World Panel
Viewpoint 2 March 2020

Sustainability Gives Hotels An Edge In The War For Talent. Or Does It?

Sustainability in Hospitality

— 12 experts shared their view

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This viewpoint was created by
Franziska Altenrath, Co-Founder at TUTAKA
Henri Kuokkanen
Associate Professor at Institut Paul Bocuse

The potential of CSR in attracting talent was uncovered over two decades ago, and findings support the notion that some types of CSR/ sustainability can achieve this goal. However, there are at least three scenarios: 1). CSR activities targeted at employees themselves, 2). activities employees can participate in, and 3). those activities a company engages in without employee involvement. The first type often blurs with employee incentives or regular job training. The common wisdom has been that the second type is the gold standard, as it lets employees experience responsibility themselves. However, the third type may be equally effective if company commitment to the field is genuine; with this type, working for a company can become an ethically meaningful work experience.

A major issue in this field is measuring the value of engaging employees. A true commitment to sustainability can be expensive, and while employee commitment, engagement, and job satisfaction are highly important, they are hard to match with costs. I believe we need a way to quantify the monetary value of employees finding their company CSR meaningful. This would allow financial investment in responsibility to be justified without having to rely on soft arguments that constant pressure for higher profit can easily undermine.  

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