Published 10 years ago.
About a 4 minute read.
Imagine walking into your office one morning to find a business card on your chair — with a different title. It might just give you pause.
For 1,500 Unilever Australia employees, this actually happened. One day in 2011, every employee who came to work was given a card that read “Head of Sustainability.” Having just launched a new Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever rightfully wanted its employees to feel empowered — and what better way to do so than to give them a new title? Unilever supplemented those cards with posters depicting employees from all functions with a “Head of Sustainability” caption and provided specialized training to staff. Leadership reinforced sustainability messaging from all directions while giving employees tangible opportunities to drive change from core roles.
Unilever is just one example of a company that recognizes the power in having a motivated and engaged workforce drive forward sustainable change. Our own What Workers Want report demonstrates that employees who participate in social or environmental activities are twice as satisfied with their jobs as those who do not.
At Net Impact, we’re privileged to work with corporate leaders who have gleaned a number of best practices on effective employee engagement programs focused on sustainability. Many of these programs are particularly popular with Millennials, or employees up to the age of 33 who prioritize making an impact on the job. *“*Millennials are go-getters and want to solve real problems,” says Linda Qian, a Millennial employee at Intel. “But at the same time, they don’t always have the experience to execute on those wishes — they need resources and guidance.”
For those looking to make the plunge, here are three ways companies are guiding Millennials (and others) to lead sustainable change:
These companies are just a handful of examples in this changing wave of corporate leadership. Today, the wise business knows that employee engagement should be tied to both company culture and sustainability priorities. The benefits are obvious: Hundreds (if not thousands) of sustainability advocates spread throughout the workforce. That’s a reason for celebration — whether your business card says “sustainability” or not.
Published Oct 18, 2013 9pm EDT / 6pm PDT / 2am BST / 3am CEST