Acknowledge creativity and participation

Spot the talent and ideas for sustainability among your staff and reward them suitably

Twitching the famous saying a little, we can say that ‘everyone loves a good reward’, especially if it is given for a creative idea or trying out something new. If you want your workforce to take sustainability seriously, there can be no better way than appreciating their participation and rewarding the suitable efforts.

It is obvious then that for an organization to be able to reward and recognize the staff appropriately, it will need to have relevant criteria in place to be able to evaluate and calculate their performance. The main function of such criteria would be:

Boost a two-way communication on the goals of the organization and performance: –

A good measurement system will foster a discussion between staff and managers on their common goals how they are doing with making the goals a reality. Often, in day-to-day working, there is neither the time nor the inclination to discuss such matters. The staff can sometimes come up with very valuable ideas regarding their work or business. Usually these are easily lost in every day routine work, so performance evaluation is a good opportunity to make sure they captured.

Similarly, apply these measures to your subcontractors and suppliers as well. The good or bad impact of environmental and social actions of a business reflects directly on the company doing the contracting, especially if it has a better-known brand than the subcontractor. It should be clear to your suppliers and contractors that sustainability is an important part of your business or way of doing things. The warning of withdrawal of a contract should be an essential part of the relationship with them.shutterstock_78483775

Make your strategy clear and point out the significant actions and outcomes towards sustainability: –

Don’t fall for the flowery words. Rather, identify what will make a difference. The performance measures you put down should pinpoint the actions and outcomes that are expected from the staff. Make it clear to the staff that sustainability ‘policies’, strategies’ or ‘mission and goals’ are not just fantasies to keep senior management busy. It is a ‘regular job’ of the organization. If the staff can link this strategy linked directly to rewards, sustainability issues will become much more interesting and important in their eyes.

Offer data on the progress of sustainability goals: –

Besides measuring individual staff members’ progress, a measurement system should also enable the company to keep on top of its development in sustainability terms.

Some organizations regard contribution to sustainability as something to be rewarded separately, perhaps with an awards ceremony and gifts. This would be a mistake as it suggests that sustainability is just an attachment, rather than at the core of the business. The management should make it a point to integrate sustainability goals into the regular financial reward and recognition program.


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