What Does ESG Mean to Your Business? Part 4: Prosperity

ESG Prosperity

ESG refers to business leader’s focus on Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance in relation to their long-term plans. What can a focus on ESG mean to your business or profitability, and how can companies use employee engagement tactics to further the cause?

In 2017, over 140 CEOs from the World Economic Forum International Business Council (IBC) issued a “Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership”. The CEOs developed a framework that companies can use to track and demonstrate long-term sustainability. This compact aligns corporate goals to the long-term goals of society and identified “Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) as the roadmap for that alignment.

Our February and March blog posts provide an overview of the 4 pillars of ESG, and what they can mean for your business.

The 4 pillars of ESG that are covered in this 4-part series are:

Governance

Planet

People

Prosperity

 

Part 4: Prosperity

The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identifies prosperity as an area of critical importance: “We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature”.

 

The core features of prosperity include 1) no poverty, 2) decent work and economic opportunity, 3) industry, innovation and infrastructure and 4) reduced inequality. Prosperity is necessarily linked to people and planet: ensuring that the workforce is engaged and that the company they work for shares their values. When key talent is recognized and rewarded, they feel valued and remain with the company.

 

The prosperity pillar also helps to connect the dots between ESG (Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance) and Employee Engagement. Three paths to higher employee engagement include: 1) The rise of the socially conscious consumer (they’ll switch brands and pay more for products and services produced by companies that share their values), 2) Activist employees (they expect the company they work for to share their values and “walk the talk”) and 3) Investors (understanding that purpose-driven companies are growing at twice the rate of others.)

 

Where to start?

 

It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Chances are that most companies are already doing something right. Whether you have a robust and effective brand, training program, diversity and inclusion strategy, employee wellness program or sales incentive program, you’ll likely be able to build upon that initial platform. For example, if your company has an effective sales incentive program, incorporating an existing (or creating a new) wellness program into the mix may be a logical next step. As you slowly build, including training, innovation and other initiatives will result in an enterprise-wide culture of recognition. Partnering with an experienced firm that can assess where you are now and advise you as to the best way to grow is a good starting point.

 

Through ESG, both stakeholders and shareholders benefit as they recognize that the company isn’t just doing good because it’s the right thing to do; it’s also profitable.

 

For more info on how ESG impacts employee engagement, view our latest webinar:

WAW-Webinar-2021_-EE-and-ESG-CTA2

 

In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.
 

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.
 

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.
 

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.
 

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.

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