There is no doubt that the world is more focused on environmental issues than ever before, and in today’s workplace, companies are not exempt from this. Employees want to see their companies being more environmentally aware, which can boost employee engagement. Furthermore, environmental awareness and social responsibility in the workplace can be a significant draw for the younger generations of employees.
A green culture at work is more than just action by management. It is a collective belief toward an ecological, environment-friendly style of work that is likely to foster employee engagement. However, a green culture must be a step beyond corporate virtue signalling. Instead, there needs to be accurate and honest intent for employee engagement to remain strong.
Sustainability and employee engagement
A sustainable company is one that incorporates environmental awareness in every possible aspect of the corporate experience. For example, the 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study found that 74% of employees had greater job satisfaction when provided with opportunities that would positively impact large-scale environmental issues. In addition, 51% indicated an unwillingness to work for an organization without firm social or environmental commitments.
When employees have a sense of belonging and have a social impact, there is an increase in work commitment and ethics. Extending employee culture to a green-oriented context varies and can depend heavily on the corporate context. Realizing the ecological balance is key, and one way to do this is to establish initiatives aimed at various environmental issues among the employee base.
Engaging your employees when you Go Green
Surveys them are excellent ways to gauge how employees feel about various green initiatives. The sense of being listened to has a direct impact on employee engagement. In addition, once an organization has identified its green initiative and goals, it is crucial to find a way to incorporate the changes into its work environment without creating any additional work or stress.
Green initiatives should solve a problem and not create a new one. So, again, here is a crucial place where employees can be engaged to make positive changes to how they work every day. Simple changes include:
- Reducing printing.
- Switching off computers when not in use.
- Switching to laptops (which are up to 80% more efficient than desktops).
- Working remotely.
Managing the workforce and maintaining employee engagement
Once you have engaged your employees and identified meaningful corporate changes, be careful to keep up the momentum and effect these changes. Updating policies and involving senior management in the processes will go a long way in conveying the sincerity of the green culture. Engagement can also be fostered through incentive-based programs; a sense of healthy competition can keep momentum.
Employees may be motivated to maintain their commitment to the identified changes. Importantly, this needs to involve the entire workforce, not just management. Empowering employees to set goals and self-regulate amongst the different teams or departments can and should be organic. The workforce has a commitment toward a common goal that will have a positive impact on employee satisfaction.
Employee engagement and corporate social responsibility
Any employee will be able to sense corporate insincerity. Green changes to the company, while identified by the workforce, should be implemented throughout the company.
Corporate social responsibility can go a long way to maintaining trust among both internal and external stakeholders. Therefore, for green changes and initiatives to be effective, they should be visible and implemented throughout the corporate structure.
The perks of going green
In addition to employee engagement, satisfaction, and engagement, being a green organization has other benefits. Motivation among employees often results in a better work ethic and increased output in the jobs. Cutting down on the corporate carbon footprint can also translate to lower overhead costs. Some countries offer tax incentives to companies that adopt specific green initiatives to show their support.
Consumers also prefer green organizations.
The consumer is often aware of an organization’s carbon footprint before engaging with the brand. Moreover, they are often more than willing to spend more on products and services offered by socially responsible companies. In essence, environmental causes are becoming increasingly important to the consumer, and they will not align themselves with a brand that goes against their values or beliefs.
Innovation and sustainability are the most significant investments organizations can make for their inward- and outward-facing business practices. While environmental sustainability is a significant priority for the consumer, quality and affordability are still the fundamental principles driving economic participation with the brand. As a result, organizations that offer both competitive pricing and environmental awareness have the potential to out-perform their rivals.
Some final thoughts on employee engagement
Environmental awareness is becoming increasingly relevant. A good employer is environmentally conscious and cares about their employees’ well-being. A workplace with green culture has the potential to have a crucial impact on society as a whole and its employees’ level of engagement. While this may seem like a daunting task, the many benefits will make it worthwhile in the long run.