Sustainability has become a corporate ideal that’s on everyone’s radar. Conversations about carbon footprints, water and energy consumption, production waste, social inequality, product recyclability, and other dimensions of sustainability are more serious.
But this sustainability mindset rarely translates to workplace culture in the same way. While new policies, processes, and practices are being adopted at an incredible pace, little attention is paid to how people internalize the purpose and impact of their work and how that sentiment changes the dynamics of talent attraction, retention, engagement, and productivity.
Most executives know the three components of sustainability: environmental, social, and governance. The more research on the expectations and shifts in workplace cultures, the more we all realize that the employee experience should also be included in the overall equation.
People are highly receptive when technologies, processes, and policies are easy to use and simple enough to understand. But the moment a new sustainability practice, reporting structure, or measurement becomes just “another thing to do,” they are less likely to connect their activities to the numbers they see on the screen.
People want to see their employers’ sustainability efforts translated into their HR strategy and policy, such as:
- Having an agile workforce that can quickly adapt to change
- Co-Creation of the Sustainable Employee Experience Journey
- Ensuring people are aligned, engaged, and properly skilled to face the upcoming changes and developments
For organizations, rethinking their role and contribution to the company’s sustainability strategy is noble but also critical. Having an employee listening strategy in place with regular surveys and pulses, HR professionals can gain valuable insights into employee engagement and improvement areas.
A deep analysis of experience and operational data can pinpoint moments that matter most to employees. Creating guided experiences helps ensure that these moments have a long-lasting, positive effect on employee engagement, health, well-being, and retention – and better prepare the workforce for future changes and developments.
At SAP, we strive to help businesses worldwide make these connections across their employee experience. For example, SAP SuccessFactors Work Zone, our digital workplace solution, allows you to access relevant business applications and processes, information, and communications from a single entry point. Our customers are guided through experiences and customized workspaces to improve engagement and productivity. With our Qualtrics solutions, using surveys and pulses, HR professionals can gain valuable insights into employee engagement and improve and address emerging trends or challenges.
Worth the Effort
The next time someone introduces a new sustainability project, know that the effort will change much more than the company’s carbon footprint, emissions goals, or reputation as being socially accountable or an environmental steward. It will also shift the dynamics of the employee experience, which could dramatically alter how people view the company as their employer of choice over time.
Interested to know more about sustainability and how it impacts the employee experience? Register to watch our webinar: The Power of People Sustainability in 2023
Stephanie Craig is a Global Solution Marketing Director at SAP SuccessFactors.