How to engage your employees on sustainability

Organisations may have sustainability initiatives at the corporate level, but it is also important to engage employees to connect with these initiatives and participate in them. Bhavani Prakash shares how to engage employees on sustainability.

employee engagement
Engaging employees to participate in a company's sustainability programmes can yield tangible benefits such as cost savings, improved staff morale, and bonding. Image: Rawpixel /

Companies may have well established sustainability initiatives, but when it comes to attracting support and participation for them, how engaged are their employees, really? 

Even in companies with large global or regional sustainability programmes, there could still be a palpable disconnect from employees who see this as a top down initiative. Companies who manage to overcome this eventually gain many commercial and intangible benefits, such as cost savings and improved staff morale and bonding.

It can also be a real driver of innovation and a great way to attract and retain talent – especially Generation Y, who are increasingly looking to work in companies that reflect their own social and environmental values.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-being Index, an annual survey of job satisfaction among employees, the single most important way to engage workers is to give them meaningful work. The survey found that organizations that do this successfully have almost four times the earnings per share growth compared to organizations with lesser engagement in the same industry.

Any kind of culture change can be challenging and engaging employees on sustainability is no exception. However, there are positive stories which we can learn from to embed green practices in a company’s culture or to use as a driver for a more fundamental sustainability transformation at the product and process levels. 

So how can companies engage employees around sustainability? 

Here are some key steps that may help your organisation:

Find out more about fostering employee engagement around sustainability in the Eco-Business magazine here.

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