Bringing sustainability to life in your organization requires the active engagement of your employees. However, it is common for organizations to struggle with getting everyone on board and to keep the momentum going while caring out day-to-day operations. Since this is relatively new in the business world – there is little guidance on how to meaningfully involve employees in successful sustainability culture change.
The Challenge of Theory vs. Action
Most understand the key underlying and theoretical concepts of engaging people in sustainability. The problems arise when these high level concepts need to be applied at the operational level – turning strategy into effective action (or turning ideas into effective action). Every organization is different, so there isn’t one way to do things. Many look to other organizations thinking their examples might help them, but usually, because sustainability implementation is so context specific, it’s like comparing apples and oranges.
What Makes it Complicated and Unclear?
First, the list of sustainability related topics is infinite, so which do you choose to focus on? How? Secondly, sustainability engagement involves numerous concepts, theories and models, which collectively, are not easily implemented together within an organization or program. Some examples include, volunteer management, organizational change, communication, marketing, risk management, community building, knowledge management, informal education, stakeholder engagement, facilitation, conflict resolution, collaboration and event planning, just to name a few. Whew. It’s easy to see how this can get overwhelming and unclear quickly.
How do we go from treading water in the ocean of sustainability engagement to navigating our boat on a clear and intentional course to effective programming with measurable results?
Clear, Intentional and Purpose Driven Planning
At this year’s SEEN Talks Virtual Summit, Wendy Firlotte, a Sustainability Employee Engagement Specialist from Engage International, will be presenting her Sustainability Engagement Navigation Tool, which helps map out a clear, intentional and purpose driven program. It’s essentially a tool that clarifies, in a “snap shot”, all the moving pieces and how to navigate through them, from your strategic priorities, topics and engagement methods to addressing all of the relevant theories and models involved in implementation. It’s a solution to effective, impactful planning, implementation and measurement of your sustainability engagement initiatives. From beginning to end, the tool walks you through recruiting new participants, while growing and nurturing existing efforts.
Wendy Firlotte works with clients to create sustainability engagement programs for their employees with concrete “how-to” steps. Wendy has developed, implemented and coordinated successful sustainability employee education and engagement programs for national and multinational firms. She is a scientist, environmental manager and certified instructional designer, holding a master’s degree in sustainable development, focused on sustainability education and engagement.
Sustainability Employee Engagement Network (SEEN) Talks – Virtual Summit
You will only find the introduction to the Sustainability Engagement Navigation Tool at SEEN Talks, annual virtual Sustainability Engagement Summit. No need to pack your bags, just join on line to learn how to drive engagement in sustainability from strategy to operations.
This year our experts will share how to:
- Lead with strategy to secure management commitment and inspire employee participation.
- Systematically embed sustainability in organizational culture using a freely available new toolkit.
- Connect your Volunteer Program to transformational sustainability engagement.
- Use storytelling and gamification in your initiatives to boost impact.
Join Wendy and other practitioners and subject matter experts from Celestica, Ricoh, Realized Worth, Partners in Project Green, Background Stories and Sustainability Learning Centre in this practical knowledge sharing, networking and co-creation forum. See the SEEN Talks Website for more information.