Sustainability refers to the practice of meeting the needs and demands of people today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs as well. It is the balancing of various social, environmental and economic factors in a manner that is optimal for the preservation of current and future generations. Now more than ever, sustainability is one of the most urgent topical issues in the world.
Owing to the fact that since the Industrial Revolution, most companies/corporations have played a massive role in the degradation of the environment, organisations can no longer afford to ignore this fact. In this article we’ll look at various ways in which companies can become more sustainable especially through their HR departments.
- MAKE SUSTAINABILITY A PART OF YOUR COMPANY’S MISSION STATEMENT.
Ensure that sustainability is a key part of your company’s goals. This should also be reflected in your recruitment process in order to ensure that your employees work together towards achieving this common goal. For instance, discuss your sustainability goals during interviews in order to let future employees know what you stand for.
- PROVIDE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES.
Clearly set out the ways in which your company’s sustainability goals are going to impact the society and the environment and let your staff know the roles they can play in achieving these goals. You can speak to your suppliers about sustainable sourcing or find suppliers that are in alignment with your sustainability goals.
- PROVIDE VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES.
Allow your employees to join company volunteer programs. They can also take time off to support charities, and to nominate charities or causes your company can support. You could have an end of year company tradition where you donate to specific charities at the end of the year and have your employees visit these charities.
- ADOPT CULTUTAL CHANGE STARTEGIES.
Human Resource departments are charged with handling the affairs of the organisations culture. HR is able to provide data that allows company heads to see how the existing culture aligns with the company’s strategy as well as the progress being made in regard to the implementation of these strategies. A prime example of a sustainable cultural strategy is the training of company heads to properly communicate with their employees’ regarding work-life conflicts. This means providing suitable working conditions and being mindful to the needs of employees such as their health and their relationships with their co-workers.
- PROMOTE EMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION.
In a bid to promote sustainability, it is important to give your employees from every level the opportunity to communicate their ideas to their managers. Employee participation creates the conditions for a fruitful social dialogue between the employer and employees. Employee participation increases overall job satisfaction and improves employee loyalty to your company. This in turn means that your company can save up on the costs of recruitment, hiring and training of new employees.
- EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT.
One of the ways to achieve sustainability as a company is to train and equip your employees with skills that will benefit the future needs of your company. The business environment is constantly evolving and the need for newer skills is constantly arising in companies. In order to promote sustainability within your company consider sustainably developing your employees. This is can be done through the long-term orientation of your employees by equipping them with the necessary skills that will benefit your company’s future needs.
- REVIEW YOUR WORKPLACE PRACTICES.
Review all your processes and work practices to ensure that they are in line with your sustainability goals. Address any areas that are not up to par and develop a code of ethics you would like your company to adhere to. Remember to re-evaluate and adjust your goals in order to keep up with the ever changing societal issues.
Many companies are switching to more sustainable workplace practices in order to keep up with the current global sustainability demands. Implementing a few of these tools is a great way to positively impact your organisation and society as a whole.