As environmental and climate issues become increasingly pressing and polarizing, companies will be under mounting pressure to demonstrate how their business practices are socially responsible and sustainable.

No employer will be spared from scrutiny — by investors, consumers or the workforce — on how their actions impact the world. 

This means corporate learning organizations will be front and center. Everyone — from C-suiters to frontline employees — will need to understand how their organization, supply chain and business practices are impacting society and what they can do to make them more sustainable and responsible. 

Sustainability is part of the larger ESG movement; it stands for environmental, social, and corporate governance and involves evaluating the extent to which a corporation works on behalf of social goals that go beyond maximizing profits.

Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice® Preferred Provider NovoEd understands the importance of sustainability. Its collaborative learning platform provides organizations with the ability to weave knowledge, context and community together to drive understanding and action. This is critical because organizations must create common goals around sustainability and get buy-in for policies and behaviors that drive the culture change required. 

Employers can’t just follow a checklist from a consultant to hit sustainability goals because few have done it. There aren’t cookie-cutter best practices. Building a culture of sustainability requires impactful, immersive, peer-oriented learning that compels all stakeholders to discuss, debate and collaborate to drive meaningful change. 

It’s not enough for individuals to learn about sustainability. They must accept it as their responsibility as part of their commitment to the organization. And they must understand how to put it into practice every day. The same is necessary for more familiar strategies such as diversity, equity, and inclusion, coaching, and mentoring. Acceptance and change must occur across the enterprise.

Brandon Hall Group research shows that 55% of organizations believe social and collaborative learning technologies are important to address future-of-work requirements, and sustainability is certainly one of them. 

Recently I talked to two organizations that have established employee resource groups around sustainability. Their missions include creating diverse virtual networks across all levels of the organization to learn about sustainability and build a culture focused on improving commitment and action. 

These organizations have the right idea. Driving sustainability will require a compilation of technical know-how and influence up, down, and across the enterprise to execute on broad strategic initiatives. This is an undertaking best done from the ground up because today’s individual contributors and junior leaders will be the ones delivering the mandate over the next decades.

The best way to build that culture is through social and collaborative learning experiences that integrate hard skills with soft skills, culture, expectations and cross-functional innovation.

-Claude Werder, Senior VP and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

 About Brandon Hall Group Inc. 

Brandon Hall Group is the only professional development company that offers data, research, insights and certification to Learning and Talent executives and organizations. The best minds in Human Capital Management (HCM) choose Brandon Hall Group to help them create future-proof employee development plans for the new era. For over 28 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world influencing the development of over 10,000,000 employees and executives. Our HCM Excellence Awards was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.” Our cloud-based platform delivers evidence-based insights in the areas of Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management for corporate organizations and HCM solution providers. To learn more, visit https://www.brandonhall.com For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit www.brandonhall.com

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Claude Werder

Claude Werder oversees Brandon Hall Group's analyst team, new product development, corporate development, the HCM Excellence Conference 2015, publishing, and social media and marketing strategies for Brandon Hall Group. In that role, he manages Brandon Hall Group’s research priorities, Membership Program and Member Center, and Brandon Hall Group’s exclusive KnowledgeBases of research data and HCM solution providers, services and products.