According to our research, 20 percent of respondents say they don’t participate in employee engagement programs because they’re not passionate about the programs that are offered. This fine line between creating a variety of programs for employees and programs spreading themselves too thin is something that many sustainability professionals face every day. Employees are more likely to participate in sustainability programs on topics they’re already passionate about, but it’s impossible to create an employee engagement program for everyone. Instead, when sustainability professionals develop employee programs they need to remember two things:

  1. Avoid one-size-fits-all programs
  2. Avoid static, repetitive programs

Employee engagement programs – especially those related to sustainability – are not “set it and forget it” programs. While you may see high levels of enthusiasm at the launch of the program, like anything, there is a shelf-life and employees will lose interest.

Take a data-centric approach to your programs to measure how long this enthusiasm and participation rates tend to last. Identify what groups of people tend to participate the longest and who drops off quickly. Once you have this benchmark established you can begin to develop a calendar of engagement programs that change at the right cadence for your organization.

Remember when developing your programs focus on the end-goal and provide your employees with multiple options to help hit your goals. For example, if your goal is to reduce employee generated emissions, brainstorm all of the ways employees can do so, such as biking to work or bike sharing, work from home options and public transportation benefit programs. Rather than just picking one, such as a “bike to work challenge,” you expose the different ways employees can reduce emissions and give them the chance to pick the one that’s best for their lifestyle.

What programs have you found are most successful in engaging your workforce?