies are already ahead of the curve with this GHRM approach which has increased their employment bonding and brand recognition in the market.  

So let’s not beat about the bush and see what is so green about human management? How HR department is working for it at the drop of a hat. 

Here are some of the GHRM initiatives

GHRM is an official proclamation that helps to initiate a green drive in any organization. Such an objective can be achieved right through the HRM processes of recruiting, hiring, training, compensating and performance management. Below are some of the important GHRM initiatives being implemented by the HR departments: 

Green hiring

HR department are now following green hiring policies to attract fresh blood into their talent pool. Firms such as Walmart, Siemens, Bayer and Mannesmann are adopting GHRM practices in order to create that green image to magnetize more candidates towards their company helping in their brand recognition. Typical green recruiting includes video recruiting to minimize travel requirement and inviting applicants via email, online application forms or the Global Talent Pool.

Green performance management (GPM)

Green management has also dived into performance management process. GPM centres on the varied environmental issues and the responsibilities of every employee to eradicate them. The most important element of PM is performance appraisal. This can be linked with the motive to gain solutions on issues such as environmental responsibilities, green information system and audits. The HR staff should reform the performance appraisal system to rate people on the basis of their goals achieved in safeguarding the environment. 

Green training

This is also on integral part of GHRM wherein the HR staff of the company can offer a wide range of environmental leadership programs to the employees to tune their personal values to be more eco-centric and self-transcendent. 

Green rewards

Compensation and rewards are like the shining armor of any company which motivates any employee to give their blood and sweat. In a study conducted by Forman and Jorgensen (2011) on the importance of employee participation in environmental programs, it was observed that with the introduction of compensation benefits, employee commitment to environmental issues pullulated to a striking number.

Green employee engagement

A management initiative without employee engagement is baseless. Eco-friendly ideas should be welcomed from all employees driving their interest to environmental issues and utilize their problem solving skills and individual thinking; rendering a sense of psychological empowerment in them.

Green employee relations

Employees are an intangible asset to any company and to knit an amicable bond between employer and employee is the main focus of HRM. Employee relations can be ameliorated by introducing an environmental scheme in the organization, wherein each and every employee from top to lowest level can come together onto a common colloquium to contribute to the scheme. This lets to immense interchanging of ideas creating an eco-friendly work culture.

Green building

Gone are the days of the traditional office buildings. Organizations today are embracing green buildings. There involves a great deal of financial saving in construction and maintenance. Green buildings promise to give immediate and long-term economic benefits for the developers as well as the occupants. Organizations like Pepsico, Johnson & Johnson have incorporated the concept of green buildings into their system. Energy positive building allowing ample natural light to usher in also helps in cost cutting of electricity. Other innovations being incorporated are facilities for rainwater harvesting along with huge amount of condensate from air conditioners. 

Energy conservation

Conservation of energy has a humongous potential towards environment protection. Offices around the globe are stressing to switch off PCs, ACs and lights before leaving the work place and some have introduced the idea of car-pooling to have a check on carbon emissions.

The 3 Rs

At present, the entire corporate world is humming the 3Rs of environment saving mantra i.e., Reduce, Reuse and Recycle to breathe in more of oxygen into their lungs for a longer life to work more.

Why HR is important in this initiative 

With HR as the only department which intertwines with all the employees of the company, so it is the right team to bring in the concept of Green HRM into the company. Today GHRM is not only an effective approach towards burning environmental issues but also instills a CSR on the HR department towards the company.

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Topics: Culture, Employee Engagement

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