In an era where sustainability has become an essential imperative, involving work teams is the initial step toward constructing a more responsible company. It is the individuals who implement sustainability within an organization, ensuring it doesn't remain merely an abstract concept.
Sustainability: Why Engaging Employees Matters?
Managers, team leaders, and CEOs play a crucial role in disseminating the company's culture and values. However, these values will only cultivate a corporate culture if they are accepted, shared, and internalized by the workforce.
The more principles are shared, the clearer and more defined the corporate identity becomes. Sustainability stands out as a defining value for both companies and employees, making it significant for both.
In larger enterprises, achieving universal acceptance of sustainability among all personnel can be challenging. Conversely, many companies still lag behind on this issue. A fracture in this regard could have negative effects, harming not only the organization but also the individuals involved. These two aspects are inevitably intertwined.
Organization and People: A Necessary Alignment
For the organization, reaching its objectives becomes challenging if they are not shared by those who should assist in achieving them. Similarly, for individuals, giving their best for something they do not inherently share and are not adequately engaged in can be difficult.
In such cases, managers must facilitate employee participation in the sustainability journey, acting as catalysts and guiding teams toward more sustainable practices. Leadership contributes to creating an environment where sustainability becomes an integral part of corporate culture.
Moreover, internal divisions may occur when one part does not follow the other or is not involved. It appears that, in today's business landscape, companies lacking a clear sustainability plan or struggling to communicate effectively find it increasingly difficult to attract new talent and retain existing employees
Attracting and Retaining Talents: Insights from Renata Duretti - MD Closer
In this context, we sought insights from Renata Duretti, Co-founder and Managing Partner at MD Closer, who shared:
‘In the context of our HR consulting at MD Closer, we are frequently confronted with two crucial questions that are gaining urgency: how to attract and retain talents within the company? To address this challenge, it is imperative to develop a People Strategy aligned with the evolution of the business and the company's values, whose fundamental pillars include:
1. Building a HR Vision Aligned with the Business Industrial Plan
2. Creating a Clear and Acted-upon Culture and Values
3. Implementing a Transparent Leadership Model and Career Paths
4. Creating a Culture of Active Listening and Continuous Feedback
But today, more than ever, a key element to enhance engagement is to involve employees in broader themes, going beyond mere economic returns.
Sustainability emerges as an effective lever to engage the minds and hearts of employees. Critical questions about the environmental impact of production or the distribution chain, the company's contribution to the local community, or the dissemination of "sustainable" knowledge and practices among employees and customers can catalyze meaningful actions.
These reflections become fundamental for the lives of individuals in the company, who often show enthusiasm in participating in cross-functional working groups aimed at creating actions for the benefit of the community.
This is particularly true for younger generations, who often seek a "sense of self" from their work that goes beyond pure economic or professional achievement.
Addressing sustainability with intelligence and seriousness, therefore, proves to be a key element in creating engagement and a profound connection with all generations present in the company.’
Employee Engagement Essential for Sustainability: Insights from Federica Pasini - Hacking Talents
Federica, CEO & Co-founder of Hacking Talents, spoke to us about how crucial it is for businesses to establish an employee engagement strategy:
‘In the face of radical changes profoundly revolutionizing the world of work, such as the increasingly challenging but necessary dialogue between different generations, it is becoming more important to approach the topic of employee engagement in a structured manner.
Indeed, guiding individuals to discover and develop their potential is not an easy challenge, especially since it is a long-term journey rather than a one-time action that concludes once implemented.
An extended time horizon, therefore, necessitates employing a strategy based on long-term planning, as engagement programs are intrinsically linked to self-change and evolution, factors that require time to unfold. Finally, this process does not occur in isolation but in a context that must promote engagement by moving in the same direction. Therefore, we can assert that a solid strategy underlies effective engagement programs.’
According to Federica, in agreement with what has been said throughout the article, sustainability is a true pillar of an engagement strategy:
‘The term sustainability is one of the words that most characterize the historical moment we are in, not only in relation to the world of work but in various aspects of life.
Specifically concerning changes in the world of work, sustainability themes, both in terms of people and the environment, are no longer 'nice to have' but indispensable characteristics that younger generations of workers pay attention to. Factors such as flexibility, gender equality, inclusivity, and the awareness of having a positive impact on others are becoming increasingly relevant, and phenomena like constant turnover demonstrate the active search by younger generations regarding these issues.
A good employee engagement strategy cannot absolutely ignore sustainability themes because it forms the foundations on which a sense of belonging and well-being can grow.’
A clear conclusion: involving personnel is essential
In conclusion, it is crucial for companies to engage employees in order to successfully embrace sustainability. This fully aligns with the needs of teams, who wish to feel part of something bigger, especially the newer generations. In the next article, we will explore the tools for implementing these principles.