Organisations are increasingly compelled by employees to curb the environmental footprint of the workplace and take additional action. A recent study shows that most millennials are not satisfied with the current environmental policies and incentives of their employer. And that is not without consequence: a whopping 48% of those that are dissatisfied with the environmental policies indicate they would like to leave the company within 2 years. If companies want to stay relevant for the future workforce and retain the best talent, they need to step up their game and embed environmental action more deeply in the workplace.
Meeting employee expectations: the role of environmental action
Today’s employees want their employers to provide a fulfilling place to work, which means going beyond traditional compensation and benefits. To become more purpose-driven, there are 3 key expectations that employers should meet, and the good news is that all of them can be addressed with environmental action by the organisation:
Employees look for companies with similar values to theirs and show a greater loyalty to these companies. A simple first step that is often overlooked is writing down your company's purpose, so it can be easily communicated with (prospective) employees. A recent survey showed that employees indicated to have a deeper connection and greater satisfaction with companies that have a written organisational purpose. The next step is to fulfil that purpose statement, and embedding environmental incentives as part of your talent proposition plays a crucial role. 74% of workers indicated that their job is more fulfilling when they have the opportunity to make a difference socially and environmentally.
Feeling cared for
Companies that embed environmental incentives as part of their talent proposition capture value beyond just stand-alone sustainability practices, by showing employees a more meaningful token of appreciation. Talent-driven sustainability initiatives provide the opportunity to involve employees in the company-wide journey and let them feel their voice matters. This turns out to be a two way street: employees tend to exert more environmentally conscious and pro-social behaviours if their employer involves them in sustainability initiatives.
Sustainability incentives promote the reputation and status of a company and increase job satisfaction. Proud employees will be more engaged, more loyal and spread positive word of mouth to other prospective employees. Studies have shown that employee satisfaction, employee retention and employee commitment are all driven by the amount of green initiatives an organisation makes; for example 70% of workers have indicated to be more loyal to companies that offered solutions to social and environmental issues.
Kathryn Dill, “Millennials Show Loyalty to Employers,” Wall Street Journal, Feb. 19, 2020,
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