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How sustainable business can help attract top talent

There is a new mandate for businesses. Almost 70% of Australian workers agree businesses should be just as concerned with their social impact as their financial performance, according to an Atlassian report. As a hospitality leader, if you want to continue to attract top hotel talent to your organisation — it’s time to pay attention to sustainability.

The pandemic and aftermath of COVID-19 have accelerated calls from employees to make more impactful commitments to combat the climate crisis.  Organisations are evolving to answer the call as the consequences to talent attraction and retention are becoming increasingly apparent.

 

Employees lead the demand for more sustainable business values

Sustainability matters — to your customers but also to your employees. In fact, employees around the world are leading the charge when it comes to demanding greener business values and practices from their employers. 

The Atlassian report cited above, found that environmental issues are a high priority for Australian workers — 78% of those surveyed agreed with the statement “businesses need to take full responsibility for their environmental impact“ and this perception is held across generations, regions, and industries of employment.

Your organisation’s values influence the experience of your stakeholders, your customers and most definitely, your employees as well. In a competitive job market, attracting, retaining and engaging your staff is more important and more difficult than ever before. But when employees resonate with your values, they are more likely to stick around longer.

 

Sustainability is a must to attract top hotel talent

Just as organisations look for a “culture fit” when recruiting new talent, your potential employees are also assessing whether your values match their own. 

In sustainability recruitment, this values-alignment is becoming increasingly important among job seekers. The talent you want to hire is asking more questions about what an organisation believes in (not just what they do) and paying attention to how they’re taking action on issues that have a social impact.

Businesses are seen to be major contributors to environmental waste and pollution and therefore responsible to take ownership of their environmental footprint. Hospitality leaders, therefore, must promote their brand values — especially those related to sustainability social impact — to be in a stronger position to attract (and keep) the right candidates. 

The post-pandemic world has seen the rise of the belief-driven employee. Jobseekers increasingly want to see their prospective employers pursue a greater purpose. And seeing a company pay only lip service to social commitments and other proclaimed values can be a dealbreaker. Dinosaur organisations that are contemptuous of the need for incorporating sustainability into their business values will no doubt fail to attract top hotel talent.

 

Top 4 hotel sustainability best practices

To retain and attract top talent, hospitality organisations must define, communicate and act on their sustainability goals and values. Sustainability-minded hospitality leaders must lead the charge to transform their organisations in order to retain and attract top hotel talent. You don’t have to do everything at once but it’s imperative that you start doing something.

Set sustainability goals that align with your company values. If you’re unsure where to start, check out the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration. 

Here are four sustainability best practices to keep in mind:

 

 1. Educate employees

The very first step for any organisational change is to get your employees on board. Once your sustainability plan of action is in place, educating your employees should become an integral part of the employee training and onboarding process. 

Introduce the organisation’s high level sustainability goals and then get your employees involved in the process. They’re more likely to buy into your sustainability mission if they’re a part of it. 

For example, you could kick things off with a simple “Go Green Challenge.” Encourage employees to switch to using reusables while at work. The shocking reality is that the average worker uses over 500 paper cups per year! Why not start by reducing some of that waste? 

 

 2. Reduce waste

Speaking of waste, did you know that hotels produce 289,700 tonnes of waste each year? This includes paper and cardboard, food, plastic and commingled waste. 

Start by getting an idea of your organisation’s waste. This will help you understand where to focus your waste reduction and management efforts. Work with experts in the industry to create a plan that reduces overall waste, boosts recycling, and ultimately reduces costs as well.

 

 3. Switch to renewable energy

To cite the Atlassian report again, 74% of employees agreed that businesses should invest in and use renewable energy, instead of fossil fuels like oil and coal.

Leaders can take another important action toward sustainability: determining how their businesses use energy. This could mean installing solar energy when possible, switching to energy-efficient lighting and appliances such as fridges, heaters, and even coffee machines

 

 4. Partner with like-minded brands

From food vendors to cleaning product companies, software brands to coffee suppliers — hotels partner with a number of brands within their business. With your green goals in mind, you may like to consider your business partners’ ethics and sustainability practices as well. Partner with brands whose values align with your own.

For example, Lavazza's locally roasted range La Reserva de ¡Tierra! supports sustainable coffee projects at origin. It is the result of ethical commitment to sustainability, in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, an NGO which promotes the rights and wellbeing of workers' communities, certifying farms which must meet rigorous social and environmental standards.

Partner with brands whose sustainability goals and vision match your own.  Learn more about Lavazza's hotel coffee solutions here.

 

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