Corporate Sustainability Focuses on Employee Health and Productivity

by: Nichole Gunn March 14, 2011

Sustainability in regard to a company means its ability to stay focused, move forward, and grow while meeting the demand of the marketplace. To create a sustainable business, all aspects of the business must be examined, reviewed, and tweaked if necessary.

A relatively new focus on sustainability is a company’s employees. Employers need to create a workplace environment in which employee satisfaction is recognized and addressed.

CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle conducted a recent survey that found 31 percent of participants stated that productivity and employee health were the two most essential factors in business sustainability. This reflects a 2 percent boost from the 2009 survey, and surpasses energy expenses, rising to the number one concern for an organization’s capability.

To further emphasis the impact employee appreciation is having in the workplace, another 11 percent of the participants referred to employee satisfaction as an individual category. Between the two statistics, close to 50 percent of respondents place a very high priority on employee morale and health.

In a statement, Jones Lang LaSalle’s chairman of energy and sustainability services Dan Probst explained, "The focus on containing operational cost remains a driver of many sustainability programs, but corporate real estate executives also recognize the value of enhancing workplace effectiveness with strategies that promote employee health, well-being and productivity.”

Results of surveys such as Jones Lang LaSalle’s demonstrates that the time factor is now for introducing effective employee rewards programs. And, the rewards do not necessarily have to be monetary. Non-cash incentives are an effective strategy, especially for employees who have been with a company for the long-haul – they have proved their company loyalty.

Municipalities are even taking note of employee incentive strategies for the long-time employee. One such town is Plymouth, Massachusetts. The town’s Consolidation Committee recently passed a vote that will allow for discussions on the best and most effective rewards for valuable long-time employees. There are some employees who have worked for the town for 40 years.

Sergio Harnais, the committee's chairman and selectman, told the Old Colonial Memorial, "I think employees appreciate being recognized, and I think we would be doing them a disservice by not recognizing years of service.”

Focusing on increasing Plymouth's public employees’ morale, Harnais added that the committee’s goal is to “to honor the employees for their careers, preferably through non-cash solutions.” The committee also wants to let the rewards to be an incentive to other employees – their practical ideas and suggestions to help improve the town’s operations are not only welcome, but will be rewarded.


About Nichole Gunn