Changing Behaviors in the Workplace - Employee Engagement at W.W. Grainger Inc.


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  • I’d like to introduce you all to Al & Betty. Al & Betty are Grainger customers. With an aging workforce and a shortage of skilled labor, Al & Betty have more to do and less time & resources to get the job done than ever. They understand the value of their time and, like all businesses, are looking for ways to control costs.
  • Now I’d like to introduce you to the Grainger team. We are 22,000 strong and span 4 generations. We are lucky to work for one of Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Best Places to Work For so we tend to stay a while – we’re tenured. We have are
  • We have a long history of charitable giving
  • volunteering
  • and responding to disasters as the National Founding sponsor of the American Red Cross’ Ready When the Time Comes Program.
  • Grainger In 2006, Grainger started a program called Tools for Tomorrow taking on the skilled labor shortage by providing scholarships to students pursuing technical education degrees.
  • So when we started thinking about the environment, what matter to our customers and to our team members, a slew of new opportunities presented themselves.
  • We identified 7 key areas where we could employ a triple-bottom line approach to deliver value to the organization and our customers. Our first step was to engage team members.
  • That brings us back to these guys. An extremely passion group of cross-generation, multi-cultural team members with extremely diverse backgrounds, perspectives and opinions.
  • For the sake of time, I’m going to fast forward to Earth Day 2012. We had a lot of starts and stops along the way.
  • … . Lots of false starts
  • So we decided to really think about things
  • By partnering with the Shelton Group we set using this process. First – Listen to our team members (a novel idea) and figure out where they are, what they know and what they think about sustainability Then Learn – aggregate the responses and analyze their feedback Interpret the feedback by comparing responses, identifying trends and comparing responses Then it was time to think about how to se the data to communicate with our team members Finally we had something to say…. … so let’s quickly look at some of the feedback we received.
  • Across the organization, team members have a diverse understanding of the concept of sustainability, with top responses from team members including environmental friendly (21%), maintainable (20%) and resource conservation/utilization (19%).
  • Attitudinally, the majority of employee’s believe Grainger is committed to sustainability (77%), although fewer see that commitment reflected among senior leaders (67%) and their direct management (58%).
  • Just over half (51%) of team members claim to be aware of Grainger’s sustainability goals and initiatives; mostly noting recycling initiatives, greener product offering, and LEED certification.
  • Current employee communication tools were limited in their reach – particularly for DC employees. More on-site and face-to-face communication is likely needed.
  • So we decided to really think about things
  • Problem #1 – there was no consistent understanding of what sustainability meant to Grainger
  • The Green Ambassador program is a developing initiative program focused on leveraging the “3 P’s” of sustainability – people, profit, and planet . Green Ambassadors: Engage team members that have a passion for sustainability and corporate social responsibility Use a continuous improvement mindset to find ways to reduce costs and improve productivity Focus on ideas that will help preserve the environment for generations to come
  • Changing Behaviors in the Workplace - Employee Engagement at W.W. Grainger Inc.

    1. 1. Promote Responsible Resource Use Conserve Energy Improve Transportation Efficiency Build Team Member Engagement Protect Corporate Reputation Manage Carbon Footprint 1st Choice Customer Offer Grainger’s Sustainability Strategic Framework Sustainability We will operate our business to help preserve and improve the environment. We will help our customers by offering productsand services that are more sustainable or that will make our customers more sustainable.
    2. 2. What does the word ‘sustainable’ mean to you?
    3. 3. What is Grainger’s commitment level?
    4. 4. Are you aware of current initiatives?
    5. 5. How should we communicate?