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39 % Consider Digital Communication to be the Leading Indicator of Sustainability Performance

31 Jul 2015

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Digital Communications: a Pillar for Workforce Engagement and Success

CSR Hub Sustainability Performance Chart

Workforce Engagement and Success

Is a company that has a strong corporate social responsibility (CSR) reputation more likely to be a better user of digital media? Are its websites and other digital communication tools more useful and do they have better content? You might expect a connection between sustainability performance and the internal communication of a company’s CSR program, but is there also a broader connection that demonstrates that a company with a sophisticated digital communications strategy and strong CSR/sustainability programs will have also incorporated communication of their CSR program into their external communications strategy?

Human motivation, digital, and sustainability is not an easy intersection to assess and navigate! It requires that you connect many relevant perspectives and focus where necessary for a particular digital and sustainability challenge and/or opportunity.

Cynthia Figge of CSRHub, a recent speaker at Sustainable Brands 2015, provides some guidance. She described four different measures that correlate with perceived sustainability performance and ‘Digital Communications’ stood out as a leading indicator.

“We compared CSRHub data on perceived CSR performance for 14,441 companies and data on 937 companies from Investis, an international digital corporate communications and investor relations company. We determined we could explain 39% of the variation in digital communications quality for 845 overlapping companies – and found that good policies on employee compensation, employee training/health/safety, energy and climate change, and on environment policy were correlated with better digital communications performance.“

Issues for HR, Communications, Sustainability & Technology Leaders to Consider

  • Most organisations rely on a diverse mix of employees, consultants, temporary help, and partners that are highly distributed and have very different labor management and productivity needs. We’ll touch on challenges and recommendations, as well as discuss how sustainable brands define workforce success including high-levels of engagement and active participation.
  • Many organisations have antiquated communication and human resource policies and systems – coupled with cultures that create friction rather than remove it. With increasingly distributed and contract workforces, how should organisations modernise to keep pace with workforce engagement and success trends?
  • Contemporary success comes from hiring and retaining the best talent within budget regardless of their location and unique needs. What does your future workforce expect from you and what is reasonable to deliver?
  • Process automation and the use of artificial intelligence is increasing in the workplace freeing up resources for the things only we humans can do well. With more efficient operations, organisations can focus on developing higher quality products, improved services and customer experiences that create greater competitive advantage and drive sustainable revenue growth.
  • Digital and sustainability work hand-in-hand and cut across the organisation regardless of size, industry or geography. What is best practice in a collaborative approach that engages employees and leaders and what are the key stages?

Intersection Recap

I previously wrote about a complex intersection between human motivation, digital, and sustainability that Elcom and Creatorbase are exploring. And with much anticipation, we announced on June 2nd the #WorkforceSuccess15 initiative at the Sustainable Brands 2015 conference (recaps & videos).

Sustainability is a hot topic covered by many including: Jacob Morgan and his Future of Work community; McKinsey & Company, Gartner, Inc., Forrester Research, Altimeter Group and PwC. For a quick scan check out the massive fire hose of incredible ideas and insights from #SB15sd sessions and side conversations in San Diego!

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