Tag: ESG

Mere 15% of employees believe company’s ESG initiatives are genuine 

New research released by PLAY, a product development studio, has found that 77% of workers would like the company they work for to be more transparent about their environmental impact.  

Climate change is front of mind with the study finding that employees are sceptical about their employer’s sustainability initiatives. Overall, only 14% of those surveyed believed that companies’ sustainability initiatives were ‘always’ impactful or genuine. This number fell to under one in 10 for general employees, compared with over a third (34%) of business leaders. This suggests that business leaders may be over-estimating the impact and value of their existing environmental initiatives for employees.  

PLAY’s report surveyed 1,000 UK-based employees, split between 750 general employees and 250 business leaders/Chief Sustainability Officers, about their views on sustainability initiatives in business.   

Are business leaders disconnected with their employees?  

The report seemingly revealed a disconnect between employees and business leaders where the impact of sustainability initiatives is concerned. However, the study showed a consensus between both groups when it came to how best to support the fight against the climate emergency. Business leaders showed a willingness to support in improving sustainability goals and initiatives, but the research revealed there is a disconnect between their actions and words. While 82% of business leaders say they agree that their organisation should support employees to make sustainable decisions and display sustainable behaviours, only 38% of employees said that their company provides them with the tools and resources to build sustainable habits, and 22% don’t know if those resources are available to them.  

Overall, 77% of respondents agreed that major behaviour changes are necessary to ensure individuals, companies and countries achieve their sustainability goals. This figure was as high as 90% of those in the legal sector, 88% of those working in finance, and 84% of those in IT. Business leaders (85%) were also more likely than CSOs (79%) and employees (75%) to agree, implying that behaviour change is a priority on companies’ radar.  

Marcus Thornley, CEO and founder of PLAY commented: “Our research shows the need for business leaders to take sustainability initiatives seriously. There’s a strong desire from employees to get involved in their company’s sustainability projects, but these initiatives currently lack transparency and credibility. Businesses need to support employees with valuable and measurable sustainability goals and approaches, if not they will continue to see these projects delivering little success.  Business leaders need to change this to keep employees engaged, reimagining their approach to sustainability and implementing more innovative means of behaviour change and measurement supported by technology.”  

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Financial services industry struggling to recruit

According to a whitepaper by global workforce solutions provider AMS, a solid commitment to Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) will aid financial services firms in securing sought-after talent amid skills shortages.

In its latest whitepaper, Why the ‘S’ of ESG may be the rose between two thorns for retail banking, its recommended that employers across the banking and insurance sectors strengthen and promote their social credentials if they are to harness the power of ESG to build their employer brand.

We know that Gen Zs are allocating more importance to social responsibility and want to work at companies that align with their values. It’s therefore becoming increasingly important for businesses put their money where their mouth is and ensure that ESG forms the foundation of the way they do business.

The advice comes following research from the Financial Services Skills Commission, which found that almost a third of employers across the financial, professional and business services sector are struggling to recruit due to widespread skills shortages.

Janine Chidlow Sector Managing Director of Retail Banking & Insurance at AMS commented: “At a time when acute skills shortages are impacting access to talent, both jobseekers and existing employees increasingly want to find a purpose in life and are seeking out employers that share their values. That might be a commitment to sustainability, philanthropy, or social impact. Against this backdrop, the ESG framework unsurprisingly has an impact on talent attraction and retention within financial services.

“Candidates may not be seeking an ethical employer in the traditional sense any more – now they’re looking at the social perception of an employer brand and what they are committed to in terms of achieving carbon neutral status or supporting social mobility and diversity. The war for talent is now raging once again, and those businesses that are not demonstrating flexibility, care, innovative thinking, and evidence that people matter will lose very quickly. For talent strategists, a commitment to ESG is not just a vote winner for hiring great people: it’s a brilliant tool in your sales armoury too.”

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