Leveraging People Power in Organisations for a Sustainable Future

Written by- Maitreyi Bhuyan

There have been many revolutions till the present time. First, finding out the usage of stones, then discovering fire, then fiddling with Science, awe-inspiring developments in computers, enchanting power of the internet, and currently 'the next big thing' is Bitcoin, it's only in the future we'll realize where it has brought us. But notice one thing, the presence of humans has been common in all. Had it not been for us, this kind of escalated evolution wouldn't have been possible. They carry within themselves an incredible amount of potential, which, if used properly can lead to extraordinary results. 

But when it comes to sustainability, why aren't we utilizing our number one resource, which is waiting to be explored even further? In today's era, which is marked by constant changes and unprecedented global challenges, sustainability has become a very important topic, not only for the present but also for future generations. It has become a paramount goal for all societies and organizations worldwide. But, we often understand sustainability partially, according to many of us it is just related to the environment and related concepts, unfortunately, we are wrong here. Sustainable development is much more than that, it is about humans and their well-being; it also includes their economic prosperity and social equity. 

So, it would be highly unfair to not consider the other dimension. When we start immersing ourselves in folds of the tapestry of sustainability, we start emerging with better ideas, as to how we can support the cause. Organizations can take a lot of steps, they are composed of diverse individuals who can contribute a lot in creating positive changes. Harnessing the collective human capital presents a myriad of opportunities for advancing sustainability objectives. 

First comes innovation, humans are known for their innovative and creative techniques. Organizations can foster in creating an environment that appreciates and encourages diverse perspectives and collaboration. They can tap into the power of their employees, this will result in solving sustainability challenges through novel solutions. They can develop eco-friendly products or find substitutes for depleting resources. When employees are motivated and they can see a glittering future in front of them, where they can create a change and where development won't have a negative impact on the environment, they will work relentlessly towards the direction of innovative and optimal solutions. 

The second solution is by changing the culture. Sustainability is not just related to technical aspects in a society, it also has a cultural perspective. To actually have a lasting impact, people need to change their values, beliefs, and attitude toward the concept of sustainable development. This change can be brought up majorly by people with power, they can influence not only the employees of the organization but also their families. They can educate the employees, conduct training and development programs, workshops, awareness sessions, and much more. This will generate a culture of responsibility and consciousness. Because then, sustainable development will no longer be just a concept, rather it will become a part of a culture that everyone wants to comply with. 

It has often been observed that companies that focus more on employees' welfare and sustainable development, often attract employees who are self-motivated and align with the same goals. This is in contrast to those organizations whose sole motive is to earn profit by hook or by crook. Often, employees who remain in any organization don't do so just for money, but rather because they are getting the dignity that they want. Gone are the days when people were just worried about money, in today's time, people are more concerned about the reputation of their organization, or which ways are being used to generate money. Investors as well as employees are focusing more on CSR activities than before.

Having said that, we can't ignore the fact that achieving this goal is highly difficult. People resist changes, effective management, transparency, and communication can have a positive impact on them but they usually avoid changes as much as they can. Also, we don't have unlimited resources, there is a constraint on resources. We need to utilize them in the best possible manner so that they remain feasible and align with the bigger goals of the organization.

But even after all this, no one can disagree that sustainability is the need of the hour. It is not a destination, but rather it is a journey. Organizations can involve employees in goal-setting, decision-making, and continuous improvement processes. Leveraging the power of people has become essential nowadays, to achieve sustainable goals. It not only boosts their confidence but also develops their passion. It leads to a virtuous cycle, wherein the organizations focus on showing the correct direction to their employees, which will further lead to sustainable development, personal growth of people, and overall enhancement of society.

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