How a strong ESG proposition can improve employee wellbeing and boost profits01.06.22
As the climate crisis and pressing social issues worsen, so do mental health problems. Poor mental health negatively impacts the workplace, costing UK businesses up to £45 billion every single year (Deloitte) but, thankfully, businesses have the opportunity to take charge of employee wellbeing and act on social and environmental issues simultaneously. They can do this by strengthening their ESG proposition.
Eco-anxiety is on the rise - particularly in younger people
In 2020, more than half (53.7%) of child psychiatrists surveyed by the NHS said their patients were distressed about the state of the environment. And, according to data published by Bupa in January 2022, 68% of Gen Z are anxious about environmental issues, while 63% of them feel the “burden of climate change on their shoulders.”
Gen Z will soon surpass millennials as the most populous generation on earth. Arguably now is the time to build a wellbeing programme with the needs of younger generations in mind, taking heed of the climate crisis and eco-anxiety.
The link between ESG initiatives and employee wellbeing
Simply put, doing good makes you feel good. In an impact report by onHand, 80% of survey respondents saw an improvement in their wellbeing thanks to their time spent volunteering using the onHand platform. Even people who suffer from mental illnesses can see “improvement in their outlook and mental health through volunteering. It gives them a sense of direction and meaning”
Volunteering gives people ‘social capital’ which increases people’s access to help from others, creating a network of support for people to draw on to help them cope with difficult times. Building social capital not only benefits the person doing the volunteering, but it also supports the entire community, cultivating resilience as people work together and help each other through hardship. It also boosts self-esteem and confidence - in a study exploring environmental volunteering, respondents expressed that they gained a sense of self worth and felt good about themselves by volunteering for a ‘good cause’.
Having a wellbeing programme that incorporates ‘giving back’ to the local community makes for happier employees. And a happier workforce is a more productive workforce. Bupa's research backs this - over half (51%) of people of all ages said they would be more engaged with their organisation overall, more satisfied in their jobs (53%), and more productive (47%) if the place they worked had strong eco and social commitments.
Employees want purpose, not just over a pay cheque
More and more, employees are turning down cash in favour of impact. In a 2018 Linkedin study on workplace culture, a staggering 86% of millennials said they would take a pay cut to work at a company whose mission and values aligned with their own.
In fact, it’s not just younger generations who are craving more from their work. While 59% of Gen Zs surveyed by Bupa said they would stay longer with a company that had ESG commitments (as well as recommend it as a good place to work), 52% of people overall said the same thing. More than half of the survey respondents (54%) would take a pay cut to work for a business that reflects their ethics, on average sacrificing more than a quarter (27%) of their salary.
With employees craving more purpose in their daily lives, it’s no surprise that reports from Deloitte show 80% of employees want to do more for their communities. Clearly, the appetite for community involvement and environmental action is growing, proving that business leaders can benefit hugely from strong ESG initiatives.
Good ESG programmes have the potential to yield high returns for businesses
There’s increasing recognition that issues concerning a business’s environmental and social impact have financial effects over time, impacting the company’s long-term success. ESG-oriented investing has experienced a “meteoric” rise - global sustainable investment now tops $30 trillion, up 68% since 2014 and tenfold since 2004. Not only that, but 63% of >2000 Mckinsey studies found positive results on the impact of ESG propositions on equity returns.
onHand lets employees learn and take action on the issues that matter. From youth mentoring, food poverty and elderly help to fighting climate change with CO2e tracked eco pledges for mass collective impact.
Multi-award winning, with engagement stats that are off the charts, IBM describes onHand as "Uber for Volunteering”.