Our motto is influence responsibility – and if this is something that resonates with you, you may be keen to understand how you can get employees thinking about sustainability more positively. We work with numerous large-scale supply-chain operations for global brands, and many of them have similar issues. Whilst a computer can detail the gaps in your business, inventory waste hot spots, and potential profitable changes to be made; it’s a team who need to make these changes. Our sustainability scorecard can help – balancing purpose and profit and rallying the team together around clear, incremental goals.
Understandably, there is a keen interest from most people on the planet to learn the secrets of how to make people’ tick’. Imagine if you could convince people to act in a certain way on a huge scale! Certainly a superpower you would want in the right hands.
Many companies and global enterprises come up against issues when trying to integrate genuinely beneficial behaviours around things like sustainability due to the need to act fast. This leads to seeking compliance, not a genuine change and desire.
Compliance is the lowest level of conformity, where a person changes their public behaviour and the way they act – but not always their private beliefs. The result is that this produces short-term changes, the antithesis to a long term proposed business change.
With that being said, there is a great phrase:
“Your actions become your habits,
Habits become your values,
Values become your destiny.”
In other words, whilst short term, face-value change might feel like a stop-gap, it’s setting the stage for a learned behaviour that leads to better results.
What tips would we have for a company leader right now?
Work as a team with a common aim (or enemy)
Condoleezza Rice once said, “We need a common enemy to unite us.” And when it comes to business change, this works surprisingly well. Just like a sports team heading out to go head to head with a rival, to get people fired up about sustainability you need to make it a challenge that they can win. Having a third party to ‘rise up against’ does just this.
Sustainability can be an emotive topic, but it can also be hard to distil down into small, bitesize chunks of change that feel actionable. That’s where we come in. While we would never like to describe ourselves as ‘a common enemy’ on our marketing literature, it’s actually how we work. Because our sustainability scorecard or ‘Orderly Score’ uses recommendations to suggest ways to reduce waste and increase sustainability to each stakeholder in your supply chain, it also acts as a ‘third party’.
It means when a manager is getting direct recommendations for improving sustainability, they are driven to ask each team member for specific, small, incremental changes in order to improve their overall score. There’s no guesswork. No blame – just an instruction generated by AI that’s proven to work.
When they see that it does work – it’s both uniting and exciting. The Orderly Score on their sustainability scorecard increases and they see a change in the real world.
While this is happening; it’s also breeding a habit and becoming second nature. Combined with incentives and rewards, what started as another task that they may or may not have been engaged with, soon becomes a real area of pride for employees – and in turn, that change then becomes ‘who you are’ and the ‘how you work’ as a business.
Sustainability Scorecards that promote change in a different way
You may be surprised to know that change leadership that emphasizes what is good about the envisioned change and bad about the current state of affairs could be fuelling a fire of worry. It can signal that changes will be fundamental and far-reaching. It’s the way most of us talk about changes – to sell the dream. Still, a survey of 209 employees and their supervisors that announced organizational change plans (including relocations and business expansions, reorganizations, structural or technical changes, product changes, changes in leadership, and mergers) is worthy of note.
The study looked at how effective the leadership was in stimulating employee support for the change, tracked from supervisor ratings of employee behaviour. It showed that leadership was more effective in building support for change when leaders could communicate a vision of continuity.
In short, to overcome resistance and build support, there has to be an appealing vision. Again, this is why tech fits so well into supply chain management. It’s already an integrated way of working for many of us. With Orderly, you don’t have to oversell the dream or create worrying obstacles or off-putting grand desires. All you need to ask is that employees follow the small AI generated recommendations, over and over.
“Great things are not done by impulse,
but by a series of small things brought together.”
Then when the results are shown – there’s buy-in. With the Orderly score surfacing 2 recommendations through our sustainability scorecard to every person in your organisation each week. These results add up – person-by-person, team-by-team, week-by-week, year-by-year.
Make it inclusive – and add some fun
If you’ve ever spent time with a child, you’ll have the basics of psychology down. Encouraging good behaviour through reward is very effective. We’re not saying to treat your employees like children, but the basic principles carry through to the workplace. Think about performance metrics. How about recognising top achievers and effort? A structured programme of reward and recognition will take your efforts to top tier levels. We can ensure appreciation and positive reinforcement for everyone. A small investment in the budget in this area is certainly worth considering. This goes hand-in-hand with physical (or Zoom based!) recognition of effort and positive steps.
We’ve built this into our technology to help. The green typography signifying ‘good news’. The smile-like emblem on a ‘you are performing’ notification of an AI scorecard. We even provide the simplicity of breaking daily tasks down into one easy to view area. If you can make sustainability rewarding, fun and engaging, you’re likely to see results much faster.
After you’ve implemented the tech, and the team are implementing the changes, you can then start building an engaged community. This community can maintain momentum and share successes. Champion the employees who’ve helped. Demonstrate how much they have saved in monetary or volumes. It could even become a great PR story or a company touchpoint.
Sustainability can feel heavy – but your employees don’t need to feel that burden. Enlighten and enrich their experience of sustainability changes with fun initiatives and rewards around our profit and sustainability scorecard.
And one final thing – keep your team engaged beyond the tech solution you purchase! Whilst we love our product and know you will too, we aren’t the whole solution. Asking your employees for their ideas, initiatives, and insights will develop and even more well-rounded strategy. Orderly’s sustainability scorecards can support you all the way – increase profitability and responsibility.