Implementing sustainability into employee motivation strategies

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Sustainability is a key player in building strong and holistic employee motivation strategies that can greatly determine a company’s employer brand and significantly decrease employee turnover rates.

Employee motivation is the backbone of a successful business performance, helping attract and retain talent, making productivity enjoyable, and turning creativity and innovation into standard practices. 

But it should come as no surprise that aiming to motivate the organization’s workforce is a greatly beneficial practice that can help individuals grow professionally while simultaneously building a strong bond between employees and their company.

So the real question is whether sustainability can actually help improve employee motivation strategies, making HR departments go the extra mile to create healthier and more responsible workplace. 

employee motivation strategies

Why companies should care about employee motivation

There should be no questioning about the importance of employee motivation, and yet we feel the need to remind company leaders and managers about why motivated employees are a far better asset to the company than those who are not. 

The first thing we should address in this regard is that companies that put in the effort to prioritize employee wellbeing are far more likely to retain talented individuals, and therefore reduce the immense talent economic loss of employee turnover. 

Engage employees in the sustainability strategy
Learn more about how we can help your company achieve ESG goals faster

Not only do employee motivation strategies help retain talent, but it also helps employees grow and develop at a faster and healthier pace. Often times it is this intangible yet very valuable compensation system that allows professionals to adopt learning and improvement as a standardized practice. 

The bottomline here is quite simple: people like to feel valued, challenged, and supported, and they are highly more likely to voluntarily bring new ideas onto the table when these three pillars of employee motivation align in their favor. 

Maslow's pyramid and employee motivation strategies

One of the most common theories used in business strategies is that of the Maslow pyramid or hierarchy of needs. It is interesting to look at this when discussing employee motivation strategies as it gives a clear outlook onto how the workforce can actually get to feel motivated. 

The key to this theory is understanding how motivation does not come out of the blue, but it is rather a combination of needs that are gradually fulfilled and eventually bring out the best in people. 

Let’s apply the Maslow hierarchy to employee motivation; first we would need to fulfill physiological needs, which in business terms could refer to a decent and fair salary. Secondly, safety could represent job security and stability.

incoherencias en sostenibilidad

On the third step of the pyramid we find socialization, meaning team building activities or day to day socializing with colleagues. Moving on up we find esteem, this is, the desire to be accepted and valued, which in the workplace translates to recognition. 

And last but not least, the top of Maslow’s hierarchy introduces us to the idea of self-actualization, which is the moment when people come to terms with their full potential and are, in business terms, motivated and supported to complete their tasks effectively.

The role of sustainability in employee motivation strategies

Contrary to what some may believe, sustainability is not solely present in the last few stages of the Maslow’s pyramid of needs, but rather helps bring all of the tiers together and gradually improve them under the umbrella of corporate social and environmental responsibility. 

Following this scheme, employers need to understand how each one of these needs is built upon the other, meaning we need to go step by step, because motivation cannot grow out of nowhere. But a sustainable or ESG strategy can actually help do precisely this, adding a common structure to each of the hierarchy’s tiers. 

Transform sustainability into an employee benefit
Find out more about how sustainability can become a key player to employer brand and employee wellbeing

A sustainability or ESG strategy should help companies assess social risks and opportunities within their internal stakeholders, this is, employees. It is crucial to understand what it is individuals need and how the company impacts the latter.

In terms of more basic needs, this means making sure company governance follows good and strong standards, creating a safe and balanced environment for employees, from DEI initiatives to various economic or other tangible benefits such as sick leaves, remote work or in-office childcare. 

Continuing on up the pyramid, sustainability is a great objective to look forward to when looking for new ways to explore individual and team potential, all while working towards a much needed and purposeful goal. 

employee motivation strategies

To sum it all up, sustainability does not only help motivate and give employees purpose inside the company, but it is also a great opportunity to create a workplace environment in which everybody can work towards a very relevant common goal. 

Engaging employee in the sustainability strategy

In DoGood, we aim to simplify the complex web of sustainability objectives for companies by offering a platform that translates the high-level ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) objectives into actionable tasks for every single employee. 

Then, each employee not only knows how to make an impact but also feels empowered to contribute meaningfully to the greater sustainable strategy. 

No more vague directives. No confusion. DoGood automates the process, making it seamless for the workforce to know precisely what steps to take.