EMS – 5 Ways to Empower your Employees


The successful implementation of an Environmental Management System (EMS) requires the participation of the entire work force.  The following are 5 ways to empower your employees and encourage active participation within the EMS.

  1. Training – Supervisors and employees should not only be trained on the legal requirements of the permits, but also on the regulations behind the permits.  Education is the first step to empowering employees.
  2. Participation – Encourage employees to participate in environmental programs. This could include risk assessments, assessment of environmental aspects, setting of goals and objectives, development of action plans, etc.  Employees should also be encouraged to participate in regulatory and other required inspections.
  3. Information Updates – Supervisors and employees appreciate being kept up to date on permitting and regulatory issues on a regular basis.  This can take place at your regularly scheduled safety meetings or could be in the form of a regular newsletter.
  4. Feedback – Provide employees with feedback on actions or efforts that have taken place to maintain regulatory compliance or protect the environment.  If an employee has done something extraordinary, let them know.  Providing positive feedback is an essential element to empowering employees.
  5. Visible Leadership – Schedule time to interact with employees during the course of the week.  Some employees may not offer up suggestions and ideas if they have to come to you.  Visit with employees during the course of their daily activities.  Regular interaction will build relationships and allow everyone to become involved in the EMS.

Empowering employees is an essential element to successfully implement an effective EMS.  How do you empower your employees?  Please provide comments and feedback below.