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Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line: How Companies Can Leverage Human Resources to Achieve Sustainable Growth

ISBN: 978-1-118-14097-0
416 pages
February 2013, Jossey-Bass
Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line: How Companies Can Leverage Human Resources to Achieve Sustainable Growth (1118140974) cover image
HR Professional's guide to creating a strategically sustainable organization

Employees are central to creating sustainable organizations, yet they are left on the sidelines in most sustainability initiatives along with the HR professionals who should be helping to engage and energize them. This book shows business leaders and HR professionals how to: motivate employees to create economic, environmental and social value; facilitate necessary culture, strategic and organizational change; embed sustainability into the employee lifecycle; and strengthen existing capabilities and develop new ones necessary to support the transformation to sustainability.

Talent, Transformation, and the Triple Bottom Line also demonstrates how leading companies are using sustainability to strengthen core HR functions: to win the war for talent, to motivate and empower employees, to increase productivity, and to enliven traditional HR-related efforts such as diversity, health and wellness, community involvement and volunteerism. In combination, these powerful benefits can help drive business growth, performance, and results.

  • The book offers strategies, policies, tools and specific action steps that business leaders and HR professionals can use to get into the sustainability game or enhance their efforts dramatically
  • Andrew Savitz is an expert in sustainability and has worked extensively with many organizations on sustainability strategy and implementation; he and Karl Weber wrote The Triple Bottom Line, one of the most successful books in the field
  • Published in partnership with SHRM and with the cooperation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Forward by Edward Lawler III

This book fills a gaping hole in both the HR and sustainability literature by educating HR professionals about sustainability, sustainability professionals about HR, and business leaders about how to marry the two to accelerate progress on both fronts.

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about the authors xi

foreword by edward e. lawler iii xiii

preface xvii

Part One: Transformation, Talent, and Human Resources 1

1 Transforming GE: Building a Sustainable Corporation from the People Up 3

Ecomagination: Why GE Is Turning Green 8

People Movers: How HR Is Leading the Way Forward 12

Healthymagination: Improving Health Care for GE Employees and for Society 14

Eight Lessons for Business Leaders, Sustainability Professionals, and HR 20

The New Winning Strategy: Leveraging HR for Sustainable Growth 26

2 Sustainability: The Global Challenge, the Business Opportunity, and the People Factor 29

Sustainability Milestones: The Brundtland Commission and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 30

The Age of Sustainability: Trends and Realities 33

The Triple Bottom Line: How to Define and Measure Sustainable Growth 40

The Sweet Spot: How to Develop Sustainable Business Strategies 46

Sustainability and Profitability: How to Grow Your Sweet Spots 50

Transformation: Th e Business Benefits of Sustainability 54

Revving Up: Where HR Meets Sustainability 61

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 64

Part Two: From Traditional HR to Sustainable HR 67

3 Embedding Sustainability in the Workforce Life Cycle 69

Building Sustainability into Core HR Processes 72

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 80

4 Employee Selection and Sustainability 83

Johnson & Johnson: When HR Fails the Sustainability Test 84

Recruitment: Winning the Global War for Talent 87

Hiring the Workforce of Tomorrow 92

The Value of Values Alignment 94

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 105

5 Career Development and Sustainability 107

Onboarding and Sustainability 107

Training for Sustainability 108

Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders 111

Evolving Employee Assistance 117

Compensation and Incentives for Sustainability Performance 120

Nonfinancial Incentives for Sustainability Performance 122

Retention and Sustainability 125

Compliance, Discipline, and Sustainability 127

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability

Specialists, and HR Professionals 129

6 Workforce Management and Sustainability 131

Performance Appraisal: Evaluating and

Rewarding Sustainability Performance 132

Workforce Planning: Meeting Your

Future Needs 142

Labor Pool Analysis: Understanding a Changing Workforce 149

Termination and Sustainability 158

Sustainable Retirement and Postretirement 161

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 168

7 HR Deliverables and Sustainability 171

The Care and Feeding of Employees 173

How Sustainability Is Expanding HR’s Responsibilities 176

Wages and Benefi ts Policies: The Return on Investing in Employees 185

Employee Wellness Programs and Sustainability 190

Creating Better Working Conditions 193

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 200

Part Three: Organizational Development and Change: HR’s Role in Building Sustainable Companies 201

8 Sustainability and Organizational Capacity 203

Organizational Capabilities: Levers for Sustainable Success 204

Innovation 206

Collaboration 212

Long-Term Orientation 218

Outward Focus 224

Interdependent Thinking 231

Learning 234

Adaptability 240

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 242

9 Sustainability and Culture Change 243

The Three Levels of Organizational Culture 244

Why Traditional Corporate Cultures May Resist Sustainability 248

When Culture Sabotages Sustainability: Why BP Cannot Operate Safely 254

When Culture Advances Sustainability: How AEP Created a Zero-Harm Culture 262

Lessons on Culture Change from BP and AEP 271

Evaluating Your Organization’s Culture 273

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 274

10 How to Get Where You Want to Go: Sustainability and Organizational Change 277

Why Change Occurs: Danger and Opportunity 279

Three Dimensions of Sustainable Change 283

Ad Hoc Change 286

Systematic Change 288

Sustainability and the Classic Change System 292

Top-Down Change Versus Bottom-Up Change 297

Appealing to Hearts 301

Talking About Change 303

Jump-Starting Sustainable Change 306

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 313

Part Four: Sustainability and Employee Engagement 315

11 How Sustainability and Engagement Can Transform Your Business 317

The Link Between Sustainability, Engagement, and Profit 320

How “Acme Corporation” Leveraged Sustainability for Greater Profitability 322

The Golden Triangle: Seeing the Entire Business Case for Sustainability 327

How Starbucks Creates Value from Values 331

Measuring the Impact of Sustainability on Employee Engagement 334

How HR and Sustainability Professionals Can Work Together 337

Getting Started with Sustainability and Employee Engagement Programs 337

Strategic Volunteerism as a Starting Point 344

Employee Engagement, Sustainability, and Transformation 349

Questions for Business Leaders, Sustainability Specialists, and HR Professionals 351

notes 353

acknowledgments and thanks 369

index 377

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Andrew Savitz is a principal of Sustainable Business Strategies and a business advisor with more than thirty years of experience assisting organizations to become more sustainable. He was formerly a lead partner in PricewaterhouseCooper's global sustainability group. With business writer Karl Weber, he authored the bestselling book The Triple Bottom Line.

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