Sustainability has many benefits. These benefits have been long reported upon, but for some odd reason they aren’t fully utilized in every business. This could be because of how sustainability was rolled out: expensive, low (or no) business benefits, and a concept for the liberals and extremists. Luckily the facts show different than the rumors. Increased Employee Engagement is part of a series to discuss the benefits of what happens when organizations work with sustainability in their core operations.

Increased Employee Engagement

People work better when they are passionate about the mission and vision of the organization. It’s easy to spot an engaged workforce, especially when the organization is transitioning. This is because the employees are behind the mission and vision, allowing the company to meet (and often exceed) the goals by their target dates. This is when the employee feels satisfied with their work, so they have higher levels of job satisfaction.

"A report by Net Impact … reveals that employees who make a direct positive social and environmental impact through their roles have twice the level of job satisfaction." - The Guardian

Unilever’s slogan “small actions can make a big difference” is helping motivate their employees by transitioning into a more sustainable company at a fast rate. In 2017, Unilever made a goal that, “by 2025, all (our) plastic packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable, and 25% of it will come from recycled plastic content.” In early 2019, it announced “LOOP”, a plan for reusable packaging for its products. Customers order the products from a selected retailer, and once it’s used, it’s sent back to be reused again. Brands include Axe, Dove, Hellmann’s, Love Beauty and Planet, Love Home and Planet, REN Clean Skincare, Rexona, Seventh Generation and Signal in pilot markets in France and the USA.

“The key to creating a vibrant and sustainable company is to find ways to get all employees - from top executives to assembly workers - personally engaged in day-to-day corporate sustainability efforts”, says Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Stanford Social Innovation Review

As reported by Sustainable Brands, in 2014 MGM Resorts implemented an engagement platform called “WeSpire” for 19,500 (31%) of their employees. The results showed “a few million green actions to date”, operating cost savings of $5 million per year, and a savings of $250 per employee per year.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” - Marc Anthony

To sum it up, when your organization has sustainability in its core operations, employee engagement increases because your employees will feel good about their purpose. When people feel good about what they are doing, there are lower turnover costs, which saves money on hiring and training new talents. This helps save on the bottom line while ensuring a more happy and successful organization in the long-term.

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