Staff training development and rewards

When companies are serious about improving staff performance or changing practices in a given area of the business, they will normally make a big investment in staff training and development to do this. It is normal nowadays for companies to send all staff on health and safety training, management training, project management training, and so on. Similarly, companies that are serious about sustainability need to build capacity across the whole staff body on the issue. A company will not have 'embedded' sustainability if all the expertise is located within one small department or team.

Fortunately, leadership development programmes in sustainability now exist. The Prince of Wales's Business and Environment Programme (BEP), for example, was established in 1994 and now runs international leadership seminars on sustainability issues and strategy in six locations around the world. Each seminar provides a deep immersion for senior executives in key challenges of sustainability, but then helps them to integrate social and environmental solutions within decision-making processes while still remaining profitable.

BEP is the flagship programme of the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), an institution within the university that works with business, government and civil society to build leaders' capacity to meet the needs of society and address critical global challenges. Other CPSL programmes include the Climate Leadership Programme, which helps senior executives to seize the business advantage inherent in addressing global climate change, and Financing the Future, which seeks to equip senior leaders in the finance sector with an understanding of key climate change impacts, trends and responses, and to explore the risks and opportunities that these present for financial-sector organizations and their markets.

As more and more business leaders have gained an understanding of sustainability issues, so many companies have adopted an approach to business that recognizes the role of social and environmental issues in enhancing commercial performance. But if this strategy is to succeed, employees need to see the sustainable development objectives clearly reflected in their personal targets and rewards.

Performance appraisal must take into account the contribution of individuals and teams to longer-term social and environmental goals as well as short-term financial objectives. If all the bonuses for a procurement team are dependent upon achieving lowest cost contracts, for example, it will be no surprise if they display little interest in the energy performance and carbon intensity of the supplier base.

I know of one CEO of a FTSE 100 retail company that has a quantified target for carbon reduction as one of the seven objectives that will be used to assess his next bonus. He has since made sure that this is reflected in the objectives of his direct reports and it is expected that the objective will cascade down through the organization increasing the likelihood that it is met.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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