Employees can make a difference in internalizing sustainability and translating high-level commitments from a corporate sustainability plan into action and results. Employees make far-reaching decisions impacting an organization's environment and social consequences on a daily basis. What is the evidence for employee engagement to further sustainability within organizations?
The post Employee Engagement Matters provides the following statistics as evidence for engagement:
• The Corporate Leadership Council reports that engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. Highly engaged organizations have 87% less staff turnover and 20% better performance than average.
• A global survey by Tower Perrins-ISR involving more than 664,000 employees in 50 companies found that the operating income of companies with engaged employees improved by 19% in one year, while it declined by 33% for companies with low levels of employee engagement.
• Fully engaged employees are 2.5 times more likely to exceed performance expectations than their disengaged colleagues.
• 59% of engaged employees say their job brings out their most creative ideas compared to only 3% for disengaged employees.
Corporate social responsibility
• Many factors, such as leadership, integrity, immediate management and fair treatment, influence employee engagement. However, increasing evidence shows that performance on sustainable development also plays part. For example, a survey by Ipsos Mori10 found that:
[pagebreak]Business sustainability presents the unique opportunity to increase profitability, gain and maintain a competitive advantage, and create meaningful work in the process. The key is in value alignment. How can organizational and employee values pair up to create engaged employees? Sustainable businesses with existing CSR and sustainability plans may have it a little easier, but those without can still create value. Increasing employee engagement means uniting the corporate sustainability plan with employee values. Aside from the positive impact sustainable business practices deliver to the bottom line, today’s employees are looking for more than just the ‘green’ in their paycheck.
Employees want growth opportunities: Young people have always wanted to start on career paths with growth opportunities, and the opportunities related to Green Jobs are growing exponentially.
Employees want to make a difference: A MonsterTRACK study states that 80 percent of young professionals are interested in a career that makes a positive impact on the environment, and 92 percent prefer to work for a company that is green, environmentally friendly, or has some general eco-awareness.
Employees seek energy-conscious employers: According to a poll by Mortgage Lenders Network USA, 94 percent of Americans prefer to work in a building that is designed to be energy efficient and ecologically sound, recognizing LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council as a common standard.
Employees prefer telecommuting options: The necessity to physically change locations in order to accomplish a task has recently been challenged by employee value for energy conservation, environment impacts, family values, and other issues.
Employees want employers to walk the talk: In Portland, Oregon, your company isn’t really green unless there is a bike cage in the parking structure, a compost bin in the lunchroom, fume-free paint on the walls, and recycled glass on the lobby front desk.
Employees gravitate towards common sustainable goals: Organizations that are creating business sustainability through an elevated sense of teamwork and establishing an emotional tie between the employee and the organization are attracting top talent.
There is much more to employee engagement than satisfaction. Today’s business sustainability leaders realize that a productive workforce must be keenly aligned with the goals of the organization.
Julie Urlaub is the founder and managing partner of Taiga Company, a sustainability social media consulting firm, where she aids clients to powerfully engage in sustainability-related issues and stakeholder communications in the social space. She can be contacted at www.taigacompany.com | @taigacompany | Facebook/TaigaCompany