While sustainability encompasses many strategic aspects of a company, we cannot forget about the very people who make up the company in itself, and who may be willing to find more than just a business strategy in sustainability.
Chances are most of your employees are concerned with the environment, climate change or social inequalities in some capacity; and so, they are also increasingly concerned with the efforts the company in itself makes in regards to them.
Employees do in fact care for corporate sustainability efforts, to the point where it has become an essential part of talent attraction and retention strategies. Similarly, employee benefits have also taken a turn, and we believe it is worth revisiting them and consider how sustainability can actually become part of it.
Why employee benefits matter
Surely, when we think about employee benefits, salaries and other economic elements come up to mind, but it would be naive and a very poor look into employees’ experience to solely think in monetary terms when we think of the latter.
Supporting employees’ emotional and physical health, for example, is just as important as taking care of their financial health. This leads us to believe how employee benefits should in fact transcend the workplace and have a positive impact in employees’ overall health and happiness.
This is specially true given the aftermath of 2020 and the deep changes our lives were subject to, including the way we work. Overnight organizations were forced to rethink many aspects of their structure and strategy, coming to realize how obsolete some processes actually were.
A shift of perspective: wellbeing and technology
In this process of realization and change, there are two distinct aspects of employee benefits and employee experience that stand out. On one side, the shift of the latter two towards employee wellbeing; and on the other hand, the need for digital solutions to cope with the new ways of living and working.
As a result of the isolation and anxiety caused by the global pandemic, employee benefits suddenly gained a whole new perspective, one that put wellbeing in the centre. Family time, mental health and flexibility, among other things, became untradeable and invaluable, at least in monetary terms.
But the fact that remote work was beginning to gain track for most companies and that flexibility does not look the same for everybody, also meant that new digital solutions will have to be put in place in order to give an answer to issues that did not use to require technology beforehand.
This is precisely where sustainability comes in. The latter has in the last few years become an increasingly important competitive advantage and differentiating factor for companies, being one of the main attributes workers look for in their employers.
Understanding sustainability as an employee benefit
Before we get into how sustainability can become an employee benefit, we first need to look at why it is in fact worth considering environmental and social responsibility part of an employees’ experience, wellbeing, and benefits.
And the reason why, is most easily explained through the overwhelming evidence we have today about the level of importance people give to the sustainability efforts of their companies:
- According to a recent research, 51% of employees won’t work for a company without strong environmental and social policies.
- The same study also found how 74% of respondents found their job more fulfilling when they were provided the opportunity to create a positive impact.
- In the case of Millenials, who make up to 75% of the current workforce, research found that 96% of this generation’s employees expect their employers to take necessary steps toward sustainability.
These data gives us three distinct clues for what a proper sustainability strategy should look like for employees:
Firstly, there is no denying that it is crucial for companies to have environmental and social responsibility policies in place and communicate about them. Secondly, it is quite clear that such a demand for sustainability will most likely keep on growing as younger generations take over the work market.
And last but not least, there is a significant will to find a way to create positive impact in our day to day life, which can in turn create better engagement and wellbeing for employees when the latter opportunity to make a difference comes from our own company or employer.
Engaging employees in sustainability
Sustainability is a must for most workers today, and will continue to be so as younger employees begin to enter the job market. But far from being indifferent from participation in sustainable efforts, people look for the opportunity to be actively engaged and find purpose in having a positive impact through their jobs.
In DoGood we believe that working collectively can help us find that which alone may seem unattainable or useless. That is why we think the workplace is the perfect environment to find that collective eagerness to make a difference, both for the sustainability and purpose of the company and a more sustainable way of being for all.
Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.