5 Ways Greening Boosts Hotel Staff Productivity
While consumer pressure is motivating the world’s finest hotels to operate more sustainable, going green isn’t just for pleasing guests. Making a hotel greener also provides a safer, healthier and more productive work environment for hotel staff. When done right, greening helps to foster a more positive work environment, which immediately translates into an overall better guest experience.
A study led by UCLA found that employees who worked for “green” companies were about 16% more productive than employees who worked for non-green companies.
Just think: what would a 16% increase in employee productivity do for your hotel?
5 Ways Green Hotels Boost Worker Productivity
1. Improving indoor air quality improves worker health.
Guests won’t appreciate not being able to breathe comfortably, but employees who have to work in the building for several hours each day won’t be pleased, either.
- Implement a non-smoking hotel policy.
- Only use non-toxic green cleaning products.
- Use no-VOC paints, furniture, carpets, etc.
- Check the hotel’s HVAC system and make sure the building is properly ventilated to prevent mold.
- Install an air purification system.
2. Upgrading lighting increases worker safety and health.
Did you know that poor lighting can not only make a front-desk seem sterile and cold to guests, and fatigue workers, as well? Upgrade your lighting design, and you can change all that – providing safety and security, while simultaneously projecting a feeling of warmth and welcoming for guests.
With today’s highly energy-efficient LED lights, you also get incredibly long lifespans and far less maintenance than incandescent bulbs, along with improved working conditions. Their superior brightness and color-rendering over CFLs helps regulate 3rd shift workers’ circadian rhythms;improving sleeping patterns and providing employees with healthier and more productive lifestyles.
Additional hotel benefits:
- LEDs can operate using about half of the electricity it takes for CFLs.
- The directional nature of LEDs makes them perfect for task lighting for front desk workers.
3. Reducing waste improves worker pride and morale.
Factories, restaurants and even some hotels have made efforts to go zero waste, diverting all trash from the landfill. By gradually implementing a program to divert waste from landfills, garbage fees are reduced. The benefit to employees who work in zero waste facilities is an enormous feeling of pride in knowing that they’re doing something that’s really easy, as well as great for the environment. They even tend to bring the waste reduction strategies they learn at work into their own lifestyles.
Make changes incrementally instead of all at once. Begin the initiative one department at a time and allow sufficient time to learn and make modifications.
4. Making better purchasing decisions improves worker attitudes and increases loyalty.
With responsible procurement (a.k.a. sustainable procurement), your hotel is taking environmental, social and ethical considerations into account before making any purchase decision. And according to Managing Business Ethics, “…when companies fulfill their employees’ expectations about corporate social responsibility (CSR), they can achieve better work attitudes, greater productivity and decreased turnover rate.”
Responsible procurement focuses on buying goods or services that are less harmful to the environment and human health than competing goods or services that serve the same purpose or function. It also helps to reduce waste.
- Focus on procuring goods and services produced locally, using sustainable materials that can be recycled. Make sure they’re produced by workers employed under good working conditions, and make fair living wages.
- Choose to procure goods and services from companies with high CSR standards.
5. Installing a building automation system lets hotel staff work with happier guests.
Building automation systems (BAS) have come a long way in a very short amount of time, and they’re continuing to develop new ways to improve energy savings through controlling lighting, HVAC systems, security systems, elevators and more. Today’s BAS even include features that allow guests to totally “customize” their room preferences before check-in; like pre-setting the temperature and lighting for their arrival.
Not every BAS is created equally. Work with an energy consultant to find the most appropriate BAS to achieve the greatest energy savings benefit, and enhance guest comfort in all areas of the hotel.
Forget about the enormous energy-savings, the positive CSR ratings, and the enormous PR and marketing benefits that greening a hotel provides. The important thing to remember is that by going green, you’re investing in improving the most important asset of any hotel – its PEOPLE, by boosting their morale, health and well-being.
What do you think? What other ways has greening your hotel made your guests and/or staff happier?