Prioritising environmental and societal impact is becoming the leading indicator of engagement

  • Employees who feel that their organisations are environmentally-conscious are 2.3 times more engaged at work
  • 80% of employees feel that their organisation cares about having a positive impact on the environment in data collected from 35,000 respondents
  • Out of those, 84% would recommend their organisation as a great place to work
  • In addition, 88% can see themselves working there in 12 months’ time
  • Whereas, over 60% of employees who do not feel their organisation cares about how it impacts society would look to leave in the next 12 months

Over 80% of employees feel engaged in their workplace if employers care about having a positive impact on the environment, according to the latest insights from Inpulse employee engagement surveys.

The analysis, conducted in 2022 with 35,000 employees across organisations that are beginning to ramp up their ESG strategies, highlights the undeniable impact external factors can have on how employees feel about their jobs.

Out of those 80% working for companies perceived to be environmentally-conscious, 82% felt engaged in their workplace compared to 35% who felt engaged working for companies that do not pay attention to their ESG strategies. The nearly 50% point gap represents the highest percentage point difference when it comes to factors impacting employee engagement, followed by career development, inclusion and culture.

Jodie Harrison, Insights Consultant at Inpulse, explains:

“Typically, when we talk about what an ‘engaged’ employee looks like, we turn to organisational factors such as workplace culture or learning and development, but the latest Inpulse data shows how the company’s environmental and social impact are just as, if not more, important to people. As our news feeds are inundated with stories of devastating wildfires and unprecedented heatwaves, how organisations approach such matters can be make or break for engagement and even influence how long employees see themselves continuing to work for their companies.”

The data also highlights a strong correlation between ESG and retention

88% of respondents can see themselves continuing working for their organisation in 12 months’ time if they feel the company cares about its environmental impact compared to 40% of those working for environmentally-unconscious organisations. Moreover, employees who answered positively are 2.4 times more likely to recommend their organisation as a great place to work.

Harrison continues: “The data overwhelmingly shows that strong ESG performance leads to higher employee engagement, especially amongst Millennial and Gen Z generations who place greater importance on environmental and social concerns and will make up most of the global workforce in the near future. We know that disengaged employees limit organisational growth massively. Even just one disengaged employee can cause setbacks and negatively impact an entire team.

“While more ‘traditional’ engagement factors – like culture and development – remain highly relevant, we cannot ignore the significance of how people’s perceptions of environmental and social responsibility impact their feelings about their work. Our research indicates that dismissing these challenges could equate to more people resigning, as over 60% of employees are looking to leave their environmentally-unconscious organisations in the next 12 months.

“Understanding what people expect from their employers is essential. Ensuring they can then work towards that criteria is key to retaining talent and minimising disruption caused by high levels of attrition,” adds Harrison.

Matt Stephens, CEO and founder of Inpulse, emphasises: “Companies need to wake up and realise that how they respond to societal and environmental issues. This is becoming a defining element as to whether their employees are engaged at work. Now is the time to act and moving quickly will demonstrate to people that they are taking this seriously”.