Workforce for Good: Employee Engagement in Sustainability/CSR – Measure & Track Progress

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Workforce for Good: Employee Engagement in Sustainability/CSR – Measure & Track Progress

Workforce for Good Blog Series Part 8
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Multimedia from this Release

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - 9:10am

Employee engagement is one of the toughest and often most perplexing elements of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.  Two leading Midwest sustainability/CSR experts, Matthew Rochte and Jocelyn Azada, set out to find just what were companies doing to successfully engage employees in sustainability/CSR.  They share their findings in the whitepaper Workforce for Good™ and in this 3BLmedia series on employee engagement.

Principle 8 of Workforce for Good: Measure & Track Progress

The adage, what gets measured gets done, was exemplified by the successful programs in our study. They tracked awareness, participation, and performance metrics.  Attention and interest rise as sustainability/CSR practices are measured and tracked. Measuring sustainability on a personal scale gets results.

Whether a company is using six-sigma, TQM, or ISO 9000/14000/26000, their success comes down to measurement and tracking. When the outcomes of work are being measured and the quality and success of that is work is shown to be important by managers, leaders, and senior management, employees engage. MillerCoors uses SIC (Short Interval Control) to break down complicated processes into immediate and task-oriented measurements that provide nearly instantaneous feedback. These metrics are most effective when selected by front-line employees who work with specific issues on a day-to-day basis.

A strong example of making sustainability personal and measuring is found at Frito-Lay North America, where, according to Rob Hendrickson, “engagement is an expectation of your job . . . employee engagement is a key performance measure defined as engagement outside the scope of your work every single month to drive results.” In fact, Frito-Lay holds one-to-one meetings between direct managers and employees every period to discuss, “What did you do last period beyond the scope of your work to drive results?”

There are opportunities to integrate sustainability/CSR metrics for employee performance throughout an organization from improving packaging to reducing energy and waste, to human resources to operations to facilities management.  Every employee can play a part.

A Personable Way to Measure

Briggs and Stratton’s Milwaukee facilities have taken an interesting approach to tracking participation in sustainability events and to keeping sustainability uppermost in mind throughout the year with their Green Team’s Sustainability Passport. The Passport is a handy, pocket-sized checklist of ideas and opportunities where employees can contribute to sustainability in their home, their neighborhood, and their work. At Briggs and Stratton, they believe every one of us can create change and make a difference.

The tool accomplishes several aspects of employee engagement best practices.

  1. It makes sustainability personal by incorporating individual-oriented actions that relate to home and work life with a full spectrum of topics (social, environmental, and economic). 
  2. It utilizes gamification/ competition to motivate individuals.
  3. It is broken down into trackable, measurable, and relatable action items.
  4. It educates through multiple communication vehicles (such as linking to the company’s Sharepoint site, highlighting sustainability week activities, and encouraging further education and exploration).
  5. It celebrates an individual’s successes through a point system and gives rewards that relate to the company (power tools and products the company sells).

Key components:

•  Developed by the local sustainability team

•  Uses a point system

•  Utilizes iconographics for areas of sustainability

•  Highlights easy-to-attain, all at once opportunities (sustainability week activities)

Categories: sustainability at company education, sustainability education in general, community participation, personal (wellness), home (energy conservation)

Next Week:  Principle 9 of Workforce for Good: Recognize and Celebrate

For more information or to download the full whitepaper click here

Keywords: Volunteerism & Community Engagement | Briggs and Stratton | Business & Trade | Employee Engagement | Frito-Lay North America | Jocelyn Azada | Matthew Rochte | MillerCoors | Workforce for good | csr | measure