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Published April 24, 2008 08:18 AM

Organizations’ Environmental Activities Impact Employees

A study by the Kenexa Research Institute indicates that organizations environmental initiatives significantly influence employee motivation and their opinions of senior management. Fifty-four percent of employees surveyed in a cross-culture study that spanned 13 countries looked favorably on their organizations’ “green” initiatives. More Indian workers (63%) looked favorably on their organization’s environmental initiatives than their counterparts in Russia (42%) and Japan (40%), where the two least favorable ratings were recorded.

The research results indicate that an organization’s record of environmental responsibility can significantly and positively influence employees’ opinions of management and the company they work for, their overall job satisfaction, intentions to stay with the company and recommend it to others as a good place to work, according to Kenexa.

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“Those organizations committed to the environment demonstrate this by routinely recycling, conserving energy and working with vendors who share similar values. This sets them apart from their competition by creating a positive employment brand, and establishes an emotional tie between the employee and organization,” Anne Herman, a Kenexa research consultant stated in a media release.

Environmental Issues & Ethical Values

Employees with favorable views of their organization’s environmental responsibility and the extent of its “green” activities are much more likely to feel that management is more willing and better able to deal with organizational challenges, demonstrate that its employees are important to its success and effectively communicate a vision of the company’s direction, according to Kenexa’s research.

Survey respondents reported that their organizations’ reputation was a factor in their joining their organizations. Those who responded favorably towards their organizations’ environmental initiatives were more likely to indicate that the company’s reputation had improved in the past year compared those who were unfavorable.

“Today’s employees are considering the reputation of an organization in their decision to join, and the positive influence of a company’s green policy relates to a more favorable reputation. Earth Day serves as a reminder that organizations that participate in ”green’ initiatives, are not only positive global environmental citizens, they increase their competitive advantage when hiring and retaining employees,” said Herman.

Moreover, how an organizations leaders approach environmental issues and what they do in terms of environmental responsibility also influences employees’ views of management’s ethics and conduct and values overall, and by proxy, those of an organization as a whole. High standards of environmental conduct contribute to employees’ overall perspective of managements’ ethical conduct, leading to greater trust.

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