Go green, give a boost to employee morale

February 1, 2011

In a global recession, most people are thankful to have a job, but a new study published in Interdisciplinary Environmental Review suggests that employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they are working for a company that is perceived to be "green", whereas the financial performance of companies fails to correlate with employee happiness.

Cassandra Walsh and Adam Sulkowski, both of the Charlton College of Business at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, wanted to know whether employee morale is typically affected when a company is perceived as taking steps to be more environmentally benign, or whether the company's financial performance has a greater effect on employee happiness.

There has been little research until now in this area. Common sense might suggest that employees who place value on environmental performance may be happier working for companies whose perceived performance in this area are congruent with their beliefs. Likewise, employees' satisfaction may be related to a firm's financial value: employees of firms with solid financial performance may be more satisfied with their jobs than are employees of firms with mediocre financial performance. To test their hypotheses, the team analyzed data on employee satisfaction and perceived environmental responsibility from 113 companies and thousands of using regression analysis. The same test was repeated using the employee satisfaction data and company financial performance metrics.

"The results of the analysis indicate a significant positive relationship between employee satisfaction and level of perceived environmental performance," the team says. "This study does not find a significant relationship between employee satisfaction and firm financial value."

This research suggests that companies would be well-advised to engage in communication efforts such as reporting (also known as - CSR - reporting, or environmental, social, and governance -ESG - reporting). By credibly communicating about environmental performance and positive efforts to become more environmentally benign, a company is likely to improve employee recruitment, retention, and morale.

Explore further: How to avoid employee depression in a recession

More information: "A greener company makes for happier employees more so than does a more valuable one: a regression analysis of employee satisfaction, perceived environmental performance and firm financial value" in Int. Environ. Rev., 2010, 11, 274-282.

Related Stories

How to avoid employee depression in a recession

November 29, 2010

As employees become increasingly anxious about job security and financial worries during an economic recession, satisfaction with the job they have, commitment to their company and engagement with their work are all affected ...

Engaged employees deliver improved business performance

September 16, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Research indicates that in the UK and US as many as 70% of employees may not be engaged at work. Therefore, it is not surprising that employee engagement has become something of a hot topic amongst business ...

Recommended for you

Cities and monuments switch off for Earth Hour

March 26, 2017

The Empire State Building and United Nations headquarters in New York joined other iconic buildings and monuments around the world plunging into darkness for sixty minutes on Saturday to mark Earth Hour and draw attention ...

Land-based microbes may be invading and harming coral reefs

March 24, 2017

A new study suggests that coral reefs—already under existential threat from global warming—may be undergoing further damage from invading bacteria and fungi coming from land-based sources, such as outfall from sewage ...

Managing bushfires for safety and biodiversity

March 24, 2017

People have long used planned fires as a tool to open up access to hunting grounds, to encourage new plant growth, and to cultivate plants for cooking, heating and spiritual purposes.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.