Pay and benefits are no longer the only critical factors in deciding where to work, with a striking majority citing their employers’ values (80%) and commitment to the environment (76%) and social equality (75%) as key criteria, reveals a survey commissioned by Paul Polman.
The Net Positive Barometer, a survey of 2,000 British employees, reveals that 41% are concerned about paying their bills, while 69% are anxious about the future of the planet and society, and 64% of employees say that the acceleration of global crises raises the bar of expectations for businesses.
Two thirds (66%) of UK employees want to work for companies trying to have a positive impact on the world, but 68% say that current efforts by business to tackle environmental and societal challenges do not go far enough.
Forty-five percent of workers would consider resigning from their job if the values of the company did not align with their own. Indeed 35% report having resigned from another position for this reason, while the same proportion would consider taking a pay cut to work for a company that shares their values.
The Barometer illustrates the link between companies’ social and environmental actions and employees’ job satisfaction. For instance, those who say their company has goals or targets on the environment are more likely to say they are motivated at work than those who do not think their company has goals or targets (73% vs. 50% in the UK).
This is especially the case for Gen Z workers, who already makeup 9.5% of the UK population. Two thirds (66%) would be less motivated if their company’s values did not align with their own.
Paul Polman, responsible business advocate and co-author of “Net Positive”, stated:
“The Net Positive Barometer is a wake up call. Times have changed and employees no longer want outdated corporate social responsibility initiatives and a lack of action. Unsatisfied and unmotivated employees recognise the power is in the hands of the CEOs. They want to work for companies which work to tackle the world’s greatest challenges, and they want to play their part. Or they’ll leave.”
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO and Chairman of Schneider Electric, said:
Attracting and retaining talent is essential for a performing company. In times of global crises, employees expect their employers to step up, speak out, take action on key environmental and societal issues. At Schneider Electric we work to align profit and purpose.
Sharan Burrow, Former General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, added:
“Companies must be courageous and transform their businesses together with their employees, rather than making more empty promises behind closed doors. Gen Z wants to join them on this journey and to be a part of the solution to tackle climate change, ensure rights are respected through their supply change and that inequality is effectively addressed. CEOs must embrace this partnership and they’ll be rewarded with a more satisfied and motivated workforce.”
Clover Hogan, climate activist and founder of Force of Nature, said:
“Anxiety is on the rise in my generation; we’ve inherited a climate crisis, broken political systems, and increasing social polarisation. We’re tired of greenwashing and empty commitments. Counter to the image painted of Gen Z, we don’t want beanbags and table tennis in the office; we want to work for organisations that reflect our values. CEOs who fail to see this, and take action, will be left behind.”
Josh Graff, Managing Director of EMEA & LATAM at LinkedIn, said:
“Companies must listen to the Net Positive Barometer and recognise the link between job satisfaction and a company’s social and environmental impact. Those that ignore this crucial link risk demotivating their workforce and pushing the market’s greatest talent to competitors with clearer values.”
Overall, the Net Positive Barometer unveils three clear ways companies can close the gap between their actions and their employees’ expectations: greater ambition, better communication, and empowerment. Those CEOs that fail to act risk losing talent, weakening engagement and productivity, and undermining the success of their business in the years ahead. Those who step up will reap the rewards of motivated, innovative, and loyal employees who work together with senior leadership to accelerate the company’s journey toward becoming a more responsible, more sustainable, and ultimately more profitable business.
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