What is Sustainable Employment?

Do you know what sustainable employment means?

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We’ve talked about how to achieve success sustainably and crafting sustainable careers. Today, we talk about what sustainable employment looks like.

Sustainable employment is when a person is employed in a job that allows them to continuously work productively while maintaining their health and well-being. In some ways, it is similar to decent work because it sounds amazing to have a job like that! People like to feel productive and effective in their lives and careers. It’s not that work itself is bad. It’s just the way that many companies employee people that makes work suck.

So what exactly is sustainable employment? It consists of 3 equally important parts – productivity, health, and well-being at work. We break down these concepts below.

Sustainable employment helps employees and organizations grow.


This facet is all about job performance and work quality. In order to be sustainably employed, you need to be making a valuable contribution. You are creating high quality work that your leaders and team value and find important. You are able to be productive daily and are effective at your job. If the job has no value or the work isn’t important, the employment itself will not be sustainable. Roles with no contribution will eventually be cut. Plus, employees that do not feel like they are contributing will feel unfulfilled and unhappy in the long term.


In addition to the job contributing to the company, employment that is sustainable also has to maintain employee health. This facet includes all aspects of health. This type of employment allows employees to maintain physical and mental health. It allows employees to have minimal stress and its physical embodiments. Employees in this type of environment are able to take the time needed to care for themselves and are not negatively impacted by work.

Well-Being at Work

Finally, the last facet is well-being at work. While you may think of wellness and well-being as related to health, in this research, it’s a little different. Well-being at work is all about how you feel about work. Employees that are high in this are satisfied in their jobs, committed to their organizations, and not looking to leave. It’s about positive attitudes at work. Being sustainably employed means that you are not only productive and healthy, but you like your job and your work. It’s a huge win-win for employees and companies!

Like we always say, good work environments lead to happy employees!

Why Sustainable Employment?

While sustainable employment is important to each individual employee, it is something to be impacted at the company-level. Effective organizations create this type of employment. Plus, we know that providing this type of work environment can help improve the physical and mental health of communities. Thus, it is critical for responsible business leaders to focus on this area.

So, how can we create sustainable employment? Stay tuned for next week when we breakdown how to create a sustainable environment!

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