Lovewell’s logic: Are employers meeting employees’ ESG expectations?

Debbie Lovewell Tuck Editor Employee BenefitsAt a time when the cost-of-living crisis means higher pay is a focus for many employees, it is testament to the ever-increasing focus on sustainability that nearly half (48%) of employees hailing from generation Z say they would consider leaving a job if their employer did not demonstrate action on environmental issues.

According to Bupa’s Wellbeing Index, published last week, two-fifths of respondents across all generations would be willing to accept a job on lower pay to work for a more ethical or environmentally friendly organisation. This figure rises to 66% among generation Z specifically.

As ESG issues rise up individuals’ personal agendas, many are looking to businesses to also take action. Over the past few years, it has become clear that this is fuelling what many employees now expect from their employer. As a result, working for an organisation with values that matches their own is now a priority for many.

As a result, we have seen a number of organisations taking steps to prioritise their approach to sustainability throughout the business, extending this to their reward and people strategies. This represents an opportunity for those that have yet to do so.

Having a clear focus on ESG and sustainability issues also presents an opportunity for employers to reach out to their workforce to find out exactly what is important to them and give them the chance to have an input into strategies. Bupa’s Wellbeing index also found that just over a fifth of respondents felt it is not enough for senior management to put out promises on sustainability without input from the wider workforce. Involving staff in this way can be a powerful retention tool, setting the bar high for potential future employers.

With issues, such as climate change, now front of mind for many, particularly given the current record high temperatures being recorded in many parts of the world, ethical and environmental strategies and actions are likely to rise in importance for employees as they strive to influence change. Employers that reflect this, therefore, will reap the benefits.

Sustainable reward is one of the issues that will be discussed by leading employers at Employee Benefits Live on 3-4 October 2023. Register now to reserve your place.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
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