Today (April 22) marks the annual Earth Day – a day dedicated to support for environmental protection. And, in line with the theme of the day, tech giant IBM has launched a new sustainability study and global index.
The study, which polled over 14,000 consumers in locations such as the US, the UK, Canada and Germany, discovered that the pandemic has had a direct impact on customer views on sustainability – which is impacting employment decisions.
The study found that less than half of all respondents trust corporate commitments to sustainability, something that may hinder a search for top talent as 71% of jobseekers in the research noted that they would consider environmentally sustainable businesses more attractive to work for.
However, the most notable finding in the study for HR is that as much as 48% of respondents would accept taking a lower salary to work for an environmentally sustainable and conscious company.
With one in four workers currently planning to switch employers at some point throughout 2021, it seems that sustainability must be a considered factor in any HR strategy, not only to attract the best talent, but also to retain employees who are looking to work for an environmentally ethical firm.
How can HR promote sustainability?
Onboarding and recruitment
To ensure sustainability is at the heart of a business, HR’s goals should be clearly outlined during the recruitment and onboarding process. This will also ensure that HR is finding the right employees to fit with your company’s ambitions and culture.
According to Sage, HR should actively work alongside its leadership team to define what the company’s social purpose is and how the workforce can achieve it. Once this has been defined, the business as a whole can work together to enforce the purpose and to ensure sustainability is championed.
While your company purpose may be outlined, without sufficient training, employees may not truly understand the reasons behind it. In addition, a business’s leaders also need to be aware of sustainability measures that may require specialised knowledge, such as talking to companies about sustainable or fair wages.
Lastly, HR’s goals for sustainability should be embedded within each employee’s performance review, so that they know what is expected of them and how they can make a difference. This coupled with a reward programme will incentivise individuals to make changes and will allow a business to measure business gains.