If sustainability is high on your agenda then you may find results from a study conducted as part of the UK’s Avery Green Office Week interesting: 95% of employees surveyed said helping the environment was important to them in some way, with 9 in 10 citing that their companies could do a lot more for the environment. Employees also consider themselves greener at home than they are at work. Barriers to being more eco-friendly at work included lack of resources and lack of support from management.
Have you considered how employee engagement can drive your sustainability strategy? Take a moment to think about how you can leverage sustainability initiatives to engage your employees and create a values-driven culture of collaboration and creativity. In order for your company to be sustainable – start with getting employees involved and encouraging engagement. There are a few reasons why this is important:
- Employees understand the company best
There are almost no other stakeholders that know your company better than your employees, especially within their operational functions/area. Employees are usually very aware of inefficiencies and should have insight into opportunities to be more efficient as they are the ones being influenced by them. Given a voice, employees might have many brilliant ideas on how to do things better. Where sustainability is tied to innovation, having employees committed to this is key.
- Engaged employees are more likely to support sustainability
When employees are engaged and have input into decisions and initiatives regarding sustainability in the company, they are much more likely to support those initiatives. Also make sure your company has enough processes in place to make it easy to be sustainable – a lack of empowerment, facilities and communication are key reasons why employees are not greener at work. Additionally, if their actions at work delivers tangible results, such as saving money or getting rewards, employees will be more motivated to take part in initiatives.
- Sustainability influences morale, employee retention and a positive culture
Engaging employees in sustainability excites and motivates them. It gives them a sense of belonging and drives passion and purpose. For a business to truly thrive and have real sustainability, it’s critical to achieve a positive company culture where its employees “buy in” and everyone’s on board. Taking measures to create a positive company culture will increase employee morale and build trust with your staff – putting your company in a favourable position and ensuring better involvement with sustainability.
- Everyone has a responsibility towards our planet
Businesses have enormous potential to improve the health of our planet and citizens, and every company has a moral obligation to improve the conditions of a system that helps them to achieve success. Sustainability in the workplace is about creating a shift that brings out humanity in your business. Instead of making it all about the company having a positive image, employees should be encouraged to focus on what they can do to help on an individual level – because they want to and not just because the company says so.
- Employees are the face of your business
Your employees are the ones working closely with customers and they are responsible for much of the image that people will have about your company. Moreover, companies that distribute their sustainability reports broadly among employees find that they often share this information with their families, friends and neighbours, as well as with customers and suppliers – therefore, you need to make sure that the message going out to other people about your business is a positive one.
The Carbon Report leverages internally developed technology to help organisations of varying complexity report and manage their carbon footprint. Have a look on our website for more information about the services we offer or contact us to find out how we can help your business.