Working in a MRF can be rewarding

Methods for Improving Recycling Industry Employee Engagement, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we looked at the importance of employee engagement in the recycling industry, plus shared tactics for building a highly engaged workforce. Keeping employees not only happy, but also actively participating in the workplace and embracing company interactions and performance, can make the difference between a productive workplace and one with high turnover and low morale.

At Leadpoint, we’re proud to offer recycling and waste industry staffing and workforce services that build employee engagement, improve productivity and efficiency, reduce safety incidents, and generate profits for your operation. In this blog, we dig into several other approaches for team-building and encouraging employee engagement.

improving recycling employee engagement

Purpose and Personal Values

Particularly among the younger workers – millennials, Gen Zers – a job is about more than showing up to work and performing a task every day. The younger workforce wants to feel a true connection with the work they do and a purpose for the job that goes beyond just simply earning money.

In many cases, this includes working for a company that shares their personal values. The waste and recycling industry is a good example. Many people want to make a real difference in the environment and promote sustainability. Working in recycling is a great way to do it. Employers should clearly communicate both their values and the company’s mission statement to all employees, plus show them how the work they do directly contributes to both sets of values.

Communication – In Both Directions

Communication from management to employees should be consistent, authentic and transparent. Keep employees in the know; make sure they hear important news and information from their manager or supervisor and not on Reddit or the grapevine.  Keep channels open for dialogue about major company policies, decisions that impact employees in any way, and expectations on the job.

In addition, it’s vital to maintain an open line of communication in the other direction. Employees need to feel comfortable bringing new ideas, issues and problems to leadership without fear of retaliation or ambivalence. Not only should they have the right to voice concerns, they should know someone is genuinely listening to them.

Realistic Expectations

Finally, one of the simplest areas that speaks to employee engagement is being fair and realistic in all dealings. Make sure employees know they aren’t going to be punished for things they can’t control and that they are clear on the areas they are responsible for. Set realistic expectations for behavior, processes and procedures.  Rules and regulations should be applied evenly and fairly across all employee groups. One quick way to disengage a whole swath of employees at once is to create the perception that certain individuals or teams receive preferential treatment.

For more on how to promote employee engagement in the waste and recycling industry, or to learn more about high-performance work teams, speak to the staff at Leadpoint today.

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