Workers’ Perceptions of Environmental Policies

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Purchase, N.Y. — Sept. 18
Employees who are satisfied with their employer’s concern for the environment are more likely to take pride in their jobs — a key factor in increasing the engagement of workers — according to a study of more than 80,000 employees by Sirota Survey Intelligence, specialists in attitude research.

But the level of employees’ satisfaction with their employers’ environmental policies decreases further down the organizational ladder, with senior-level executives the most satisfied, hourly employees the least favorable and middle managers’ views falling in between.

Key findings are as follows:

  • 82 percent of employees who are satisfied with their organization’s concern for the environment said they are proud to work for their employers.
  • Just 55 percent of employees who view their employer’s environmental positions unfavorably express pride in working for their organizations.
  • Employees’ satisfaction with their employers’ concern for the environment decreases further down the organizational ladder — 93 percent of senior-level executives are satisfied with their employers’ environmental concern, and 85 percent of middle managers and 70 percent of hourly workers look favorably toward their employers’ environmental policies.

“An organization’s environmental efforts originate at the top, and senior-level management’s participation is vital to achieving success,” said Douglas Klein, Sirota Survey Intelligence president. “Lower-level employees may not be as involved in planning or in carrying out these endeavors — or even know about them — because they haven’t been effectively communicated to all organizational levels.

“Our research demonstrates that companies can enhance a key component of employee engagement — workers’ pride in their employers — by improving their environmental concern and by better publicizing and communicating their environmental activities to increase all employees’ awareness of them.”

Environmentally friendly policies are considered a key component of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Other research by Sirota Survey Intelligence showed employees who are satisfied with their company’s commitment to social responsibility have high levels of employee engagement, as well as positive views about their employer’s competitiveness, integrity and interest in their well-being.

Seventy percent of employees have a positive view of their organization’s CSR policies, according to a study of 1.6 million employees from more than 70 organizations by Sirota Survey Intelligence.

Of those who are satisfied with their employer’s CSR commitment:

  • 86 percent have high levels of engagement.
  • 82 percent feel their organization is highly competitive in the marketplace.
  • 75 percent feel their employer is interested in their well-being.
  • 71 percent rate senior management as having high integrity.

“Organizations that demonstrate environmentally friendly behavior are taking a major step toward their workers viewing them as being socially responsible and are better positioned to reap the many employee-related benefits that Sirota has correlated with that perception,” Klein said.

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