Employee Engagement

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose are at the heart of what motivates us.  Sustainability uniquely delivers these elements. 

  • Purpose: environmental and social responsibility
  • Mastery: the ability to hone our knowledge and skills to achieve this purpose
  • Autonomy: the distributed leadership model that allows each of us to have an important role in achieving a sustainable society


Featured Tool:

Check out this terrific resource.  It will guide you through understanding your culture and development a custom strategy and engagement plan. Click the image to download the tool.

Learn more about what motivates us:

A Systems Approach to Employee Engagement for Sustainability:

Engagement is an individual’s sense of purpose and focused energy, evident to others in the display of personal initiative, adaptability, effort and persistence directed toward personal and organizational goals that embody a shared “higher purpose”.

Employee engagement for sustainability can enable change toward sustainability, predict organizational success, financial performance and employee outcomes such as retention and attraction.   Research shows a "systems" approach to employee engagement for sustainability can be powerfully successful. When we connect with the Whole "thinking, feeling, willing, social self" - employees throughout the organization respond in surprising ways.  Learn More about Whole Employee Engagement for Sustainability.


Develop your own Mastery - learn more about best practices for employee engagement for sustainability in our ON-Demand Employee Engagement for Sustainability Program.

Your Employee Engagement Strategy:

For the last year the Sustainability Learning Centre and Employee Engagement for Sustainability Specialist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., have been hosting a peer dialogue series on the steps to a successful Employee Engagement for Sustainability Strategy.  Wendy has documented this journey in our SEND (Sustainability Engagement Network Dialogue) blog series. Follow these links to the articles.

  1. Planning and strategy - assessing needs, visioning and addressing challenges
  2. Addressing scope: local vs corporate plans and activites
  3. Communicating with front line staff
  4. Benchmarking/Office rating systems
  5. Beyond start up - dealing with plateaus and revitilizing programs
  6. Participation - overcoming barriers and competing priorities
  7. Integrating sustainability into operations - creating culture, gaining leadership   support, Sustainability KPIs
  8. Tracking and Measurement
  9. Reporting - purpose and content

Join this series and gain access to the Sustainability Learning Centre Community of Practice.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Habits can Block Sustainable Behaviour:

We have often heard it said that we are "creatures of habit" and changing these habits into "sustainable or green" habits will be next to impossible.

Watch our webinar where we examine the habit assertions of Charles Duhigg, author of "The Power of Habit – Why we do what we do in life and business". Duhigg argues that, while deeply ingrained, habits can be changed and there are effective ways to change them.

Using sustainability examples we will examine:
• how the brain works to establish and use habits in our daily lives
• the elements and workings of the "habit loop"
• the power of belief—and the importance of social groups in helping create belief for successful habit transformation
• how deliberate group leadership can shape the habits of organizations
• how keystone habits, at the center of our personal lives, are pivotal when it comes to larger organizations and how the greatest keystone habit of all: willpower can best be cultivated
• how social movements, such as sustainability, tend to follow a three-part process to establish new habits.

Watch "Developing Green Habits for Sustainability".

Changemakers Inspire Employee Engagement for Sustainability:

As Changemakers, we have a legitimate role in inspiring people, but in turn, we must be inspiring.

We sometimes tell ourselves that only charismatic people can be inspirational.  But if we understand people’s worldviews and understand what is meaningful to them, we can tailor our program to reach these touchpoints.  Depending on the "worldview" of our employees, the following "calls" can be effective.

  • Call to Duty
  • Call to Action
  • Call to Imagination
  • Call to Service

Learn more about Inspiring Engagement for Sustainability in our course.

Finding Our Authentic, Inspirational Selves:

The quality of an intervention is dependent on the interior state of the intervener,”    Bill O’Brien, past CEO, Hanover Insurance.

So you might be asking – people can be inspired by sustainability initiatives, but how do I inspire others?

Baan, Long and Pearlman researched 40 inspirational leaders in sustainability.  They showed that these sustainability leaders embody nine personal capacities:

  • Being Present – they have the ability to live in the moment and give their full attention to the people and activities in front of them
  • Suspension and Letting Go – this relates to the ability to suspend the voice of judgement, the voice of fear and the voice of cynicism – to leave the politics behind and see the situation and people anew
  • Intention Aligned with Higher Purpose – this relates to the meaningfulness and shared higher purpose we talked about before
  • Holding Paradoxes/Ambiguities and Multiple Worldviews  - recognizing that people see things differently and craft differentkey messages for different people.
  • Compassion – have compassion for those who might be skepticalor are initially uninterested in the sustainability journey
  • Personal Power – recognize their own personal power and use it carefully
  • Whole System Awareness – recognize the interconnectedness of people, rules, structures and strategies and the need to approach things in a holistic manner.
  • Whole Self Awareness – being comfortable with bringing your “whole self” to work – including that spiritual side
  • Sense of Humour – and have a good sense of humour.

Learn more in the courses: ON-DEMAND Facilitating Transformational Change toward Sustainability (Part I of II) and ON-Demand: Facilitating Transformational Change toward Sustainability (Part II of II)

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