Training Your Staff

Training your staff to your environmental program is as important as developing one. You create ill-will with your guestswhen you tell them about your environmental actions and why it's important to be a steward of the environment, and then to have your staff ignore their requests for reusing towels and sheets, for example. Or if guests see your staff throw recyclable items away they get mixed messages, which undermines your plan.

Think of this training along the same lines as customer service training or team building training. You are building a team to shepherd your and green plan. And that team needs to pay attention to the customer service aspect of showing a united front so guests have faith in your sincerity toward a better environment.

Consider making your staff's education on your green plan part of your environmental health and safety training. There are enough health and safety issues involved with running a hotel that connecting your environmental program to that aspect of the hotel makes sense. For exapmle, it's too easy to mix the wrong chemicals, for example, so talking about why you are using a different approach to cleaning that will safeguard the staff while accomplishing the goal of cleaning the hotel. From there you can easily step into a discussion of laundry and why the towel/sheet re-use program is important. Then the newspaper and recycling programs are easy to discuss.

Train them well, follow up on their work, and repeat the training on a frequent and regular basis to help keep the program in the forefront of their minds. Have members from each department form a group or committee to develop routines and programs to strengthen the green plan you started. Their involvement will help ensure a successful environmental action plan.