How to engage employees in the sustainability culture

CRS Trends  »  Sustainability culture   »   How to engage employees in the sustainability culture

The latest studies show how only 20% of employees globally feel engaged with the company they work at. One of the main causes of this is the lack of a clearly defined and communicated purpose.

We all have the need to feel that what we do goes beyond just showing up at work and earning a salary; it is also important to feel somewhat proud of the place we work at and to know that we do is contributing to build a better world. But data shows most of the working populations disregards its chores beyond what it is strictly asked from them. It is here that sustainability can become a force for change.

Those companies centering their efforts in sustainability and social responsibility are more likely to have satisfied employees that contribute to build a workplace with mush less tensions at a personal and professional level. In other words, sustainability can be that purpose to feel engaged with and for which to fight for in an environment defined by cooperation and personal and social progress.

Culture and corporate purpose

Corporate culture refers to the values, principles, behaviors, expectations and beliefs of the governance of the company.

A strong corporate culture with a clear and defined purpose is an essential part of the efficiency and profitability of any organization. . Diversity, empowerment, transparency and communication, among others, are key factors that define the corporate culture.

Sustainability can also be considered like a pillar for corporate culture, as well as the factor that will help push others forward, making such culture integrated all across the company.

But it is important to remember that each stakeholder is different from the rest in their own unique way to help push the sustianability culture of the organization. In this regard, employees are key to support the sustainability culture and the subsequent corporate purpose. In the end, is the cooperation of employees that makes everything possible. And the latter works well when such cooperation is aligned.

Employees and the sustainability culture

Actively engaging employees in the definition of values and principles os sustainability contribute to the achievement of the set up goals.

Additionaly, employees, at their implication level, can help inspire and carry with them other stakeholders (specially external ones like consumers or suppliers) towards the adoption of a new integrated vision of the company and its positive impact on the environment and society.

In DoGood we highligh eight lines of action through which to engage employees in the sustainability culture and purpose.

  • Define the long term purpose of the company. It is crucial to understand why a company does what it does. High management should make themselves this question and share the answer with employees, in a way that they can consider the company like a source to express their own values. This helps build value individually as well as at a company level.
  • Foster knowledge and capacities about sustainability. Investing in employees’ education, as well as projects, processes or systems can help foster knowledge on sustainability as a key tool to ease out the integration os sustanability in everyday decisions.
  • Sustainability is profitable, as multiple investigations and studies have shown, and it is important to communicate it to employees.
  • Co-create sustainable practices with employees. The best way to integrate sustainability in the company is by pushing initiatives with employees themselves. Is a lot more effective to involve employees across the company in order to gather new and better ideas. Furthermore, once employees start to see the economic, social and environmental results of their actions, they will begin believing in their role in sustainability a lot more. Like so ideas will start flowing more naturally and periodically.
  • Make everyone a sustainability leader. Leadership is essential to create a business model, and traditionally, this starts from the top, from the CEO and its closest team. But it is not enough to have sustainability leaders just on the top, it is important to cultivate sustainability and proactivity in this matter at all levels of the organization.
  • Foster a healthy competition. One of the most effective ways to get a group of people to adopt a proactive attitude towards the achievement of certain objectives, is to foster the healthy competition spirit and culture.
  • Make sustainability visible internally and externally. The traceability, measurement and communication of progress in terms of sustainability is a fundamental tool to maintain people motivated and continue to prosper. Giving visibility to the efforts and the result of the latter is relevant for the organization at an external level in term of reputation, and at an internal level in terms of strengthening the culture of sustainability.
  • Show your purpose with transformative changes. This can be translated in the collaboration between traditional competitors in the fight to mitigate social and environmental problems. It is also a way to show that change is not only a matter of a few employees, but a social question in which all of us must cooperate and unite.

In DoGood we believe the impact of employees in the achievement of sustainability objectives is essential. Not only to take it into account, but to look for the traceability that shows how progress and implication sustain the culture and strategy of sustainability in the long term.

Our SaaS technology helps engage employees in the sustainability strategy, fostering compromise with sustainable principles and values. Additionally, we help our clients achieve impact traceability to improve their ESG metrics and their corporate reputation.

If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.