Recent reports predict that at least 80% of major corporations will invest significantly to raise awareness of sustainability issues among their employees in 2012. But how effective will these plans be?
A Brighter Planet survey issued at the end of last year, Greening the Workplace 2011: Engaging Employees to Benefit the Planet and the Bottom Line, reports that while more organisations are promoting sustainability their actual effectiveness is dropping. So like many activities surrounding sustainable policies, it is essential to ensure it is properly planned, is driven from the top and continually and consistently managed.
While the types of engagement and communication tools will vary from organisation to organisation, the report showed there were four areas that helped to improve the effectiveness of a campaign:
- Frequency – ensure sustainability issues are regularly discussed or mentioned, using a variety of communication channels
- Management led – programmes are most effective when the board of directors or management team are leading them
- Sharing – give staff the opportunity to share ideas; what was successful and why
- Official policy – formalising employee engagement programmes into an official policy resulted in policies being three times more effective
Most people spend the majority of their time at work and case studies show that effective engagement programmes can reap benefits at home and in the local community, beyond the workplace.
Successfully engaging your employees can’t be achieved overnight – it needs continual investment and careful management. But implemented correctly can generate substantial rewards.
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