To successfully drive employee engagement and promote positive behavior change, “meet people where they are.” This was one of WeSpire’s Founder and CEO, Susan Hunt Stevens’, key takeaways from a recent interview with Sustainable Brands. By establishing a common ground that aligns your employees with your organization’s corporate values and goals, you are able to drive employee engagement in a space where employees feel both comfortable and motivated, setting your organization and employees up for success. In fact, business units raking in the top quartile for employee engagement are 22% more profitable than units in the bottom quartile.
Let your employees choose
What Susan’s point really boils down to is choice. Some employees may feel more comfortable starting to make changes at home, whereas others may enjoy the community encouragement of taking small actions at work alongside their colleagues. Often times, though, the line between home and work gets a little hazy. With the rise in telecommuting and working from home, employee engagement extends beyond the office walls: A recent WeSpire research report found that 89% of employees would try a sustainability tactic they learned at work at home.
Through our platform’s Management Panel – a ‘behind the scenes’ dashboard – WeSpire customers are able to track and measure the cumulative interests and impacts of all their employees who have signed up to participate. Each time someone joins a project, an internal log is created, measuring how many other people from their company also participate in that specific project. To get a more holistic snapshot into the interests of your employees, you can categorize projects based on whether they are projects participants complete at work or home, and also by subject.
So where do we see highest levels of participation rates among users on the WeSpire platform?
Interestingly, it’s an even split: 35% of WeSpire platform participants are in work-based projects, and exactly 35% of total participants are in home-based projects (which is any action taken outside the office, on a participant’s personal time), with the remaining 30% of participants in projects that include a mix of both home and work-based actions (see pie chart below).
What gets your employees going?
While offering choice of venue is important to driving employee engagement, the other aspect of meeting employees where they are is offering programs they are passionate about. The larger your organization is, the more challenging it can be to figure out what gets your employees out of bed and to work every day— and we’re not just talking about a hot coffee and public transportation. While some may care deeply about reducing waste and recycling at work, others may care more about getting involved with the community and volunteering.
The figure below illustrates just how varied people’s interests are: While 22% of participants are engaged in projects that include a mix of environmental sustainability actions (any actions related to waste, water, energy reduction), 19% join projects specifically on energy reduction and alternative transportation. Some of the most popular projects are not related to the environment at all: 18% of employees are participating in community affairs, volunteering and giving projects, and a further 13% are engaged in healthy eating and well-being projects.
Note: A single user can participate in multiple projects. Therefore, a single user can represent multiple participants.
By combining these two pie charts into the table below, we can see not only which types of projects are most popular, but also where different groups of actions are taken. For example, most participants complete food related and well-being projects at home (63%), while the majority of recycling and waste projects are completed at work (53%). Knowing which projects are most popular, and where those projects are completed can feed into forming successful sustainability initiatives that drive employee engagement, tailored specifically for your workforce.
With large and diversified workforces, and the ever-growing demand by employees for purpose-driven work, meeting employees where they are, and offering choice becomes essential to successfully drive employee engagement in CSR and sustainability. WeSpire takes it a step further, by tracking participation rates and resulted impacts from positive behavior change, taking the guesswork out of what motivates your employees.
Download WeSpire’s research report “The State of Employee Engagement in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility” to learn more about motivating your employees to drive employee engagement.