What is sustainability?
Sustainability refers to the notion that businesses require for long-term survival, in terms of economically, environmentally and socially. It is fully compatible with the natural ecosystems that generate and preserve life. This is to ensure that with social and environmental activities been firmly rooted, it can still be available for future generations usage.
Company managed economic sustainability through internal factors like investing in intangible assets whereby companies can invest in human capital training to enhance workers’ skills and knowledge for a more efficient output (Doane, 2001). With increased efficiency, customers’ buying power on a certain business brand also increases, thereby company is able to sustain their business.
Some companies managed environmental sustainability by being environmental friendly such as Walmart who set 3 sustainability goals; creating no waste, selling products that sustain their resources and the environment and to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy.
Companies managed social sustainability by being socially responsible to the environment as well as people. The examples are seen in retail shops like Body Shop who uses products that is against animal testing and Macdonald chain of fast food restaurant that employ senior workers to get them socially involved in work force again.
Why managers need to understand sustainability?
To sustain the business, managers need to give transparency to outsiders so that when there is reporting of the business information and growth to them, outsiders can use the transparency report to gauge how well the business is doing, the business investments portfolio and strategies they are adopting to sustain their business. Efficient usage of resources and energy and applying of new technology to reduce and reuse industrial waste by the managers during manufacturing process enables the firms to be more innovative and adaptive to their environment. In this way, firms can be sustainable as it reduces the turnover rate of employees since employees would want to stay in the company, hence helping company to save costs in production. ISO standards system is a benchmark set by the authorities for companies to follow in accordance to environmental issues. If managers build the foundation of the company and integrate the firm’s culture by setting ISO guidelines into their respective companies, it helps reduce risks the company can face and create a more efficacious sustainable business. Economic sustainability is more resistance when met with a crisis. Managers need to understand that the demand and supply are always in proportional scale. With increased demand over decreased supply, the price of the products rises since there would be a need to exploit raw material versus over exploiting of natural resource to meet the demands.
With improved technology, there would be lower production cost in initial input of the product. As economic grow with reduced vulnerability, organisation would be more sustainable. In addition, managers not only need to broaden the range of economic activities to retain the sustainability but to understand each individual needs and well-being of employees that incorporate into non-economic variables like education and health. They must also work to remove disabilities from disadvantaged groups by investing in education and health, which can raise human capital productivity. Understand sustainability allows manager to implement new company policy, have a business direction, and non-profit communities to achieve sustainable development. In an organization, managers hold to a high level of commitment, integrity, and decision making. The better managers know this and that makes the manager’s role in motivation key in creating the sustainability development. Interpersonal skill, emotional intelligence and social interactions are assets that are needed by managers to motivate such unity among employees, therefore, it helps managers to better sustain the business.
How sustainability influence organisational behaviour
When there is participation in organisation, businesses can operate in a more efficient way. Organisations should aim to create an environment where employees and management collaborate with each other to achieve goals and complete task given. As such, it is important for businesses to communicate information flow within each other, whether internally or externally. Employees need to administer and share information and knowledge not only with each other in the organisations, but with suppliers, investors and consumers as well. Effective corporate communication requires planning and strategies to be executed properly as how the company operate would affect how the market sees the image of the company. If communication between employees and the organisation is not being communicated freely and openly, miscommunication would affect the organisation culture and operations as employees begin to mistrust and de-motivated towards the organisation. When that happens, employees’ behaviour towards the company would indirectly affect how they handle consumers and suppliers. The negative image and behaviour of employees affect sustainability of businesses since this would affect the efficiency of employees, which in turn affects the output of the organisation. Motivating employees to develop their skills, encouraging them to upgrade themselves and maximizing usage of the resources that were already there bring much advantage to the firm. Such developments and trainings should be done on a frequent routine as it will guarantee that employees have better self confidence. Such confidence will then aid employees when handling important clients and when managing other technical areas.
Employees get the extra drive and enthusiasm to convey positive alterations to the company through the proper motivation. Corporate sustainability has always been misleading to employees by the common thinking that business firms disregard ethical behaviour. Positive ethical behaviour in the company will spur the employees forward. Relevant ethical standards and practices in dealings with all company should be set to maintain social sustainability. Henceforth, quality of the employees will increase and output results will favour the organization. How organisations sustain their businesses depend on the reaction being addressed to environmental, economic and social issues. Strategically, organisations can see sustainability as a pressure to comply with as there would be additional expenditure or an opportunity for competitive advantage. In the past decades, organisations focused on customers’ feedback and solved the issues from there. Few organisations approach sustainability proactively to strategise their economic growth for competitive advantage. Economic and social development should complement each other. Growing economic development promotes social development by providing opportunities and education to the society.
What is sustainability?