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Human Capital Considerations to Reach Your Sustainability Goals

Sustainability is what drives the longevity of a business. In order to be successful, the 3 P’s of People, Planet, and Profit (PPP) must be met:

  1. People must grow, learn, and invest in order to continually improve the company.
  2. Resource availability must be considered in the decision making process.
  3. Products or services must be profitable in order to keep efforts funded.

With the recent “green” revolution, corporations are setting sustainability goals based on Planet. But when the word sustainability isn’t in the picture, Profit seems to be top of mind. So, what about the People component? The People component is often forgotten. Companies that fail to continually improve upon this aspect of their business are limiting their potential for success.  In fact, studies by “Great Place to Work” reveal that great workplaces benefit from significantly lower turnover and better financial performance than industry peers.  But what defines a great workplace?

Below are some key questions I would challenge companies to consider as they approach the People component of PPP.  I’ve organized these questions using the 6 key human capital risks – Capability, Alignment, Availability,Turnover/ Demographic, Engagement and Leadership.


  • What programs do you have in place for your employees to share information?
  • Are you expecting your employees to spend a certain amount of time to learn something new each year through readings, videos, trainings, and / or networking events?
  • How does your company help inform its employees or encourage learning about current events that affect your business and industry?


  • Are you re-assessing your goals at least once a year to ensure they align with the current market and business needs?
  • At what level are strategies developed and is there a diverse group involved in the conversation?
  • By what means are your strategy and goals communicated to your employees?


  • Are there any projects or daily tasks that would be stopped if someone were out of the office?
  • As work-life balance becomes increasingly important, are there tasks you would trust your employees to work on remotely?
  • Do your managers carve out time to be available for those they manage?  Are they approachable?


  • Do you regularly solicit feedback on what employees think the company can improve upon?
  • What conveniences does your company provide to decrease stress for your employees (e.g., cafeteria, dry cleaning)?
  • Do you maintain relationships with departing / departed employees?


  • Do your partners (suppliers, vendors, customers) work with you to help shape your strategy?
  • What programs are in place to motivate your employees to always be performing at their best?
  • Does your company organize events for team bonding to improve overall morale in the work place?


  • Is every employee given the opportunity to present leadership and followership skills?
  • Are there mentor and sponsorship programs in place to create a support system?
  • Are good leaders being recognized in a way that leads to others following suit?

Please take a moment and share what your company is doing to excel in these areas.

Tags: Organizational Health