At any moment our brains can handle 11 million bits of information. Of that 11 million, we prioritise only 50. Of that 50, we only remember 7, yes ONLY 7 things!
Not great news when we are trying to retrain the brains of our colleagues to remember which bin to use for which waste, and when to turn off lights, equipment and PC monitors at the end of the day. We’re up against all the big shiny distractions of radio and TV adverts, last night’s football scores, plus other noise and interference that bobble around in our heads.
“Which supermarket was it that has the BOGOF offer on the pizzas that the kids like”?
“Can I get away with not washing my hair”? And so on…and that’s just the Ladies!
Blokes, now that’s a different matter!! Sorry fellas, we love you dearly but 7 whole things in a moment? Really??
So joking aside, how do we keep everyone engaged in our sustainability activities?
First of all, it’s about ensuring that we all understand the why. Why we are asking for a change in behaviour? What are the consequences of not doing it? Does it really matter and what does it all mean to me?
What happens if we don’t meet our Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? It’s not unusual for KPIs to plateau after low hanging fruits have been harvested, but this can become a problem if colleagues are not connected with your process.
To be able to stay abreast and then to stretch and really make a difference, having full staff engagement is the key to consistently bridging the gap and smashing through targets to greater efficiency and cost savings, and particularly important if you report to a regulator or a supply chain.
At the MAKE UK conference this year, Dame Katherine Grainger who is Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian explained that achieving your best performance takes a team effort, with everyone pulling together to find the smallest margins to get over the line first.
So is everyone on your sustainability bus, all pulling together to achieve the most sustainable performance in your organisation?
Sustainability work is not a short journey, it’s a long one, and your bus needs to be able to carry all your passengers in comfort.
Are you sure that your colleagues on your bus have sustainability action as one of their top 7 remembered things? Not just for the sake of ourselves but that of our future generations.
If so, could this make 7 our lucky number?