Sustainability is the foundation of the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum’s vision and we hope to help local businesses incorporate it into their work by using a Triple Bottom Line framework. A Triple Bottom Line framework is a process by which nonprofits, companies, organizations, and/or business manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. We refer to these impacts as People, Planet, and Profit. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of the “people” aspect in the Triple Bottom Line framework.

While people drive our businesses, the foundation of any truly successful one is its employees. It should be obvious that engaging employees will bring about benefits for your stakeholders. Everyone wants to feel good about the work that they do and the business they work for. Keeping your employees informed of your best sustainability practices and goals will help not only with engagement, but overall interest with the company’s mission. Also, allowing for opportunities to get involved with company goals will enable them to be a part of the solution and take initiative in doing so.

Additionally, employee engagement shows higher customer satisfaction; if your employees are happy, your customers are happy, which ultimately leads to key stakeholders being happy too. There are many effective ways to engage your employees including the following:

  • Encourage their personal development: While part of employee engagement is allowing for opportunities to be a part of company goals, their personal development is just as important. When learning about employees, take note of their specific skill set or interests and think about what area they could specialize in.
  • Motivate, inspire and coach: As a business owner, you set the tone for your employees. By being a coach, you can motivate and inspire them to be the best that they can be, which will ultimately lead to better employee retention and customer satisfaction.
  • Encourage teamwork: When your employees accomplish a task or complete a job as a team, it tends to give off an infectious feeling of camaraderie and success. This can give your employees a greater sense of purpose, cooperation, and consideration.
  • Keep them in the know: As mentioned above, keeping your employees tuned in to your sustainability goals and initiatives can allow them the opportunity to develop new ideas or offer up suggestions that you may not otherwise have thought of.

Measuring the people option can prove to be difficult and there is no universal standard for calculating or measuring the happiness of your people. But by following the Triple Bottom Line framework, we emphasize our consciousness and challenge ourselves through using it to be aware of the decisions we’re making.


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Coeus Creative Group provides award winning training to improve human performance. From small groups to packed auditoriums, Coeus’s talent development solutions focus on improving skills and knowledge, and are performed in a way that keeps the audience engaged and entertained. Whether you are looking for a few hours, a day long seminar, or a full time professional development team for your organization, let us co-create a plan to elevate your skills, your abilities, and your confidence.