This post is not about using sustainability to motivate staff, but using your employees to contribute to sustainability, as part of their work. In governance aspects it’s always about how an organization looks after it’s employees. If we treat our employees well according to sustainability principles then the Human resources (HR) department should leverage these employees to embed sustainability throughout their work. This way HR departments will have a significant impact on sustainability.
Generally, HR department is busy trying to leverage sustainability to motivate employees. In fact, HR departments in most companies are measuring specific “deliverables” like;
A happy, healthy, and productive workforce
Training and career development
Human rights for employees
Good working conditions for employees, etc
Creating a sustainable business benefits the employees. Hence, why can’t these same HR departments take on the challenge of leveraging employees to implement sustainability throughout the organization. They should make sustainability a part of the performance evaluation process and encourage people across the company to embed sustainability throughout their work. Sustainability needs to be integrated into an organization’s culture.
A company like Intel has linked sustainability to its performance review process. Starbucks attracts and hires people who share the company’s well-publicized social and environmental commitments. Many even consider these commitments a part of the benefits of working at Starbucks.
The human resources departments that can only take advantage of the sustainability initiatives to recruit and motivate people but can’t leverage the same employees to implement sustainability should be renamed a Human Ruin department.