Employees can make a difference in internalizing sustainability and translating high-level commitments into action and results in a corporate sustainability plan. When you consider that daily, employees make far reaching decisions impacting an organization's environment and social consequences, what is the evidence for employee engagement to further sustainable business strategies? Evidence for engagement - grow profit
• The Corporate Leadership Council reports that engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. They found that highly engaged organizations have 87% less staff turnover and 20% better performance than average.
• A global survey by Tower Perrins-ISR, involving more than 664,000 employees in 50 companies, found that the operating income of companies with engaged employees improved by 19% in one year, while it declined by 33% for companies with low levels of employee engagement.
• Fully engaged employees are 2.5 times more likely to exceed performance expectations than their disengaged colleagues.
• 59% of engaged employees say their job brings out their most creative ideas against only 3% for disengaged employees. Evidence for engagement - corporate social responsibility
• While many factors – such as leadership, integrity, immediate management and fair treatment – influence employee engagement, increasing evidence shows that performance on sustainable development also plays part. For example, a survey by Ipsos Mori10 found that:
• 70% of employees with a favorable perception of their company’s community engagement plan to stay for the next 2 years vs. 50% of those with a less favorable perception.
• 75% would recommend their company if they feel it is environmentally responsible vs. fewer than 50% if it is not.
• 47% of jobseekers are more likely to join/stay with a company that addresses social issues.
• 75% of employees who consider their employers to pay enough attention to environmental protection and sustainable development exhibit higher levels of commitment.
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? Sustainable businesses with existing CSR and sustainability plans may have it a little easier, but those without can still create value. Increasing employee engagement means uniting the corporate sustainability plan with employee values
• Company has a genuine commitment to sustainability by management at the highest level, with sustainability principles present in core values and business strategies.
• Sustainability strategies are cascaded down through management and are incorporated into organizational and individual performance goals.
• Employees are informed, motivated, and actively engaged in the company’s sustainability program.
• Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for sustainability are fully integrated into the business processes, corporate performance, and employee recognition.
• Company has active dialog with key stakeholders on sustainability issues, including customer to understand how sustainability issues relate to different market segments.
• Defined strategies to ensure business sustainability initiatives add value both to the company and community and to the business.
• Transparent reporting on sustainability concepts and sensitive issues, with both positive and negative results.
“Engaged employees are not just committed. They are not just passionate or proud. They have a line-of-sight on their own future and on the organization’s mission and goals. They are enthused and in gear using their talents and discretionary effort to make a difference in their employer’s quest for sustainable business success”. - Employee Engagement Report