Creating a people-first approach to sustainability

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Taking a people-first approach to sustainability can help bring together and strengthen employee engagement and experience and corporate sustainability strategies.

Sustainability carries a very simple premise of caring, respecting and protecting the environment and people around us with integrity and honesty, and yet its proper execution can be incredibly complex for businesses trying to do the right thing.

It is in this complexity that companies can loose sight of the importance of employees when it comes to developing a successful sustainability strategy. 

But taking a people-first approach to sustainability can actually help enhance employee experience and well-being whilst helping advance corporate sustainability strategies. But how can businesses bring these two elements together?

people-first sustainability

Creating a people-first approach for business

Before we get into the intricacies of taking a people-first approach to sustainability, it is important to understand the overall importance of this human centric strategy in business as a whole. In fact, current events have become the perfect leverage for this kind of approach and a change of perspective in the way we understand workplace dynamics. 

With home offices on the rise, companies have been quite ready and quick to apply the necessary digital tools for every task to run as smoothly as possible. However, policies and approaches to people management have fallen a little behind such technologies.

But while the pandemic has been critical for understanding the need to improve people management, issues of poor employee experiences, value chain management or social policies surrounding the company’s operating community have been pending for longer than just these last three years. 

Current events have become the perfect leverage for more human-centric approaches and a change of perspective in the way we understand people management in business overall.

people-first sustainability

The main challenge companies face today in this regard, is to be able to bring in policies and strategies that consider all experiences, backgrounds and circumstances across the entire value chain, from employees to the people in the community, businesses need to elaborate more holistic strategies that can enhance social, environmental and governance (ESG) performance metrics. 

Here is where people sustainability comes in, an strategic binding force than can bring together and strengthen employee engagement and corporate sustainability. 

People sustainability or how to put employees first

People sustainability is about creating engagement and managing a team of people sustainably; but most importantly, it is a matter of treating people responsibly, valuing their talent and contribution, and addressing them as part of the foundation of sustainability itself. 

So naturally, in the quest for people sustainability policies there will be many aspects that come into play, from employees’ sociological and emotional concerns, to talent and human resource management or sustainability training and awareness, to name a few. 

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Creating a people-first approach to sustainability

Under the premise that most companies today look for more sustainable ways to operate their businesses, it can be incredibly complex and overwhelming to tackle so many elements like those in the realm of corporate sustainability.

However, all improvements and changes in business start and end with people. And for that reason, we believe a people-first approach is the only way to properly work towards all corporate sustainability milestones, be resilient and leave room for innovation. 

People sustainability policies or a people-first approach to corporate sustainability is a matter of many elements, for example, aspects surrounding employee health and wellbeing, diversity and inclusion policies, people empowerment and growth, transparency and trust, or engagement in overall sustainability processes, actions and strategies, to name a few. 

rsc empresa familiar

And while different companies will take different approaches to these human-centric strategies, there is enough evidence to suggest employees are in fact the main driving force of sustainability for businesses. In fact, recent research conducted by SAP reveals how more than 86% of executives think investing in people sustainability can drive positive economic and environmental sustainability outcomes. 

Furthermore, according to the World Economic Forum, putting people at the centre of your business, supply chains, and ESG strategy improves innovation and resilience, reduces risk, improves collaboration, and accelerates performance and progress.

Driving engagement through sustainability

Sustainability is a must for most workers today, and will continue to be so as younger employees begin to enter the job market. But far from being indifferent from participation in sustainable efforts, people look for the opportunity to be actively engaged and find purpose in having a positive impact through their jobs. 

In DoGood we believe that working collectively can help us find that which alone may seem unattainable or useless. That is why we think the workplace is the perfect environment to find that collective eagerness to make a difference, both for the sustainability and purpose of the company and a more sustainable way of being for all.

Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.

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