By Shelley Lotz
Easy steps to creating and managing a Green Team in the Spa Industry.
The green team process is the same one you would use for bringing in any new idea or initiative: Include the staff and clients in the call to action to build excitement and interest; Focus on the positive messages and why the initiatives are important to people and your business; and keep it simple, fun and innovative.
Steps to Success
- Vision: Create a compelling vision and inspirational call to action.
- Creative ideas: Brainstorm on greening the business.
- Assessment: Assess your current practices.
- Review: Look at potential best practices to implement.
- Goals: List and prioritize the sustainable goals.
- Planning: Outline the plan with timelines and action steps.
- Action Steps: Implement the sustainability initiatives.
- Measure results: Monitor the progress and assess metrics on a regular basis.
- Celebrate the success: Communicate the sustainability measures with the staff, clients and stakeholders to promote the success.
- Continue the momentum: Repeat these steps for your next idea.
The Team Process
The Culture of Values
People want to work in a spa that shares their values. Get clear on your values, image, and why sustainability matters to you and your stakeholders. Some spas are asking about sustainability preferences in interviews during the hiring process or as part of staff training. This is a good way to assess the training needs and get ideas from the staff. What are the sustainability issues that people care about? What sustainability practices would your team like to see the company use? Staff needs to be eco-conscious, as many clients now expect to see responsible practices that support their values.
Engage Your Staff
- Get participation and feedback.
- Provide education and training.
- Share the benefits of conservation efforts.
- Identify challenges and opportunities.
- Help your team understand your company facts, resource use, and impacts (how much waste is generated, cost, etc.)
- Have an engaging mission statement.
- Set specific, measurable goals and action steps.
- Use consistent messages and communicate expectations.
- Include training in orientation and on-boarding.
- Include initiatives in the student/employee handbook with procedures and policies.
- Share plans and achievements with the entire staff.
- Plan educational or award events: Make it fun and creative; use contests and rewards.
- Give incentives for conservation ideas.
- Recognize staff contributions.
- Share the progress with the staff and clients in messaging, meetings and newsletters.
Helpful Resources on Green Teams
- The GMIC Guide to Creating Green Teams
- Green Impact: Green Teams, Engaging Employees in Sustainability
- Hyatt Thrive Overview
- Green Spa Network Sustainability Assessment Toolkit
- Lotz, 2014. Green Spas and Salons: How to Make Your Business Truly Sustainable.