Employee Engagement: a Means and An End!

More than an obligatory mechanism for implementing your strategic plan, engaging your employees on sustainability issues is an integral part of acting sustainably!

As a basic proposition, strategic planning begins with strongly defining future success, realistically assessing current conditions, and broadly envisioning a course to close the gap.  Management then turns this strategic vision into a concrete plan-of-action with specific targets, and metrics to generate feedback that drives continuous improvement.

Translating your strategic plan into reality requires the effort of everyone—your organization’s full cast of characters.  As with actors in a drama, everyone (stars, chorus, understudies, etc.) need to know the entire script—not just their own part.  Even the support staff and backstage crew need to know their roles and how they fit into the big picture or “the show won’t go on”.  Until everyone memorizes their lines and internalizes their characters, the play will remain a written script.  It surely won’t hit it to Broadway.

Successful implementation, therefore, requires a comprehensive employee engagement process that goes beyond providing a simple set of facts.  The entire staff must internalize the knowledge you give them, so they see how their jobs contribute to forming the big picture.  Gradually they will form a personal, more meaningful, understanding of your vision and start making impromptu decisions that naturally take the organization in the intended direction.

Investing time and money in building this human resource capacity does more than support the implementation of your action plan.  It helps build a strong culture around shared values.  Employees see individual success provides shared success—and vice versa.  In turn, your workforce develops a sense of belonging—an important human need.  This will lead to better talent retention, thereby lowering turnover, improving productivity and positively impacting the bottom line.