Getting your employees to take sustainability action

The early adopters of Ailuna – both the free B2C consumer version and the enterprise Ailuna for Teams version – are showing how it is possible to take those important first steps in user engagement regarding sustainability. These lessons provide the foundations for all businesses to follow in order to give their own initiatives a fast start.

Lesson 1: Develop a theme that is relevant to your business

The consumer version of Ailuna already has an a la carte menu of actions that can be taken across the areas of Waste, Clothing, Transport/commuting, Services (energy, phone, internet, insurance), and Personal consumer items (from phone to car). The rollout and adoption of these challenges have given a clear insight into the application of habit-building behavioural science – get users to focus on one change at a time, raising conscious awareness, and then learning by doing.

For businesses, this is a useful foundation that means that once employees start to take on new challenges then their attitudes and beliefs will change. The key decision to make therefore is to decide on the key themes that are most relevant to the ESG agenda. This provides a clear organisational focus for internal communications around why it is important to take action.

Three specific themes have emerged from the early adopters of Ailuna for Teams:

  1. Work sustainably from home
  2. Work sustainably from the office 
  3. And increase awareness around sustainability  

Once a theme is determined then the available actions and challenges can be selected – from the existing library – as well as creating new bespoke actions that further broaden the topics that make up the theme. These actions can then be communicated across the employee base through a series of weekly updates that make up an overall campaign.

This is what working from home might look like as a business engagement theme:

The other factor that you will notice is that each business sustainability theme has a series of successful outcomes that represent the combined impact of employees completing these actions. This means that there is a link between the small steps that individuals take and the overall collective impact. Not only is this good for moving the dial when it comes to the road to net zero, but it is also highly motivating for the community of users taking the action – they all are playing their part.

This approach of developing a campaign of challenges can also be replicated. 

This is what working in the office might look like as a business engagement theme:

And this is what increasing sustainability awareness might look like as a business engagement theme:

Lesson 2: Measure the levels of engagement

When it comes to getting employees to adopt change then it’s important to have a strategy for onboarding new users. This is where HR and sustainability teams need to think like marketers – using different methods of user acquisition.

There are a variety of different approaches – which have different Pros and Cons when it comes to the level of engagement. A way to analyse this is to think of the outcome in terms of:

  • Volume – the number of users who take that first step and download the app
  • Quality – the number of users who become active by taking an action
  • Cost To Acquire – the amount of time and effort to engage that user

Then when you look at different channels you can assess the relative impact against each of these criteria.

Whilst these high – medium – low assessments might vary for each business, the overall expectation would be that email is likely to be the dominant method for office-based roles, but this may need to be supplemented by social-based comms and physical events in order to drive up the proportion of users who engage.

Also, a tip from the B2C world is don’t forget the power of the “refer a friend” approach given the peer group association that can be generated by advocate influencers.

Once you have started to acquire users then the next step is to keep them engaged. This is the biggest difference in Ailuna for Teams compared to the free B2C version – it is the dashboard and reporting around user adoption across the lifecycle stages of:

  • Awareness – across the user acquisition activities
  • Activity – taking the actions and actions within the theme
  • Retention – keeping users engaged so that they do not churn

Lesson 3: Adapt the programme based on the engagement results

The last piece of the engagement action jigsaw puzzle is to test and learn which pieces fit where? No two businesses are the same and so the results will vary. What we do know from the early adopters are that there a number of common factors that drive engagement:

  • The type of comms used during onboarding
  • The role of competitions between internal teams 
  • Having the ability to segment users into different phases of the rollout

If you add into the mix another marketing technique of AB testing – which is giving a different treatment to two distinct cohorts of users – then you have a data driven analytical way to measure what is working and what is not.

And don’t forget that if these concepts are new to your HR and sustainability teams then there are plenty of places to turn to for help, from both the customer success team at Ailuna as well as the peer group of other Ailuna for Teams business users. 

There’s one collective prize of sustainability engagement that everyone shares, and learning from others is a common bond that can be leveraged.

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