Is the Grass Greener at Green Companies?

Green Companies Many companies are making efforts to "go green" to promote sustainability and potentially help their bottom line. But according to a recently released study by the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM), called Advancing Sustainability, HR's Role, going green might also help companies retain employees.

The study examines the correlation between an organization's sustainability efforts and their impact on both the business bottom line and employee satisfaction and engagement. The study defines sustainability as "the commitment by organizations to balance financial performance with contributions to the quality of life of their employees, the society at large and environmentally sensitive initiatives." Sixty-eight percent of the 728 companies surveyed have a sustainability program in place and claim the benefits of the sustainability program include:

  • Improved employee morale - 55 percent
  • More efficient business processes - 43 percent
  • Stronger public image - 43 percent
  • Increased employee loyalty - 38 percent

In addition, the survey reports that organizations can leverage sustainability to attract, retain and develop employees:

  • 49 percent of businesses engaging in sustainable workplace or business practices reported their involvement in sustainability was very important in creating a positive employer brand that attracts top talent.
  • 40 percent reported the involvement in sustainability was very important in improving employee retention
  • 33 percent indicated the involvement in sustainability was very important in developing the organization's leaders.

The survey states that volunteer community outreach initiatives related to sustainability are a great way for businesses to engage all levels of employees and the top ways organizations can involve or engage employees in these initiatives are:

  • recognizing employee participation in volunteer programs
  • providing company-sponsored volunteer events after work hours
  • encouraging senior management to participate in volunteer programs
  • providing company-sponsored volunteer events during work hours
  • encouraging employees to spearhead volunteer programs

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