People achieve more with training
The researchers also found a positive correlation between CSR training and employee engagement. If an employee received environmental training, he or she was more likely to believe the firm valued such behavior and was more likely to demonstrate the behavior. The finding may not be sexy, but it validates what smart managers know: If you want people to achieve a goal, give them the skills they need to achieve it.
Reward programs don’t connote firm values
Surprisingly, the researchers found the company’s reward program for environmental behavior did not make the employees believe the firm valued CSR. It’s possible the reward system at this company was too weak to influence perceptions. Or it’s possible the rewards actually do have little influence on employee behavior -- in which case, firms would be better to focus on other methods of engagement.
Key takeaway: For CSR buy-in, supervisors trump the CEO
The commitment to sustainability often starts in the C-suite, but Cantor and his colleagues observe that immediate supervisors may have a greater influence on employees than senior executives. Supervisors at each level in the organization can promote, or retard, the firm’s sustainability achievements by their day-to-day influence on those they directly oversee.
Source: David E. Cantor, Paula C. Morrow and Frank Montabon. “Engagement in Environmental Behaviors among Supply Chain Management Employees: An Organizational Support Theoretical Perspective.” Journal of Supply Chain Management 48.3 (July 2012): 33-51.
This article reprinted with permission from Network for Business Sustainability.
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