Green Friendly Company – Employee Satisfaction


Dear M&M:

I would like become a more green friendly company.  What are a few simply things I can do?


Dear Sally:

Here are a few very simply things we found:

Document Handling; Some businesses require the use of hard copy documents, but most small businesses can turn the office into a paperless or close to paperless office. Reducing your use of paper can range from only printing documents when necessary to choosing to send documents to clients electronically instead of by mail. Reducing your paper use cuts down on the expense of buying office paper as well as storing the paper because you do not need file folders, hanging folders or as many filing cabinets as paper-using offices. Natural Decorations; Rather than buying trinkets to decorate your office or workspace, consider natural options, such as green plants. Green plants can make a nice addition to your office decor, but can also help to clean the air in your business space because plants give off oxygen and suck up the carbon dioxide in the room.

Energy Efficiency; Although installing solar energy panels green your office, you do not have to change everything at once for your business to go green. When an appliance or piece of equipment in your office needs replacing, replace it with an energy-efficient option. For example, appliances that carry the Energy Star rating can reduce your business use of water and electricity, which is ultimately better for the environment and for your utility bills.

Recycle; Not only can you find ways to recycle products in your business, but you can also buy office supplies and products made of recycled products, according to CNN Money. Companies such as the Green Earth Office Supply and The Green Office are good sources to buy recycled paper products and other business supplies. You can install bins in the office break room so cans, office paper, newspapers and other recyclable items you use in daily business operations can go to the recycling plant rather than wind up in the landfill.

Sell Green; Office Depot suggests businesses can sell green to customers, vendors and suppliers as much as it can take actions to be green. For example, when using promotional items as giveaways, use items than can be used over again. Instead of disposable pens, give coffee mugs instead. If you sell products in packaging, make sure that you are using recycled and or recyclable packaging for the product.



Dear M&M:

Is there a checklist I can use to see if my employees are happy at work?

– Mike

Dear Mike:

It isn’t easy to identify unsatisfied employees just by looking at them. The signs and symptoms of dissatisfaction and low morale are often more subtle. However, there are common trends among unsatisfied employees that indicate you might have a problem that you need to address. Disgruntled employees can negatively affect productivity, morale and the reputation of your company.

Attendance; Regular tardiness, high absenteeism and long lunch breaks are common among dissatisfied employees and often accompany low productivity. When other employees have to fill in for absent co-workers, resentment builds and low morale spreads. Attendance problems are sometimes an indication that the employee is dealing with pressing personal issues rather than work issues, so good communication is important for discovering where the problem lies.

Quality of Work; Productivity is a good indicator of employee satisfaction. If an employee’s quality of work falls off dramatically, it may be an indication of dissatisfaction. It could also be caused by personal issues or problems with co-workers, so it’s important to find out the underlying cause. Regular errors, sloppy work and low productivity are not only signs of an unsatisfied employee; they can affect a company’s bottom line.

Complaints; Inattention to detail and inaccurate work affects customers, clients and co-workers. An increase in customer complaints can point to a problem with a specific employee or groups of employees. Co-workers may complain about having to deal with the results of poor work done by others. An employee may be facing unrealistic expectations or a high workload, or may need more training. The reasons for complaints should be addressed before the company starts to lose clients.

Attitude; A bad attitude can manifest in frequent complaints, arguments and poor customer service. Everyone has an off day now and then, but continual sullenness and outbreaks of temper can affect the whole office. An employee who fails to follow instructions or refuses requests from supervisors is not a happy employee. Sudden changes in appearance and hygiene are symptoms of a negative attitude. Resolve the issues underlying poor attitude immediately before it spreads in the company.

Turnover; People regularly leave jobs to advance their careers or for personal reasons, but employees leaving in droves may point to a high level of dissatisfaction. An employee with some seniority in the company suddenly turning in a resignation is often a signal that something is wrong within your organization. Exit interviews are an opportunity to discover why employees are leaving the company and may identify areas in which to improve.

Warning; Most unsatisfied employees are unhappy with their jobs for specific reasons, many of which can be addressed. However, in some cases, the signs an unsatisfied employee exhibits may be a precursor to workplace violence. Train management and staff to recognize some of the warning signs that can lead to violence, such as threats, property destruction, overt hostility and talk of suicide. Make it clear to employees that such behavior should immediately be reported to management.



To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email


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