This is the second of a 4-part article series featuring excerpts from the ‘Nurturing Authenticity in the Workplace’ white paper. The white paper compiles data from three Randstad studies - Employer Brand Research, Workmonitor and Talent Trends - to help employers understand the correlation between organisational values & cultures and the outcomes of their talent attraction strategies.

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are playing an increasingly important role in the workplace, driving employee engagement and influencing employment decisions.

Environmental sustainability matters to employees more than ever before, and ESG is a key area where they are looking for alignment with their employers. This is especially true for younger generations, who are particularly interested in working for companies that are committed to sustainable business practices and social responsibility.

This underscores the importance of sustainability to modern talent, showing that employers will need to pivot their talent acquisition and retention strategies if they wish to remain attractive to their workforce. Read on to find out how sustainability affects your organisation’s relationship with today’s professionals, and what employers can do to make this a core part of their business.

workplace sustainability attracts job seekers
workplace sustainability attracts job seekers

the role of sustainability in attracting and retaining talent

As businesses embrace the need to make a positive social and environmental impact, incorporating ESG criteria into the overall business and workforce strategies is essential. Environmentally and socially conscious talent are attracted to companies that share their values and are committed to social impact.

In today’s interconnected world, where access to information shapes perspective, Gen-Zers and millennials exhibit a strong passion for social and environmental issues like climate change and sustainability, diversity and transparency. Faced with these evolving expectations, more organisations are choosing to embrace renewable energy and sustainable business practices by setting clear company goals and creating new industry reporting standards.

Working for an environmentally-conscious organisation allows employees to channel their passion for sustainability into their daily work, knowing that their efforts will directly contribute to mitigating the detrimental effects of climate change.

It's evident that the youngest members of the workforce aren't just transient additions to the workforce, as they bring innovative ideas and represent the workforce’s long-term future. Companies that champion strategies to curtail carbon emissions, endorse environmental conservation, and promote eco-friendly talent acquisition stand a better chance to win the talent war.

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the impact of ESG on employee engagement

Employee engagement is crucial for a company's success as engaged employees tend to be more productive, creative, and loyal.

ESG initiatives give employees a sense of purpose, inclusivity, and opportunities for growth, while volunteer opportunities with local environmental groups strengthen their connection to the company and its values. The company's commitment to environmental, social and governance makes employees feel good working for a company that is making a positive impact on the environment.

Investing in sustainability initiatives can create a more engaged and productive workforce, leading to a number of benefits, including increased profitability, customer and workforce satisfaction, reduced turnover, and the ability to attract and retain top talent.

building a climate-conscious culture in the workplace

A climate-conscious company not only delivers the satisfaction of working towards a better future for the planet to its workforce but will also create more jobs in the next five years. The number of green jobs or ESG jobs is increasing globally, with an estimated 30 million jobs created in clean energy, efficiency, and low-emission technologies by 2030.

Around the world, organisations have pledged efforts towards a green transition, recognising both the significance of ESG in the modern workplace and the potential for this shift to drive job expansion in the coming years. Companies prioritising ESG compliance will gain competitive edges, better investor relations, and job growth as stakeholders demand transparency. Experts are predicting a promising future for ESG-centric industries and professionals.

As highlighted by the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Future of Jobs report, 86% of organisations believe that the broader application of ESG standards will likely drive transformation in their companies over the next five years. These job transformations provide employees with opportunities to acquire knowledge and expertise in sustainability practices, renewable technologies and environmental stewardship. It’s easy to see then how organisations that are deeply engaged in climate action tend to excel at fostering collaborative, innovative, and purpose-driven cultures too.

A strong commitment to sustainability and ESG principles attracts top talent and consumers, positioning organisations as pioneers in sustainability and innovation with a culture aligned with current corporate values.

working towards a shared vision of sustainability

Employees working in a climate-conscious culture get to collaborate with like-minded colleagues who are equally enthusiastic about sustainability to reduce the company's environmental impact and build a better future.

This shared commitment cultivates a keen sense of camaraderie and engagement, fuelling creativity and driving collective sustainability efforts towards achieving shared environmental goals. Choosing to join a climate-centric company not only offers employees a fulfilling professional journey, it aligns with their personal values.

Given how Randstad’s Employer Brand Research report revealed that one in five professionals would rather be jobless than work for an employer that doesn’t align with their personal values, this is a noteworthy priority for employers.

Such commitment fuels a profound sense of pride and accomplishment among employees, knowing that their work is making a difference and leaving a lasting impact. As we journey through the final chapters, we will delve deeper into these themes, providing actionable insights and strategies for cultivating work environments that resonate with employees' values and dreams.


5 key factors in building a climate-conscious work culture

Creating a climate-conscious work culture is not only important for reducing an organisation's carbon footprint but also for attracting and retaining talent, complying with key regulations, and contributing to a sustainable future. Here are five important considerations when building such a culture:

1. set sustainability goals

To set effective sustainability goals, first consider your current performance and identify the areas where you want to make the biggest impact. Align your goals with your overall corporate strategies and values. Once goals are set, develop a plan and the timeline to achieve them.

Employee buy-in is essential for success, so make sure everyone in your organisation is both aligned and brought into the conversation. Being climate-conscious means many things to many people, thus it is important to create a culture of sustainability where everyone feels empowered to make a difference.

2. be transparent with your workforce

Find ways to include employees in conversations from the start. You could consider everything from starting an employee resource group (ERGs), to adding ESG to the strategic agenda. Use the goals you have identified to determine the best way to engage with employees.

3. find your ambassadors

Regardless of whether your company decides on small steps or a comprehensive effort, think about having employee advocates to drive your business strategies. These employees would be on the ground and have the network within the organisation that you will need to influence change from the bottom up.

Brand ambassadors bridge the gap between management and staff, ensuring changes are embraced. By sharing positive experiences on social media, you organically promote your company, boosting visibility and trust.

4. consider external partners

Explore opportunities to partner with experts. Whether it is bringing in external facilitators to help set up the cornerstones of your climate-conscious culture, or leaning on organisations that provide HR and consultation services, there are always resources available to get you started. 

They provide sustainability training and insights, ensuring your team is updated with environmental best practices. In the dynamic HR landscape, HR-specialised firms offer possible solutions for engagement and performance in a climate-focused setting.

5. leverage technology and data

In a data-driven world, leveraging the right technology can help you develop and sustain a climate-conscious culture. By gathering meaningful metrics, you can track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

For example, you can use a HR analytics platform to monitor employee engagement, track energy usage in real time, or generate sustainability reports to gain insights into how your efforts are impacting your workforce and environment.

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Reach out to our specialised consultants for the latest talent trends or want to know more about the latest market insights. Through market mapping and conversations with our clients and candidates, we can inform you of the latest workforce and HR trends that you can turn into actionable strategies to attract and retain talent.

Alternatively, if you are a job seeker seeking a better work-life balance, explore your career options and apply for a job that fits your skills and aligns with your expectations.

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