Burgers and Brews Set the Standard for Sustainability/CSR Employee Engagement in the Heartland

Burgers and Brews Set the Standard for Sustainability/CSR Employee Engagement in the Heartland

Introduction to the Workforce for Good blog series

What do burgers and brews have in common, other than the basis for a tasty meal? They’re products, generated by Midwestern companies that are setting the standard for sustainability in the Heartland.  From a brewery that generates zero waste to a 90-year old manufacturer that donates generators to disaster victims, Fortune 500 companies such as McDonald’s, Miller-Coors and Briggs and Stratton are successfully engaging employees in their company’s commitment to not only taking care of the environment, but also their fellow human beings.   

Employee engagement is one of the toughest and often most perplexing elements of sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts.  In Workforce for Good: Engaging Employees in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility we, Jocelyn Azada and Matthew Rochte- Midwest sustainability leaders, bring an inside view to how Midwest companies are successfully engaging their employees in sustainability/CSR.  

For so many years, we’ve heard about all the advancements in green expertise stemming from the East or the West Coast, but we found the Midwest really held its own.  With a reputation for hard work and wholesomeness, the Heartland has unleashed innovation that decreased energy, waste and water footprint, added millions of dollars to the bottom line, increased competitive advantages, and attracted and retained talent.  From Madison to Milwaukee and Chicago, Midwestern companies may even have a richer history as good corporate citizens than their coastal brethren as it’s been a part of their DNA for so much longer.

Over the next weeks in a series of posts on 3BLmedia we will be sharing with you the nine leading practices we discovered for engaging employees in sustainability/CSR along with specific examples for each.  In the first half of 2013, seventeen leaders in sustainability/CSR from twelve Fortune 500 level companies were interviewed with one purpose: to find out how they engage their employees in sustainability and CSR.  The companies came from a wide spectrum of diverse industries, from consumer and industrial goods to healthcare, financial services and consulting, and were predominantly Midwestern-headquartered global corporations.  Managers and senior executives of the following companies all lent their expertise including: American Family Insurance, Brady Corporation, Briggs and Stratton Corporation, Jones Lang LaSalle, MillerCoors,  Rockwell Automation, McDonald’s Corporation, Humana, Frito-Lay, Patrick Cudahy, and Marathon Oil Corporation.

Nine Principles of Employee Engagement: (Hint:  It’s all about people)

1.              Make It Personal

2.              Get Buy-in from the Top

3.              Manage Their Engagement 

4.              Give Opportunities for Employee Innovation and Leadership

5.              Incorporate It into the Business Operations

6.              Align with Corporate Culture

7.              Use Multiple Channels of Communication

8.              Measure & Track

9.              Recognize / Celebrate

For more information, or to download the full whitepaper, go to www.workforceforgood.com