Employee wellbeing: why it matters and how ESG can improve it

How can you track wellbeing at work? Why is it important? And how can ESG contribute to a happier workforce?

Happiness in the workplace

We’re living in an unpredictable time where change has been forced upon most people in the workplace. Regardless of industry, many people around the world were encouraged to work from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, we’ve seen a rapid evolution of technology, which has meant we’re all living increasingly digital lives. 

This change, as well as other factors, has led to periods of isolation and has (in general) resulted in a negative impact on people’s happiness. The World Happiness Report outlined the impact of the pandemic and according to various studies “reports of happiness and life satisfaction saw one of the largest declines” and negative emotions (like stress) were more prevalent. This, of course, filtered into the working environment and during the last few years we’ve seen a real impact on how happy people are in the workplace. 

What makes people happy at work?

When you think of happiness at work, it’s easy to assume that salary, career progression and work/life balance are the most important factors. But research by career site Indeed found that’s not always the case: people are happiest at work when ‘energised’ with 43% saying happiness comes from feeling challenged at work, 37% when they are inspired by colleagues and 39% when  they’re looking forward to a work environment.

Why is it important?

According to the same Indeed study, 63% of people say work is one of their greatest stressors and 88% of people say that seeing people happy at work is an important factor when choosing to work for a company.

Another study referenced in Forbes reveals that there are many business benefits to a happier workforce:

  • Happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy ones
  • Happiness raises sales performance by 37%

Employee wellbeing is also thought to drive a number of other important business factors including high engagement, enhanced creativity, less absences and improved retention.

How can ESG help?

When you hear the term ‘ESG’ you might automatically think of the environment and reducing your carbon footprint. While this is a critical part of ESG, there’s also the other side, which deals predominantly with people.

The social and governance aspect of ESG is gaining more prevalence as businesses around the world strive to improve experiences for employees and stakeholders to improve business outcomes.

This area of ESG has historically been quite difficult to track and arguably has had less attention than environmental factors. But all of the areas work alongside each other because, when it comes to protecting the planet, your people care that you care. Over 50% of employees say they’d take a pay cut to work at a company whose values align with their own, while 59% of Gen Zs would stay longer with a company that had ESG commitments.

Not only can a strong ESG proposition lead to increased employee retention, it can also help you monitor and track critical people data.

Our initiative technology platform, Sustainion, is designed to aggregate data from across a number of areas to help you gain greater visibility on key areas including:


  • Your supply chain, so you can mitigate risk (with areas such as child labour)
  • Your built environment. With ESG monitoring you can discover key insights that can impact your employees’ wellbeing – from the air quality of your buildings to the ventilation (our platform can work across a number of global locations, so if you have multiple offices around the world you can centralise the data in one place)
  • Your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy to ensure you’re building an inclusive workplace where people feel they belong
  • Your sustainability strategy. Employees care about the future and they care what you’re doing to reduce your impact. With a robust ESG reporting system in place you can build a sustainability strategy and report that gives them complete visibility over the actions you’re taking (this is also beneficial for investors)

Alongside our platform, our team of experts are on hand to help you make sense of the data and make recommendations on what you can do to improve your performance.

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Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Tracking & Metrics – A Better Way Forward

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