Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees

“I have never seen anything equal to sustainability as far as attracting, motivating, and bring people together.”  --- Ray C. Anderson, Founder and Chairman of Interface in AmericanWay Magazine, October 1, 2007

As the baby boomers retire, the US labor market is expected to tighten, as the new generation of workers is simply much smaller than the one it is replacing.  Indeed, by 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting a shortfall of 10MM workers in the US.   In such a tight labor market, employers will have to pull out all stops to continue to attract top talent.  One way employers are learning to differentiate is to market their companies to employees and prospects as green.

Indeed, green may be a powerful recruitment and retention tool.  According to an recent Ipsos Mori survey, 80% of respondents across 15 developed nations would prefer working for a company that “has a good reputation for environmental responsibility” – the figure was 81% in the US. 

Most interestingly, it appears that more respondents – across all countries surveyed - were more concerned about working for an environmentally responsible company than purchasing from one.  One potential reason: “employees feel a significant sense of responsibility and association with their employer’s actions concerning the environment.”

              Preference for an Environmentally Responsible Company

 

employee-retention-charts_v1pdf.gif

 

Data from “Corporate Environmental Behavior and the Impact on Brands”, Tangberg and Ipsos MORI survey, October 2007; n = 16,823; Green employment preference: % of respondents that agreed with the following statement: "I would prefer to work for a company that has a good reputation for environmental responsibility”; Green purchase preference: % of respondents that agreed with the following statement: "I would be more likely to purchase products of services from a company with a good reputation for environmental responsibility”

The study points out that German (and perhaps Japanese) workers have a seemingly low preference for working for an environmentally responsible company.  This may be a bit deceiving, however, as green may not be a differentiator in markets where strict environmental regulations are simply a threshold to compete.

Interesting, there was there was relatively little difference in preference based on age based on a blended view of responses across all 15 countries.  The youngest workers – 24 years or younger – have the lowest preference for working for an environmentally responsible company.  This is somewhat surprising, as GenY is often cited for its relative social consciousness.

Preference to Work for an Environmentally Responsible Company by Age

employee-retention-charts_v2.gif

Data from “Corporate Environmental Behavior and the Impact on Brands”, Tangberg and Ipsos MORI survey, October 2007; n = 16,823

 

Encouragingly, there are signs that employers are beginning to recognize the importance of green in their recruitment and retention efforts.  A recent survey of UK employers by Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests that many companies are responding by greening their operations and encouraging more eco friendly behavior at the office.

                                   Employee Environmental Activities

  

employee-retention-charts_v3pdf.gif

Data from “Labor Market Outlook", CIPD, Summer 2007; n = 757 UK employers

 

Moreover, some companies offer green benefits directly to employees –including incentives to purchase a hybrid or take public transportation or car pool, encourage working remotely or even subsidizing the purchase of renewable energy at home.  CIPD offers a useful green guide for HR officials on its site.

Yet, there seems to be an obvious disconnect at companies today: while green is increasingly an HR issue, the HR department is positioned to influence environmental policy at less than half the companies surveyed.
 

                  Departmental Responsibility for Environmental Policy
  employee-retention-charts_v4pdf.gif

Data from “Labor Market Outlook”, CIPD, Summer 2007; n = 757 UK employers

As the labor market becomes more competitive, companies will have to maintain a competitive edge in order to continue to attract top talent.    

Green can be an important differentiator given the interest in working for an environmentally responsible company by workers globally.  As such, HR officials should weigh in in order to shape environmental policy and benefits.  Moreover, these officials should actively market their companies' green activities to prospects and employees alike; their ability to recruit and retain future talent in an increasingly competitive labor market may depend on it.   

Postscript: An insightful article, "How Going Green Draws Talent, Cuts Costs" appeared in the Wall Street Journal three days after my posting. 

About these ads

26 Responses to Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees

  1. […] an interesting post today on Going Green to Recruit and Retain EmployeesHere’s a quick […]

  2. Wanda says:

    Great post there. I really enjoyed the article too. Thanks!

  3. “As the labor market becomes more competitive, companies will have to maintain a competitive edge in order to continue to attract top talent.” I am sure this will grow as more and more of our generation take these type of schooling

  4. sar says:

    Ремонт квартиры, только лучшие советы.

  5. Erwin Heid says:

    What real Green house culture or Green building culture is, can not be caught in words. The Indian philosopher Vivekananda, used 3 word to express this sentiment: good, nice and true.

    what is good, is also true and nice.
    what is true, is also good and nice.
    what is nice, is also good and true.

    Still, nature gives us joy and happiness, rest and peace. And this all free of charge – without expecting a consideration, except being left alone as independent.
    However, We, modern people think of ourselves as more intelligent than nature. Our products are more perfect than everything what the environment let millions of years grow from the ground.

    It is a pity over and over again, that the colour and the word “Green” as promotion for such business, is pulled up, although these do not mostly deal with the real problem – nature and environment.
    Green should deal only in connection with products of the nature, and in connection with the protection of our environment.

    But the nature of us is, the nature and their needs to ignore.
    Then the people notice that they have destroyed the environment at first, if it is too late something to “repair”.
    I think it will be the same problem in China too.

    For Green living there are a lot in the net more or less useable.
    I try with my site Why Go Green For Our Childrens Future ? show the people how go green with a lot of easy green tips.

    Your advocate for why go green, freelance architect and building biologist, Erwin

  6. career interest survey…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  7. starting a business…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  8. Welcome says:

    Welcome…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  9. ebenvios says:

    ebenvios…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  10. Ultimate Demon Bonus…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  11. […] companies without. This is because environmental management systems result in cost-savings, attract top-notch talent, and through our experience, can benefit your brand through positive media coverage and […]

  12. Buy Supplies says:

    Buy Supplies…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  13. Mobile Marketing Solutions…

    […]Going Green to Recruit and Retain Employees « Marketing Green[…]…

  14. Hi, just wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post.

    It was funny. Keep on posting!

  15. Hi, just wanted to mention, I liked this blog post.
    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

  16. SXcjVBAVrncrAlhLua 6735

  17. I think other website proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and great user genial style and design, let alone the content You are an expert in this topic!

  18. I haven’t checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily blog list You deserve it my friend :

  19. Eddy says:

    wonderful issues altogether, you just received a brand new reader.
    What may you suggest about your submit that you simply
    made some days in the past? Any positive?

  20. whole life says:

    A participating whole life insurance policy under which he
    would be covered for his entire life as long as you continue to pay higher increasing premiums.
    Make a consultation with the life insurance policy in case of premature death –
    and whole life insurance not as a strong investment tool.

  21. My spouse and I stumbled over here from a different page and thought I might check
    things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking over your web page for a second
    time.

  22. Boom, get more twitter followers debauched soft you’ve a
    one dollar bill afterward. Do you desire to know how expose me to thoughts and info that I would not hold come across on my own.

    Yeah that demonstrates you the we will be uttering about numerical
    single-valued functions. What you will as well discover is erroneousness because we don’t have got changed our unity config.
    This will engross others this dissimilar consorting to what filing cabinet you’re traveling by.

    To get, we engross others 100% of the time on auto-pilot.
    Now let’s movement concluded to simply locomoting to
    leave alone it like that.

  23. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo
    News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers

%d bloggers like this: