Going Green? Managing Your Sustainable Business Transformation

Values are, or they should be, at the very center of any business. They dictate your customer relationships, your employee selection processes, and every element of your business strategy. Now that we have so much knowledge about our carbon footprint and the many ways in which we’re harming the environment, there’s no excuse for companies today to stay silent. Nobody can be Switzerland in the face of the climate crisis. 

For that and many other reasons, businesses are now striving to change inside and out, to recognize the crisis and their part in contributing to environmental damage, and above all, to make a difference. Embracing that responsibility starts with how you manage your business from within, so that your HR and business management experts can create and slowly implement smarter, greener strategies. 

This process can take a while, since the shift is far from simple for many industries. Here are a few ways to make this transformation easier on your business and to lead the way in eco-friendly management.

Align your goals and procedures

First and foremost, for your HR department to be able to work on implementation, you need to determine how well your current processes match your sustainability goals. Perhaps you’ll need to switch to digital accounting tools and go paperless, if you haven’t already. Maybe you can adapt your collaboration model to be more flexible and encourage remote work, carpooling, covering public transport fees, and the like.

For many companies, your health and wellness strategies will need to change in order to meet these new standards, too. Some businesses dealing with toxic or dangerous substances need to introduce more stringent protective procedures to ensure employee safety and to prevent environmental damage or hazards. It all begins with aligning your procedures with the goals you want to achieve.

Choose better waste management

In Australia’s most developed, urbanized regions, growing companies often have trouble dealing with waste in its many forms. From energy and water waste on the premises if you have an office, all the way to all kinds of material waste if you have a construction site, rapidly growing companies need to develop better waste management solutions to match their industry’s needs.

For instance, effective waste management in Australia often means utilizing dedicated waste management equipment as well as procedures. On-site crushers and balers, recycling stations, and many other waste processing tools allow employees and business owners to reduce waste and empower reuse and recycling. Wherever your business might be, it’s crucial to follow this mindset and find efficient ways to reduce waste at every turn. 

Employee motivation and training

Most workers will choose your business over others with equally appealing offers precisely because of your values. However, you also need to live up to those promises and standards you present to them in your job ads, which often means motivating your employees through regular and consistent training opportunities. 

This is a chance for them to grow as professionals, giving them immediate value, but it also helps them become a better, more cohesive team working towards the same goals. Training in better, eco-friendly office practices can make your business far more sustainable over time. 

Ongoing assessment and adaptation

Surely, if you’re based in a highly developed region like Australia or New Zealand, you’re most likely responsible before your community, but also before your government when it comes to your sustainability initiatives. There are certain location-specific standards you need to meet and possibly exceed.

To learn whether or not your business is in line with those expectations and standards, you need to be in the loop. For starters, organize regular quarterly assessments to evaluate how well you’re doing with your goals. Your HR managers can then present the results to the employees so that they can together come up with additional ways to change for the better. 

Perhaps you can implement greener office design solutions, switch to LED lights, introduce more recycling stations, or even compost stations for food leftovers. Of course, you’ll also need expert legal advice on how to move forward and implement government-approved methods to go green. 

Know who your partners are 

Choosing your employees with care is one way to go about implementing sustainable practices and building value-based relationships. On the other end of this spectrum of bonds, you have your partners, who should be aligned with your values, too. Do your marketing partners, manufacturers, suppliers, or any other vendors take sustainability seriously? What are they doing differently from others in their niche to make your relationship rooted in shared care for our planet?

So many businesses have hidden policies with harmful effects on the environment. It’s essential to weed out the ones that don’t meet your criteria and start working with those who care as much as you do. Turning a blind eye is not an option, since the world is brimming with experts whose goals are the same as yours – you’ll just need to take your time to find them. 

Sustainability isn’t a linear path, nor is it a one-time goal that you accomplish, and leave be. It’s a continuous learning curve that requires flexibility in how you manage your business and your relationships. It starts with training, equipment, and policies, but it never truly ends: the moment you set your foot on the path to sustainability, that’s the moment your business will need to learn how to succeed in the face of constant change. 

Embrace innovation and emerging technology in your industry, hear your employees out whenever you can, and you’ll soon have a growing green strategy that will help you reposition your business towards smarter, more sustainable goals. 

Why you should attend the Employee Engagement conference! | The HR Tech Weekly®

Why you should attend the Employee Engagement conference!

Marcus Evans: Employee Engagement | The HR Tech Weekly®

In a world where competitiveness is multiplying, the human factor is now the main differentiating factor. The performance of employees cannot be separated from the company’s.

Otherwise, different factors could turn employees into sources of loss if they are not as involved and especially engaged in their work.

According to the Steel Case and Ipsos study on employee engagement:

“Of the 17 countries studied and the 12,480 participants, 1/3 of the employees are disengaged.”

Germany, UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and France scored below the world average in terms of the rate of employees being engaged and satisfied with their working environment. Employee disengagement is not limited to a particular industry but affects all businesses. Some companies place more emphasis on employee engagement because they successfully established the link between commitment and performance. This is why they have put in place mechanisms to measure the degree of commitment of employees and try to establish programs enabling the optimization of well-being at work, through various actions targeting motivation, the quality of the working environment, managerial leadership and others, in order to build a culture of sustainable engagement.

There are no sectors that are eradicated or less affected by this scourge. As long as companies work in an environment that is changing constantly, there will always be sources and factors optimizing disengagement. As a result, it will always be necessary to increase the level of vigilance in order to limit the risks of disengagement.

Companies are interested in knowing more about:

  • How to improve the employer branding and communicate about the company’s values to the employees
  • How can we put the company’s culture at the service of employee engagement?
  • The role of leadership in managing employee engagement
  • How to create a sense of belonging among the employees?
  • How to use predictive analytics to improve employee engagement?
  • How to maintain employee engagement after a M&A or a strategic transformation?

Consequently, executives involved in HR, Talent Management, Engagement and Retention, Internal Communication and so on should definitely not miss out on this opportunity to attend the marcus evans‘ Employee Engagement conference taking place on the 27th-29th of September in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Make Difference with Startup Transformation

Startup Transformation: If Not Now, When?

Well, understanding a difference between a startup and other business entity is important these days as most of the startups are getting lot of external supports from the regional government, startups hubs, accelerators, business incubators and other investors & mentors. Why there is so much engagement and focus on Startups?

Startups – Growth and Success

“An entrepreneurial venture which is considered as new, fast-growing business, with scalable business model and that target specific markets by offering an innovative product, process or service”  – a typical definition of a startup.

But we should be aware that a newly founded one does not in itself make a company a startup unless it is capable to grow fast and that is the most important aspect for a startup. There are some typical terms like Unicorn is a startup company valued at over $1 billion. A Decacorn is used for those companies over $10 billion, while Hectocorn for companies valued over $100 billion (An Unicorn Map of US from CBInsights).

The growth is not at all easy without a proper startup ecosystem, which consists of individual entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors, mentors, institutions and organizations, business incubators and business accelerators. Startups usually need to form partnerships with other firms to enable their business model to operate for sure.

Startup Ecosystem

A startup hub usually provides such platform for connections and collaboration and usually operates on regional basis. Recent startup hubs Europe‘s overview for startup ecosystem across Europe is shown below.

Recent startup hubs Europe‘s overview for startup ecosystem across Europe

Take a look around some world’s best startup hubs to know more.

There are a lot of efforts and contributions from business incubators and business accelerators for the startups. Many entrepreneurs or startup founders often turn to a startup accelerator or startup incubator for helping other startups.

Accelerators programs usually start with an application process, but most of them are typically very selective and usually have a set of timeframe in which individual startup spend, anywhere from a few weeks to a few months working with a group of mentors and experts to build out their business. Startups are also given a small seed investment, and access to a large mentoring network in exchange for a small amount of equity.

Startup incubators begin with startups that may be earlier in the process and they do not operate on a set schedule. Some independent incubators also can be sponsored by VC firms, government entities, and major organizations.

business-accelerators-and-incubators

Difference on Business Accelerators and Incubators shown above is taken from Help for ACCA and CIMA Studies.

Startups – Slowdown and Failure

We cannot ignore the facts and statistics on the startups, which is an important part of the economy and startup scale-ups definitely effect on the economy, society and innovation in the world. But, while 40-50 percent of startups are dying within first five years of their inception, it could be a wrong conclusion to make about the economy on the basis of the number of these startups. And yes, because of this there has been already a slowdown in economic growth as well, once such clear indication is from US where is the highest number of startup ecosystems.

Statistics also says that 80-90 % fails are ‘in genera’. In other word nine out of ten startups are failing on consistently.

There are numerous articles publishing regularly on the failure of startups, lessons learn from failures. Even one can get through many of the startup failure stories, after all failure is the path to success. Learn from your own the failure is definitely sounds rigid but learn from other’s failure is not so easy for sure. If we try to collate all the failures reasons, stories and analysis from post mortem, we can definitely capture some major and common concrete challenges, as shown below.

Success vs. Failure

There are lots of post mortem done on startup failures, one can see from Quartz and CB Insights to analyse more.

If one start considering the failure percentage, they could realize that, it’s overflowing and it is indeed necessary to find some real valuable solutions or barrier to bring down this failure in the future. But the story is still going on the different path

In spite of so many potential entrepreneurs involved in startups, so much outside encouragement, efforts and helps, startups keep on failing. Business accelerators, incubators, grinds, the whole startup ecosystem is behind the supports, doing incredible efforts for their success; trying to help the startups, building them, nourishing them, mentoring team, teaching them but the results remain the same for last few years.

Why? We keep asking this for long time now. If we need to consider startups as a significant part of economy, this is the time we need to rethink.

Startups – Transformation

If we take a close look into the post mortems, reasons does not looks too complex; so what is stopping us currently? There are a lot of efforts from the startup ecosystem on education & learning, mentoring, networking, funding (one of the major constraints), investing, supporting in all major respects.

But there are limited or no such efforts in place to work together with those 90% startups, who are making magnificent effort in their journey but because of some trivial mistakes, (major reasons mentioned before) they get failed. Why not transforming those startups completely so that they keep on succeeding in their remaining journey?

For sure there is a necessity to have something or somebody who can helps transforming these startups not only through education, mentoring, networking and funding but also follow up with their experiences, working closely together with these startups in their businesses to face the challenges and crack them.

In this era of transformation where all the organizations are in the process of transforming their processes, business, people; there is also a need for a transformation for the startups, working together for getting the right strategic vision, focusing on customers, products, markets and other challenges. Also being able to anticipate what are the customer expectations and what is the best way to achieve it. For a complete successful journey, these startups need advisory in every aspect, in every part of their experiences.

Idea of introducing Startup Transformers during this stage could be a solution to some extend; for avoiding such circumstances which can lead to a failure. A startup transformer helps a startup to transform completely into a successful business unit; work closely with them, collaborate for them with partners, customers and other peers, helping them by resolving challenges and gradually reform them in achieving the success.

Typical activities of a startup transformer could be varied, but majorly need to be centralized on overcoming the challenges and there should be also a strong focus to provide a platform for networking, community, events and collaboration. Below shown such activities of a startup transformer.

Startup Transformer

Instead of only analyzing the failures; instead of only learning from the other successful startups; instead of only following successful business guidance and mentorship; it is also necessary to start working together with these startups in their journey to make them completely successful. And this can only be achieved when one can start engaging with them not only in their initial stages but in their entire journey, preparing them to avoid the mistakes, work together to overcome challenges, choose a right path for these startups and transform them to be a successful business unit.

A lot of collaboration is needed with different relevant partners, advisors, customers; a lot of efforts need to be put in understanding market & strategy, right business model with scalability, knowing competitors, to develop ideal product and services; making better relationship with customers, better managing team and funds.

Another important factor where some strong efforts need to be in place, is the lack of innovations; the benefits of being innovative in the journey of a startup, it’s growth and scalability of its business is solely depend on the original business model not on a cloned one. It is also crucial for us to keep innovation alive as it is essential for fostering economic growth.

Idea does not work by itself; the reality is only possible whenever one take some initiative from that.

Startup Transformation is no more an idea yet, HRTech Conscience, a venture project on Disrupt HR (majorly engage and focus with HR Technologies) has taken a step forward by applying these concepts and idea for meaningful and valuable results. Currently collaborating with several startups, partners and customers from a diversified portfolio and already become the first Startup Transformer. There could be a success or a failure, but gaining a great experience from this journey of unknown disrupt transformation is definitely valuable for the future. Let’s help changing the world into a new direction with contribution from all of us!

About the Author:

Soumyasanto Sen

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technology who try to think Out of the Box!

Professional Consultant, Manager, Advisor, Investor in HR Tech. Focusing on Strategies, Mobility, Cloud, Analytics, UX, Security, Data Protection, Developments and Integration in HR Technology & Digital HR.


Source: Make difference with Startup Transformation – HRTechCon