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We all invest our time into sustainability. But more often than not, we neglect the one place that we spend more time than anywhere else in our lives: work.

Where workplace sustainability focuses on how green the office can become or how to reduce the carbon footprint, it’s also a way to embed it into the personal growth of your employees. To be clear, sustainability refers to this ongoing commitment to preserve and maintain. It’s commonly associated with the environment. But what about talent?

To have enduring success, building this network of support is a collective effort. However, there’s many ways that offices can build this momentum and invest this effort into its employees, including:

Workplace culture
When someone is asked “how is work?”, you’ll find that one of the first things they mention is the people they work with. Workplace culture is the sum of the beliefs, and attitudes that shape the personality of the organisation. Where this often formally based around the brand’s values, the people that work in that particular building, or the office, is what drives culture and keeps it alive. Therefore, it’s important to generate a culture that is accepting, open, and nurtures relationships rather than shred them because of internal politics. The Australian Human Resources Institute found that 71% of firms that were surveyed had undertaken a cultural change initiative, for the benefit of their employees.

Leading by example
A person often chooses their organisation based on the ethical standards that are closely aligned with their own. On the other hand, changes in ethical behaviour or integrity will drive your best talent out of the office. A Forbes study found that employees that rate their culture low are more likely to look elsewhere for work.

Motivation/interest/confidence
Every employee is different, and so there is no single way to keep your great employees motivated. Review your current structures to check that they are genuinely interested in their role. Acknowledging their work through informal methods outside of performance appraisals are also known to build and maintain employee confidence. The path-goal approach to leadership begins with merely listening to your employees. This is followed by placing their interests first and building a motivational program out of that to keep them confident. Learn more about the path-goal approach here.

Sustainability is a frame of mind. Rather than letting your colleagues rot in their roles, use workplaces to foster professional and personal growth. It’s not difficult to integrate this attitude of sustainability into our lifestyles. Whether it’s the environment, in efficiency, or in the workplace, it’s clear that participation equals value.

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