The green workplace
Updated: 2013-05-02 09:48
By Sun Ye (China Daily)
Guillermo Munro/China Daily
Xiao made the listeners gasp with some alarming facts in the "Where Does All the Garbage Go" presentation: Beijing's biggest refuse landfill will be full in four years. A plastic bag takes hundreds of years to decay. It can't be burned, or it will give off carcinogens.
About 10 staff members had volunteered to go on a weekend trip to the waste disposal plant and came back gushing with new ideas and initiatives for their workplace.
"Now they see why their work is worthwhile, otherwise sorting waste is boring and doesn't speak of necessity, " Xiao says.
Another upside to organizing green-themed field trips and lectures is that it boosts work morale. "I find our people bonding better. They feel respected and that they have become part of the restaurant and the city."
That reduces the staff turnover rate, a headache for human resources departments all over the city.
In the same way, Xiao lobbied for masks for Gung Ho's deliverymen. It costs an additional 3,000 yuan ($486) a year but Xiao has a calculated argument. Happier deliverymen who feel the company cares about their health and safety are less likely to quit.
In this way, a 3,000-yuan investment pre-empts frequent recruitment and training exercises, which may cost a lot more money otherwise.
Xiao also replaced disposable bowls and chopsticks at the staff canteen, saving more than 20,000 yuan for both the restaurant and its caterer.
To top that, "it turned out that everyone feels more at home with their own bowl and chopsticks," Xiao says.
That's just a few of the win-win solutions Xiao has managed to find. She attributes her knack of locating these sweet spots to sensitivity and passion.
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