Workplace ESG: How Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Impact Employee Experience (Part 2)

CLAIRE HASTWELL

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Spotlight on ESG: How leading companies are paving the way 

Looking for some ESG inspiration? These three companies are taking steps to ensure their actions match their words, by setting measurable ESG targets and implementing ESG-focused procedures and policies. 

Deloitte: Setting the bar for sustainable business practices

Tax consulting and advisory firm Deloitte  has a three-pronged approach to ESG: actions the company takes, actions it inspires its people to take, and the actions it takes with clients and other stakeholders. 

The company says it embeds sustainability into its policies and practices, and measures performance against its ESG goals. For example, as part of its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions, 91% of the energy Deloitte purchased in 2022 was renewable. 

Along with its own operations, Deloitte is also reviewing its global supply chains to ensure procurement sustainability and minimize its carbon footprint. Improvements to date include introducing science-based targets and requirements such as recycling and electricity-use standards within its requests for proposals and contracts. 

Finally, Deloitte works with Indigenous peoples in Australia, Asia, Canada, and elsewhere to advance nature-based climate solutions and provide insights into environmental issues impacting Indigenous peoples. 

An the proof is in the pudding: 91% of Deloitte’s employees say they feel good about how their organization gives back. 

Stryker: Championing governance and environmental sustainability

In 2022, Stryker, a medical technology company headquartered in Michigan, announced a new business goal: to engage 85% of its direct suppliers on ESG performance assessments by the end of 2027. As of its 2022 report, it has achieved 47% progress towards this target. 

The company also encourages employees to participate in ESG efforts by crowdsourcing ideas for sustainability opportunities. Its CR Champion program recruits influential leaders within the business to share industry learnings and best practices, so that safe, responsible, and sustainable practices are represented in each division’s business plan. 

In 2022, Stryker’s sustainability team worked with more than 3,700 hospitals in the U.S. and Canada on reprocessing programs, which resulted in 11.2 million pounds of waste being diverted from landfills. 

And the evidence is crystal clear: A remarkable 91% of Stryker’s employees express genuine satisfaction with their organization’s commitment to making a positive impact 

The Hershey Company: Fusing business with environmental activism

While the cocoa industry is rarely associated with environmentalism, sweets and snacks manufacturer Hershey  is looking to change that. Its Cocoa For Good strategy is designed to address social and environmental challenges in cocoa communities. 

With a 12-year, $500-million commitment to the strategy, Hershey has stated its commitment to supporting rural livelihoods and community development, including the elimination of child labor and deforestation. As of December 2022, Hershey has invested 40% of its original commitment. 

An impressive 86% of The Hershey Company’s employees affirm their genuine satisfaction with their organization’s commitment to making a positive impact. This serves as compelling evidence of their dedication. 

ESG trends

ESG has become a growing focus for companies, as business has become more globalized, consumers demand more from where they purchase goods, and employers demand more from who they work for. 

Our research into workplace ESG initiatives has revealed six common themes: 

  • Carbon footprint: Climate change will continue to be a priority focus. Companies are examining their renewable energy usage and supply chain impact and setting net-zero emissions goals. 
  • Interconnected approach: Rather than a top-down approach, companies are seeking ESG engagement and input from employees and stakeholders. 
  • Infrastructure focus: Companies are examining where they operate and whether their facilities and materials meet sustainability standards. 
  • Measurement: To avoid greenwashing, companies are putting more focus on tangible tracking and reporting and seeking sustainability certifications. 

The impact of ESG on employee satisfaction and retention

When it comes to employee satisfaction and retention, two elements of company culture stand out most: purpose and pride. In fact, Great Place To Work research has found that when employees  feel proud to work at a company, they are: 

  • 6 times more likely to endorse their workplace to others 
  • 2 times more likely to want to stay with the company for a long time 
  • 1 time more likely to say it’s a great place to work 

And when employees feel like they have a sense of purpose at work, or that their work is more than “just a job,” they are two to six times more likely to stay with their company long-term. 

Overall, our 2023 Drivers of Retention survey found that finding “meaning” in your work is the biggest predictor of retention, across generations — more than promotions, recognition, or even wages. 

How Do You Involve Employees in ESG? 

1. Foster a culture of trust: Start by building a solid foundation of trust within the organization. When employees feel trusted, they are more likely to take ownership of their roles and the company’s goals. Trust is the catalyst that transforms compliance into commitment. 

2. Empower grassroots movements: Encourage and support the formation of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and committees that are passionate about various ESG aspects. These groups often become the driving force for change, as seen in the proactive response to the Maui fires. 

3. Communicate and educate: Regularly communicate the importance of ESG goals and how they align with the company’s mission. Provide education and resources to help employees understand ESG principles and their impact on the business and society. 

4. Enable autonomy and leadership: Give employees the autonomy to lead initiatives and make decisions relevant to ESG. When employees feel their actions can lead to real change, engagement increases significantly. 

5. Recognize and reward:Acknowledge and reward the efforts of employees and teams who contribute to ESG initiatives. This recognition can take many forms, from company-wide shout-outs to financial incentives. 

6. Provide meaningful opportunities: Create opportunities for employees to participate in ESG activities that have a tangible impact, whether it’s community service, environmental projects, or diversity and inclusion programs. 

7. Lead by example: Leadership should exemplify ESG values in decision-making and everyday business operations. When employees see their leaders committed to ESG, they are more likely to follow suit. 

8. Measure and share success: Regularly measure the impact of ESG initiatives on employee experience, such as Great Place To Work Certification data, and share these successes with the team. Use stories and data to show how their contributions are making a difference. 

By integrating these practices, companies can engage employees in ESG in a meaningful way, leading to a more motivated workforce and a stronger, more sustainable organization.

Challenges and opportunities: The road ahead for ESG in the workplace 

By focusing on ESG in the workplace, organizations can do their part for the planet while also delivering improvements to employee engagement, innovation and productivity, and driving business success. But it’s not easy, and you’ll need to make sure everyone is up to the challenge. 

Overcoming common obstacles in ESG implementation

Here are just some of the common obstacles that companies encounter when striving to integrate ESG practices — and that your own business will likely need to address along the way: 

  • Lack of clear ESG strategy: Without a clear plan, it’s challenging to set meaningful goals and track progress. 
  • Data and metrics challenges: You may face difficulties in sourcing, measuring, and reporting ESG metrics, which are essential for transparency and accountability. 
  • Integration into business operations: You may encounter resistance to change or difficulty aligning ESG goals with existing processes. 
  • Regulatory and reporting complexity: Navigating the evolving landscape of ESG regulations and reporting standards is a significant challenge. 
  • Resource constraints: Implementing ESG initiatives often requires significant investments of time and resources. Smaller companies, in particular, may find it challenging to allocate the necessary funds and personnel for ESG efforts. 
  • Stakeholder engagement: Engagement with investors, customers, employees, and communities is crucial for ESG success. You may need to address varying stakeholder expectations and concerns. 

Leveraging ESG for competitive advantage 

In spite of the challenges it presents, embracing an ESG-centric approach to business can bestow a lasting competitive edge. As previously mentioned, today’s consumers increasingly insist that the products and services they engage with adhere to rigorous sustainability standards. Enterprises failing to meet this rising demand will inevitably lag behind. 

However, differentiation lies in transparency, reliance on science-backed metrics, and an authentic, vulnerable approach to ESG initiatives. By doing so, your company will distinguish itself from the multitude of organizations resorting to greenwashing in their pursuit of outperforming competitors. 

Your brand and business will gain more credibility by admitting, “We may not have all the solutions, but here’s what we intend to explore,” rather than presenting convoluted data and making dubious commitments. 

ESG – A necessity in the evolving work landscape 

ESG principles aren’t just buzzwords, they are a necessity. ESG efforts go beyond corporate responsibility — they’re a potent tool for boosting employee engagement, attracting top talent, and winning over consumers. And when ESG initiatives align with business goals, it’s a win-win scenario that ensures long-term relevance and resilience. 

Unlock the power of ESG in the workplace with Great Place To Work Certification 

Great Place To Work® Certification™ isn’t just a badge; it’s a testament to your commitment to ESG (environmental, social, governance) values in the workplace. It’s a proven way for employers to measure how employees feel about corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. 

By earning Great Place To Work Certified status, you demonstrate to stakeholders — be they investors, job seekers, or employees — that your organization places the well-being of its people at the forefront. This prestigious Certification is grounded in confidential survey feedback from your employees and follows the Great Place To Work Model — trusted by the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® for over 30 years. 

Stakeholders can place their trust in your company’s dedication to ESG values, making it an appealing choice for investment. Discover how to achieve workplace Certification  today and showcase your commitment to a sustainable and inclusive workplace. 

CLAIRE HASTWELL

Author

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Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work® Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare & Biopharma List. This list recognizes exemplary companies in the healthcare & biopharma industry.

Recognized as a global hub for medical technology and research, Singapore has attracted top healthcare and biopharma talents and companies from around the world. It has become the center for essential healthcare services and innovations with its world-class research institutes, academic medical centers, and industry clusters.

In turn, the healthcare and biopharma sectors play a critical role in the country’s economic competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. These industries have significantly helped in the overall improvement of public health and well-being of the people of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

The inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma List puts the spotlight on the organizations that are dedicated to providing employee satisfaction and engagement, and their commitment to excellence in the industry.

The companies in our Great Place To Work Certified™ community have the premier distinction that helps attract the best talent, build your employer brand, and secure a competitive advantage. To achieve this, they built a working environment that is purpose-driven and people-first. These companies have demonstrated that showing authentic care, prioritizing employee’s holistic well-being, and building a culture of trust go hand in hand with growth and success.

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma, Great Place to Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place to Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place to Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work™ Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology List. This List recognizes exemplary companies in the information and communication technologies industry in four categories:

  • Micro category (10–29 employees)
  • Small (30-99 employees)
  • Medium (100-999 employees)
  • Large (> 1000 employees)

With Singapore’s ambition to be recognized as a regional technology hub, the influx of technology firms (around 80 of the world’s top 100 technology firms have a presence here) and global rankings that place us a leading technology hub outside of San Francisco, the establishment of a Singapore Best Workplaces List in Technology is indeed a timely and needed one. Technology firms in Singapore are characterized by hyper-growth and ambitious expansion plans. This means a continuous war for talent in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

To maintain our lead as a technology and innovation hub, the ability to attract, retain and sustain skilled talent is critical. We are proud that companies in our Great Place To Work®-Certified community List have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. They are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset. These are companies that have shown that authentic care and employee well-being need not be compromised for ambitious growth, and that it is possible for businesses to scale up quickly and responsibly. Their culture and core values are embodied in every individual—from senior leadership to rank-and-file employees—and differentiate them from their competitors, priming them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category

 

Methodology

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces™️, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing close to 70,000 employees across different industries in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. 85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do.

Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category