Getting Your Employees Involved in Social Impact: Sustainability

February 17, 2021
Eliza Parish

It’s now more important than ever for companies and employees to take responsibility and initiative on environmental and social concerns. There are now great examples across industries, a plethora of resources, and real impact to be made. Take on the social impact issues your company cares about head on and make a difference within your company and out in the real world.

Sustainability programs seek to build a company’s value by focusing their business strategy on ethical, social, environmental, cultural and economic best practices of doing business. Additionally, involving your employees in social impact builds company culture and brand, and makes a difference. Creating a Sustainability program is not as daunting as it might sound! We’ve put together a few steps below on how to get your employee-led sustainability program started.

Define Your Goals

Reflect upon your company’s goals and what initiatives makes sense for your business. Dig in and ask the right questions: What Sustainability goals would you like to reach as a company?  Further, what specific initiatives align well with your business, your purchasing options and products? Outlining your objectives and internal areas where you can make tangible sustainability changes helps to define your program.

Identify Areas of Employee Participation

This is a critical part of your Sustainability program.  In order to truly build an impactful company culture, companies should identify accessible ways employees can participate in Sustainability.  The MaximusLife platform offers simple and fun sustainability challenges to keep your employees engaged and thinking about their socially conscious choices. The graphic below highlights some areas of Sustainability where MaximusLife engages employees.

Make It a Big Deal

This is a really exciting opportunity for employees! Therefore, it’s important to educate them on your goals and encourage them to take ownership as well.  These programs should be conducted in a way that makes it easy and exciting for employees to integrate their personal goals into your company’s overall sustainability goals. It can sometimes be difficult for individuals to find the time or the know-how to make small changes that can make an impact toward sustainability. Providing them with the right tools and opportunities can make this a win-win for everyone.

Incentivize and Reward

Maximize the fun with employee rewards and recognition.  Let your employees know that you are proud of their sustainable impact! Incentivize and motivate employees with rewards for hitting personal or company goals. For example, it can be as simple as gift cards, or planting a tree in their name, or a donation to charity.  Find out what motivates your employees and reward them with it!

Integrate into Company Culture and Branding

Once you have established your company-wide Sustainability program, you are well on your way to creating positive change within your company culture.  According to a report published by the National Association for Environmental Management, companies that have adapted sustainability goals and embedded them into their business practices are introducing five transformative qualities that help build company culture:

  1. Integration across organizational departments and teams.
  2. Engagement with employees, investors, the community, customers and suppliers. This means listening and creating constructive dialogue.
  3. Transparency in order to measure, mitigate and communicate. Sustainability is all about honest disclosure.
  4. Collaboration through a holistic approach and systems thinking.
  5. Resilience to environmental and economic risk through adaptive and responsive practices and planning (“Planning for a Sustainable Future” NAEM, 2014)

In turn, these qualities create a transparent and collaborative company culture while also being socially impactful.  Further, sustainability initiatives and programs allow employees to become an integral partner in the company’s future.  Engaged employees take this a step further by creating a positive work environment for optimal company culture and brand.  It’s time to get your employees involved!

Click here to learn more about MaximusLife’s Sustainability Toolkit.