Corporate Sustainability Programs Held Steady, SHRM Survey

Creating a sustainable workplace. Flexible hours = more productive workers.

Flexible hours = more productive workers.

A new survey from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) shows that increased employee morale, a better public image, and efficiency top the reasons why organizations should consider a corporate sustainability program.

The survey shows that 53% of organizations said their sustainability initiatives improved employee morale.

Slightly more than half—51%—said sustainability programs created a stronger public image for the organization.

A little less than half, or 47%, reported more efficient business processes.

Roughly four out of 10 (37%) organizations report calculating the return-on-investment, or ROI, on their sustainability initiatives.

Among those that calculated ROI, 56% report a positive return on investment while 39% note too early to tell at the time of survey. Five percent calculated a break-even point.

Only one% calculated a negative ROI.

“Sustainability initiatives can play a large part in boosting an employer’s brand and improving employee retention,” said Alexander Alonso, Ph.D., SPHR, VP of research at SHRM.

The 2012 numbers are mostly improved compared with 2010 when 47% of HR professionals reported a positive return on investment while 46% reported it too early to tell. Six% calculated a break-even point.

Only 1% calculated a negative ROI.

Percentage Of Firms With Sustainability Programs Unchanged Since 2010

The most recent sustainability survey shows that 72% of organizations are engaged in sustainable business practices, unchanged since 2010.

A breakdown shows that 50% have a formal sustainability policy directly tied to business strategy. Roughly four in 10, or 42%, have an informal sustainability policy. Only 8% have no sustainability policy in place.

The survey identifies five methods HR professionals use to engage employees in volunteer community outreach initiatives:

  • 62% recognize employees who participate in volunteer programs;
  • 51% provide company-sponsored volunteer events during work hours;
  • 48% provide company-sponsored volunteer events after work hours, e.g. weekends;
  • 48% encourage senior management to participate in volunteer programs; and
  • 43% encourage employees to spearhead volunteer programs.

The SHRM survey defines sustainability as: the commitment by organizations to balance financial performance with contributions to the quality of life of their employees, the society at large, and environmentally sensitive initiatives.

SHRM surveyed 713 HR professionals, randomly selected from its membership.

To read the complete survey, click:

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