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Climate Comprehension Equals Employee Retention

Learning about the climate and nature crisis is also an HR issue, as environmental awareness has a direct impact on employee satisfaction and retention.

Written by:
Polly Gregson

Until we reach that utopic, post-capitalist world we all dream of, we might as well have the biggest impact we can within the economic models we know. 

The good news is, recent studies suggest that this might be easier than previously thought – it seems there is a clear role for climate training within standard business models, as the urgency of the planetary situation becomes clearer and clearer to both consumers and employees. 

94% of the current generation think companies should address pressing social and environmental issues. Coupled with the statistic that 76% of consumers say they wouldn’t do business with a company that holds views in conflict with their own, the message is clear: caring about climate issues is beneficial for business. 

Corporate social responsibility, especially with a focus on climate action, makes a business look good. Looking good attracts consumers with certain ethical preferences - important when 85% of consumers have shifted their purchasing behaviour to be more “sustainable” within the past 5 years.

The growing urgency of the climate crisis – and the extent to which it occupies the minds of the public – also has an impact on the jobs market.  

Employees want to work for organisations that share their values. They also want to be able to take action on the climate crisis, and their employers can help equip them with the tools needed to do this. Research now shows that if employers provide these opportunities to their employees, retention rates increase and employee satisfaction goes up - and we all know that happier staff means greater productivity, motivation and initiative. 

To let the figures do the talking for a moment: company commitment to corporate responsibility can reduce staff turnover rates by up to 50%, resulting in an overall save per additional retained employee of 90-200% of that employee’s annual salary.

It works out well for the Earth too, as the more changemakers the better!

So as awareness about climate change grows, so does the need for businesses to take it into account. 12% of employees have considered leaving their jobs to work somewhere where they can have a more direct impact in the face of the crisis. Meanwhile, 83% would be more loyal to a business that enables them to contribute to solving social and environmental problems, making the planetary emergency also an HR issue. 

We are acutely aware of this need for businesses to take on the responsibility of informing and enabling their employees in the context of the climate and nature crisis. Incorporating climate courses into staff training proves a genuine investment in the minds and interests of employees. 

What’s more, giving employees the opportunity to learn and discuss pressing climate issues can also help reduce climate anxiety and improve teambuilding, as it encourages group action and positive behaviour changes. 

AimHi Earth can provide Climate and Sustainability Training to businesses looking to have a real impact beyond the surface-level appeal of CSR, so please do get in touch if this article has resonated with you.