2011-12-20

Co.Exist

A Plan To Engage Employees In Sustainability, Inspired By Walmart

BBMG helped Walmart improve its already impressive sustainability record by finding ways to involve the company’s employees. From that experience, they have tips on how any business can reap the benefits of healthier, cleaner workers.

It’s easy to understand why organizations are now expected to invest more heavily in engaging their employees to live healthier, cleaner lives. The business case is so clear: a happier, healthier, more productive workplace; cost savings; higher profits; and great ideas for sustainable business innovation.

According to Gallup, organizations with engaged employees enjoy 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate, and BBMG’s own research found that more than half of conscious consumers under the age of 30 find working for a socially and environmentally responsible company “very” or “extremely” important.

But according to a recent survey by Brighter Planet, while the number of organizations engaging employees in sustainability continues to rise (currently more than half), the favorability of these programs is on the decline: Only 17% of workers described their employers’ programs as “very effective.”

Anything worth doing is worth doing well. That’s especially true for engagement programs, which can easily be seen by employees—particularly more skeptical Millennials—as inauthentic bandwagon-hopping. For optimal long-term success, make sure you’re approaching engagement for the right reasons, and have the proper framework in place. Not sure where to start? Take a spin through our new flowchart (click to enlarge). It’s inspired by our recent experience helping Walmart reimagine and relaunch “My Sustainability Plan,” the retailer’s first truly global engagement program targeting 2.1 million associates across five continents. We call these engagement programs "Green Teams," and if you don’t have one, you should. If you do have one, you can always make it more effective.

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