Are Employees Investing in Business Sustainability?

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Where do employees rank among business sustainability stakeholders? How do they directly contribute to business success?

A common held belief is that employees with a vested interest in the success of the company become much more aligned with the goals of the organization. Therefore, how could linking sustainability concepts to business success support both interests? Our sustainability consulting investigates.

Inc. Magazine recently released a post entitled, Deliver Value to Your Employees – Your Most Important Stakeholders. The article explores how to encourage employees to show up for work with passion, productivity, and focus–and increase profits.

The CEO of Beryl Companies explains, “If you want employees to take a vested interest in the bigger picture, treat them like stakeholders… when jobs are regarded more like investments, employees will show up with passion, productivity, and focus, making your company more profitable”.

The key is to focus on what employees care about most and guess what, that is usually not salary. Addressing these needs, we ask the questions:

• Does you company have a genuine commitment to sustainability at the highest level, with sustainability principles like life balance present in its core values?

• Do your sustainability strategies cascaded down through management and are incorporated into organizational and individual performance goals?

• Are your employees are informed, motivated, and actively engaged in the company’s sustainability programs?

• Does the organization and its management have defined actions to ensure business sustainability initiatives add value both to the company and community and to the business?

Business sustainability presents the unique opportunity to increase profitability, gain and maintain a competitive advantage over the competition, and create meaningful work in the process. The key is in value alignment. How can organizational values and employee values pair up to create engaged employees? Increasing employee engagement means uniting the corporate sustainability plan with employee values.

Article by Julie Urlaub, Founder and Managing Partner at Taiga Company, appearing courtesy 3BL Media.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. In spite of media hoopla about the sustainable measures that companies are adopting, I don’t see many companies follow-through on the basics that Ms. Urlab proposes. She lists 4 important parameters for employers: adopting a commitment, streaming and embedding information through company channels, engaging employees, and demonstrating the value of the initiatives to outside stakeholders. I see most companies fall short on engagement without designing and implementing specifics for the employees. An organization needs to show in writing and with detailed, unambiguous, repeated actions what it is doing to address these employee needs. Without that, how can any company expect to keep employees on the sustainability track? What does your company do to implement these plans effectively?

    Patrick Comer

    Sensible Science in Service to Business Leadership

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