New Research: 71% of American Workers Value Employers’ Sustainability Commitments

7 04 2011

We’ve long known the employee satisfaction is a key driver of customer satisfaction.  Now a company’s efforts to improve sustainability is proving to be another driver of employee engagement, pride, productivity and retention.


A public opinion survey conducted by Harris Interactive National Quorum on behalf of Interface, Inc. reveals that 63% of full-time workers believe a company’s impact on the environment is vital when evaluating a new workplace, and 61% say the same about the company’s profit margin. Meanwhile, an even greater majority—71%—value a commitment to sustainability, defined in this study as “environmental protection,” as an important or very important criteria.

“There is broad recognition that companies that focus on sustainability, or protecting and preserving the environment, are appealing to American workers,” said Dan Hendrix, president and CEO of Interface. “Profits are obviously the lifeblood of any company, but what we see here is that employees want their organizations to have more purpose. These results speak to a lasting trend about the kind of long-term-focused organizations that employees want to belong to.”

This telephone study was conducted between February 23 and 27, 2011 among 504 U.S. adults employed full-time to learn and share opinion for ideals about workplace preferences. The study also revealed gender disparities in how employees evaluate potential employers. For instance, 78% of female employees felt a company’s impact on the environment was particularly important, while 52% of male workers believed the same. These findings could point to an opportunity for organizations focused on reducing their impacts on the environment to attract and retain women in leadership positions.

Other results showed the extent to which employees feel engaged with their current companies. National findings carried an overall optimistic tone despite the still-challenging economic climate, with:

  • 81% of full-time workers saying they are familiar with their company’s mission statement.
  • 84% of full-time workers agreeing that the company they work for shares their views on what is important in life.
  • 64% of full-time employees claiming involvement in company initiatives outside the scope of their everyday responsibilities.


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