“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 2008.
Sounds good, right? The question is, “How do I get my employees this engaged?” The answer: Leadership. Leading is about making sure, first of all, that the company is engaged in changing people’s lives for the better. When that’s the case, employees’ awareness that they have a lot to do with the company’s work lights their fire from within. That inner flame causes them to bring their imagination and creativity to the enterprise. They feel it’s “their” company, and they take ownership of the customers.
So what does this have to do with sustainability? Today’s companies and entrepreneurs are presented with the unique opportunity to increase profitability through greater eco awareness and the pursuit of a more sustainable business. To gain and maintain a competitive advantage over the competition, sustainable business leaders are making meaningful work a top priority. Top qualities of a sustainable business leader pave the way for aligning company visions and strategies through shared values with employees:
- 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.
Employees are often argued to be the greatest resource of a company. When employee’s values resonate with those of the corporation, they are more productive, loyal, and their work is meaningful. Harness the power of human capital through business sustainability in your organization today.