In a difficult recruitment market, it is essential that companies not only attract the best candidates but that they retain that talent. Building ESG values into company culture starts with leading by example, modelling behaviours and practices, and encouraging these behaviours at every level of the organisation. If employees feel invested and that they have aligned values with their employer, they will stay for longer.
There are a number of strategies companies can adopt to foster ‘belonging’ and a sense of purpose:
- Flexible working arrangements
- Employee recognition programmes
- Sustainable employee benefits
Throughout this blog we’re going to take you through these examples, providing a business case to highlight how they can impact a business’s success.
Flexible work arrangements
Many employees are now keen to maintain a flexible working environment to help them balance their personal and professional lives. Research conducted by the Office for National Statistics shows that 75% of businesses see offering employees flexibility in work as a key element of competitive advantage.
Here are some examples of things that organisations have done to make work fit around the individual needs of workers:
- Job shares/hot desking
- Hybrid working/working from home
- Flexitime, compressed or staggered hours
- Part-time roles
Employee recognition is a cornerstone of effective people management. Moreover, a culture of recognition develops engaged and loyal teams. Creating a recognition program is merely the start of showing your employees that you value their contributions, but if you haven’t developed one yet, it’s a good first step.
Recognising accomplishments boosts morale, helps to bridge the gap between the company and its workforce and fosters a sense of job fulfilment. The main thing to note here is that recognition can take many forms, and doesn’t have to involve monetary compensation. Show recognition by:
- Celebrating work anniversaries
- Giving time off for time served
- Holding an awards ceremony
- Presenting bonuses or gifts
- Investing in well-being treats
Moreover, in the green industry, offering environmental rewards shows employees that the company cares about the same things they do:
- Donation to a favourite charity
- ‘Plant a tree’ opportunity
- Time off to volunteer for an environmental scheme
Providing employees with the chance to make a contribution to the local community or environment creates a positive work culture where value alignment between company ESG philosophy and employee values is nurtured. This could be done via:
- Employee forum for generating innovative ideas to meet sustainability targets
- Employee volunteer programme
- Upskilling opportunities for eco-activities
- Inviting speakers to talk about climate change
- Fun activities to raise money for local causes
- Bring your children/pet to workdays
Sustainable employee benefits
By aligning the values of the green industry with employee well-being, organizations can attract and retain top talent while fostering a sense of purpose and engagement. Sustainable employee benefits, such as flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, and environmentally-friendly initiatives, demonstrate a commitment to the holistic development of employees and the environment.
They not only enhance work-life balance but also promote employee satisfaction, motivation, and loyalty. When employees feel valued and supported, they become more invested in their work, leading to increased productivity and a thriving work culture centred around shared sustainability goals. Companies that reward employees with a choice of eco-friendly rewards demonstrate a clear value alignment where everyone wins, helping to attract and retain top talent.
Here are some examples of sustainable employee benefits which could be embedded to create a positive work culture:
- Walking, running or cycling to work is encouraged via inter-department competitions, installing showers, providing or discounting kits etc
- Offering employees the choice to donate a small amount from their salary to an environmental cause, such as wildlife conservation or a tree planting scheme
- Offering subsidies for relocation to reduce commuting emissions
- Offering discounts for signing up to green energy suppliers at home
- Discounts for local food suppliers or ethical clothing companies
- Vouchers for public transport
A Business Case – L’Oréal
L’Oréal launched its ‘Share and Care’ programme in 2012, which pledged access to healthcare and well-being at work for its employees across the globe.
Since then, it has evolved around the following principles:
- Providing social protection including insurance, social benefits and even financial support so that employees feel secure
- Optimising the well-being of employees in both physical and mental health through their ‘personal ecology’ concept
- ‘Working differently’ by offering flexible ways of working so that employees can enjoy an excellent work/life balance
- Improving the working experience through better work environments
The company believes that everyone has a voice and can contribute, with diversity inclusion offering the opportunity to work together to benefit everyone. These are their core pillars for creating a positive work culture. In 2018, L’Oréal launched an employee share ownership plan in more than 50 countries to involve employees in strategic projects and share the company’s success. According to Indeed, L’Oréal is rated at 4.1 out of 5 based on 4.249 reviews, with almost 4,000 employees giving the company a rating of 3 or more.
Although the recruitment industry is facing some tough challenges, there are opportunities for the green industry to build ESG principles into their employer brand, so that they appeal to the 28% of workers who stated they would leave their current position in order to work for a company with a strong environmental ethos and social conscience. Putting strong ESG convictions at the heart of an employer brand:
- Actions against sustainability targets
- Providing opportunities for employee development and creating a positive work culture
- Recognising the contribution of employees towards sustainability targets and overall business success
And making them the focus of communications throughout the recruitment process provides strong incentives for attracting and retaining top talent. Wayvie is committed to helping businesses move closer to net zero carbon emissions by providing eco-friendly businesses with training and development programmes to get their green teams up to speed and smashing sustainability targets. If you are ready to grow your green business by moving interpersonal skills to the next level, contact the friendly wayvie team for a free consultation.