What do Executives Need to Know About Employee Engagement?

image: need to knowWhile today’s executives are presented with the unique opportunity to increase profitability through greater eco awareness and the pursuit of  sustainable business practices, our sustainability consulting firm believes the engaged employee has a definable path to rise.   What do executives need to know about employee engagement?   That it matters.  
What exactly is the value of engagement at work
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.

How can sustainability help with employee engagement
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.
What are the some sustainable business strategies to engage employees
Tying corporate sustainability initiatives to day to day processes makes CSR more personable to an employee and helps employees to identify their role in corporate responsibility.  Sustainable business strategies to consider for employee engagement include: 
  • Energy efficiency: Employee engagement is an effective, but possibly underutilized strategy for improving energy efficiency .  In fact, energy efficiency can be a gateway to wider business innovation and engage stakeholders in broader process evaluations.
  • Corporate volunteering:  Engaging employees in corporately supported volunteering is an essential piece of all credible CSR programs that translates CSR values to action.
  • Green teams are formal or informal groups of people in a company organized around environmental issues and tasked with ways to promote sustainable business practices. Green teams are excellent in spearheading eco efficiency programs: paper reduction, recycling programs, promote energy conservation, and more, making a huge difference within a department.  Great for team building too.
  • Create individual employee sustainability programs. The basic premise of a personal sustainability program is to reduce the carbon footprint, lighten the load on the planet as well as reap the benefits of living a more sustainable lifestyle.    Eco actions taken in a personal sustainability plan can be anything from riding a bike to work or eating organic healthy meals or recycling.
  • Educate: Offer ongoing workshops, training, lunch and learns, and educational activities to educate workers on the environmental issues (energy, water, waste, and others) and the associated actions causing the problems.  Identify new behavior and eco actions that individually workers can take to create new patterns of behavior and choices that support environmental solutions and are aligned with the company's overarching sustainability plan. 

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