Moreover, says Davies, "Companies not only are anticipating that the value of E&S knowledge will increase, they are doing something about it. For example, 78 percent of companies educate employees about corporate E&S goals. More than half (55 percent) of the respondents think their company has an advanced or very advanced E&S education program."
Among small company respondents, 72 percent said their company has an advanced or very advanced E&S education program, compared with 44 percent and 45 percent of medium and large companies, respectively.
What about companies that aren't yet on board? According to the GreenBiz survey, companies lacking an E&S education program are likely to adopt one soon. Some 58 percent of the respondents whose companies have no program said their company would begin educating employees within the next two years (including 13 percent of small, 25 percent of medium and 12 percent of large company respondents).
This is 9 percentage points higher than in 2008 -- an indication that E&S education is growing in important to large and small companies, even during economically challenging times. Only about 8 percent of respondents don't expect to start a program, citing as reasons competing priorities, lack of time. and lack of clearly defined goals.
These are highly encouraging numbers, which we'll continue to track as part of a new partnership between NEEF and GreenBiz Group on employee engagement. (As part of the partnership, GreenBiz Group is housing the E&S education work of NEEF, along with our own articles, columns, and research, in a new section of GreenBiz.com dedicated to the topic.)
There remains great deal of work to be done, such as aggregating and disseminating best ideas and practices, and to spread them widely. Davies' and NEEF's research, while they show E&S employee engagement growing, don't necessarily reflect the breadth and depth it has achieved inside companies. I suspect that in most companies, E&S employee engagement still amounts to random acts of greenness.
The brass ring of all this, of course, are concrete metrics that show that E&S employee engagement motivates, inspires, attracts, retains, and provides all the other benefits its adherents claim. Solid measurement methodologies remain scarce and devising them has proved challenging, a state of affairs that needs to change if employee engagement is to realize its full potential, for employers and employees alike.