Is this the year of employee engagement?

It’s a tough cookie to crack, employee engagement. Yet it’s an often talked about topic of organisational professionals and in my experience, sometimes regarded as the role of HR professionals to improve, when it should be a shared management responsibility.

Corporate sustainability initiatives rely upon employees being engaged enough to first, listen and second, change from a status quo. Quite simply, their success depends on it. Perhaps that’s why in a recent sustainability executive survey of leading North American and European companies, funding employee engagement initiatives was number one, on the list of top 10 priorities for 2012.

The Gallup organisation reports that engaged organisations have 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate compared with similar organisations in the same industry. Wow, that’s some statistic! Clearly, engaged employees are linked with organisational success. In addition, there is a study that reports strong employee engagement is correlated with employee perception that their organisation is pursuing a socially and environmentally sustainable path (see Bob Willard’s blog for a summary on this study).  

Like many things in the corporate sustainability field, investments that are good for improving the sustainability of an organisation, are also good for improving business profitability. Perhaps 2012 is the year to focus on the soft stuff; improving employee engagement. To whet your appetite, here is a list of key points from the Guardian on employee engagement.

Happy New Year!


The joys of cycling

Purdy purdy in BrooksThis year, Ride to Work Day was October 12. As a passionate cyclist, ride to work day gets me excited. For experienced commuters, it’s a great day to celebrate your efforts. For new commuters, it’s a good day to give things a test run and talk with others about getting started. In October, the days are getting longer, the sun is out and for me, there is nothing better than fitting in exercise around my daily commute. My workplace held a breakfast for those people participating in the event. It was a great social occasion and wonderful to see a range of people and a range of bikes! 

Encouraging and supporting healthy behaviours, such as riding to work, is a great example of social corporate sustainability. It reduces scope 3 emissions and supports staff health and wellbeing. A local business that has incorporated riding to work into their DNA is Mountain Goat. They are a small brewery in Richmond, Melbourne. Staff receive a bonus annually for every day they ride, walk or commute to work via public transport. Good on ya, Mountain Goat!

( Image Credit: Jan Atienza, Wikimedia Commons )