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5 Ways Employee Engagement Spurs Sustainability

When constructing a skyscraper, the foundation is the key to stability on all floors of the building. It’s the same in an organization. For a team to function properly, all members must be on board. Greater employee engagement with a company’s sustainability efforts is vital for successful implementation.  In general, we see five keys benefits to high levels of employee engagement with zero waste and sustainability efforts:

  1. Improved Program Adoption Rates and Implementation

First, let’s talk about improved program adoption rates and implementation.  We know that when employees understand the goals of a program, they are more likely to engage with increased involvement. This greater understanding naturally leads employees to embrace the mission, leading to a more fervent and passionate implementation. Ultimately, higher adoption rates result in more successful outcomes – and more quickly than planned.

  1. Enhanced Levels of Personal Accountability

The second benefit of increased employee engagement is enhanced levels of personal accountability.  When employees are engaged in a sustainability program they feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for its success.  This personal level of accountability is often accompanied by a desire for accomplishment, and a competitiveness between departments or facilities.  This helps develop a new corporate culture of accountability, encouraging everyone to take the right actions to support the sustainability goals. 

  1. Better Communication and Cross-functional Collaboration

The key to making this happen is found in the third benefit: Better communication and cross-functional collaboration.  Informed employees are engaged employees.  They are likely to communicate more with each other and work collaboratively to achieve the company’s sustainability goals.  Resulting in more effective teamwork and better sustainability results.  Effective communication both up channel and down channel is paramount to achieve this benefit.  And this benefit is at the heart of driving positive sustainability results.

  1. Increased Employee Creativity and Innovation

The fourth aspect we recognize is increased creativity and innovation. Engaged and committed employees are more likely to generate creative and innovative solutions which help a company’s sustainability efforts.  This “thinking outside the box” type of approach only results when employees are fully committed to the end goals, are supported, and sometimes rewarded for their creative contributions.

  1. Better Employee Morale and Greater Retention

Finally, the fifth benefit is improved morale and greater employee retention rates.  Engaged and contributing employees feel like they are making a positive impact on the environment and society.  Studies show that contemporary workers highly value this attribute in a work setting.  If they find it, and participate in the program, this most certainly leads to higher employee satisfaction, greater retention rates and lower turnover.  This benefit has a measurable hard cost associated with it, and definitely a cost reduction any company can appreciate.

Okapi Environmental Services: Where Small Teams Foster Big Change

We believe increasing employee engagement in a company’s sustainability program has tremendous benefits.  Not only for the performance results of the sustainability program, but real, and measurable, benefits, for the associates.  Through effective communication of your sustainability goals, and the positive effects it will have on your employees, you will dramatically increase employee engagement.  This can lead to achieving greater results faster than you had originally forecasted.

If you’d like a complementary initial meeting consultation to discuss employee engagement programs, please give us a call at 512-756-3145, or drop us a line at

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