In this post, we explain why you should engage your employees in a more sustainable lifestyle and share three different ways you can get started.
Why should a company engage in the lifestyle of their employees? Seems a strange thing to do? Well yes, talking about a more sustainable living of your employees gets you thinking about surveillance systems and not being allowed to eat what you want. The horror! But that would be taking a very authoritarian view on what a company can ask of an employee…
In reality, companies already heavily influence the lifestyles of their employees in everything from when we get out of bed in the morning, to how stressed we are, how we use our bodies and what money we have for consumption and savings.
Instead, it turns out that bringing sustainability into the conversation at work is actually a positive experience, says 85% of survey participants. In fact, staff expect from their employers that they take action on climate and 65% state they want to be active in that work.1
Opening up for a conversation about sustainability for individuals, for the workplace and for the planet as a whole, creates a very engaging and positive experience for your employees. But there are more!
3 arguments for why you should engage your employees in a more sustainable living
Foster green innovation within the company
The world is moving fast and the green transition will only accelerate in the coming years. For your company to stay on top, you will have to rethink business model, cater for changing consumption behaviours and demands, reorganise sales and distribution etc etc. So you will need your team to really understand what is happening here. And there is no stronger way to understand something, than to connect it to your own reality, to your own lifestyle.
There are a few stepstones to make this happen in a non-intrusive way while creating room for innovation:
- create internal awareness of your sustainability work to date. Many projects are already in progress and your employees need to know about them to be able to contribute.
- educate personnel in understanding the complexity of the question and how individuals, communities,
- companies and government policy all fit into this.
- emphasize that you are doing this together. Talking about the consequences of climate change can be
- overwhelming and create a lot of anxiety. By showing that your company takes this seriously and works for a better tomorrow, will create a sense of belonging and purpose.
- invite your team to participate in identifying ideas on how to improve and accelerate. The people close to the problem can often provide simple and easy insights and solutions.
Improve your sustainability performance and activate a larger customer base
Every sector of the global economy needs to transform and radically decarbonise in just over two business cycles.2 And there’s an increase in consumer demand for sustainable products and services.
For your company this means creating space for more innovation and better understanding of customers’ needs. With your team keeping a high focus on this, you will be able to create better products and services suited for the future. The fast-changing landscape requires more collaborative work and a common understanding within the whole of your company of the problems and opportunities. And who knows, if you’re fast enough you may gain a competitive advantage!
Your customers will be equally appreciative as your personnel for you taking action so spread the word of your progress and you will be seen as a role-model for your industry activating a larger community of existing and potential customers.
Engage and retain your personnel
Ok, so now your team is well-informed and ready to innovate and improve your sustainability performance. But do they like it? Yes, creating a common understanding around sustainability seems to create loyalty and trust with the employees. Our customer surveys show that 85% of the participants are happy or very happy that their employer is engaging them in sustainability. 3
Companies today are struggling to keep key personnel and recruit new talents. When working-from-home becomes the new norm, we need renewed efforts on engaging our employees in the challenges and opportunities that the company faces.
And it’s fun to do something great for the climate! It’s fun to try out new stuff, to feel part of a solution, a community and to contribute! So do good stuff and celebrate it – in return your employees will stay with you and create a stronger company.
How to engage your employees in a more sustainable living in 3 different ways
- Create awareness around climate change, emission levels and climate footprints and how this affects your business, society and the individuals.
- Create learnings so as to understand the amplitude of change required, the urgency of the situation, what one individual person/company/society can do and why it matters. In this context, we find that it is important to make it fun. This simple shift in talking about the very dire theme of climate change, makes a big difference. Don’t use shaming, that will turn people away from your initiative. Human beings learn the most when we are having fun. (Source) So make it fun and easy to participate in the learnings…
- Create action! This is where the magic happens, because learnings become knowledge when we start changing our behaviours and do things differently. Start small, focus on the low-hanging fruits: a veggie lunch, biking to work maybe? Then onto something more difficult: bring up a more sensitive topic during dinner, or with a business partner. There are hundreds and hundreds of things we can do. There are easy and difficult things, low-impact and high-impact, short-term and long-term, money-saving and health-increasing things. You choose. What we have found is that it always starts by doing something, a first step. Once you have started, doing the next step is easier and then all of a sudden you are looking at this topic differently. You have started to act for the climate and make a positive impact.
Deedster Challenge – a Team building Activity
We have brought all of these 3 aspects together into one experience. In our service Deedster Challenge, we create a 4-6 week long team building activity and challenge where we guide your teams through an engaging, fun and interesting experience using our mobile app. Together with your internal and external communications department, we create the material required before, during and after the challenge and create room for the celebration at the end!
It’s not easy to create change and drive a transition towards a sustainable society, but we at Deedster want to be a part in that journey. We have worked with behavioural scientists and academia in design and sustainability as well as the experts at WWF Sweden and a team of phenomenal app- and backend developers and UX-designers to create Deedster. Our mission is to involve everyone in true climate action and it would be an honour to work also with your team.
So we ask of you to engage your employees in a more sustainable living. We do this because it is urgent and because we see that this initiative is accelerating change. The climate crisis requires many of us to engage on a personal level as well as on a professional level. We are all inhabitants of this world, so let’s help each other in protecting it.
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