ESG values increasingly important to employees

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

As the global trend of sustainable investing continues to grow, ESG has become a buzzword worldwide. In this climate, Mojodomo Holdings Limited (“Mojodomo”), a global engagement marketing and e-commerce platform has released a white paper titled “Asia’s Workforce Awakens to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)” .

The survey data reveals 65% of satisfied respondents still plan to leave their jobs this year; almost 50% of them rank health as their top concern at work, and over 90% of believe that ESG values are relevant to their own values.

Ms. Honnus Cheung, the Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Mojodomo Holdings Limited, shares, “With ESG gaining importance among investors worldwide, Environmental and Governance (E&G) has become an integral element of corporate business strategy and day-to-day operations.

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“However, we believe that companies should also pay close attention to the “Social aspects (S)” of employee participation and engagement, especially during the pandemic.

“‘People strategy’ has become a crucial element of sustainable enterprise development.” In this regard, Mojodomo has shared its data and analysis of current employee-employer relationships in Asia-Pacific, as well as a 2022 playbook based on the advice of those successfully integrating ESG values into employee engagement action plans today.

The survey was conducted by Mojodomo in 2021 Q3, which interviewed more than 1,000 employees, 315 HR professionals, and 30 senior HR executives in the region, including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan.

The survey examines personal concerns, job satisfaction, ESG awareness, views of multi-stakeholder capitalism, and analyzes how companies can drive employee engagement through ESG-led programming.

Half the respondents plan to switch jobs in 2022

Although three-fourths of the respondents are satisfied with their current job, 65% of these apparently “happy employees” were simultaneously seeking new jobs. Overall, nearly half of the respondents planned to change jobs in 2022.

The findings reflect a new trend in the job market. In addition to salary and benefits, employees also attach great importance to a company’s overall purpose, indicating that those with the highest ESG maturity levels are well-placed to retain high-value employees, improve productivity, and increase employees’ sense of belonging.

Half the respondents prioritize health over money and career

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, money and career development may have been primary concerns for employees, but the pandemic appears to have fundamentally shifted personal priorities.

According to the survey, “health” has become employees’ top personal concern, ranking it above “money” and “career”—47% of employees ranked health-related concerns as their top personal concerns. 

Within their employee value proposition, 22% of the respondents ranked physical and mental health as the most valued aspect of their employment.

33% of respondents still weight financial and career development quite heavily especially for respondents in their mid-20s to mid-30s (Millennials), where major milestones are most likely to occur, such as marriage, children and parental care. However, as ages progress, worries shift to health-related concerns.

More than 90% of the respondents agree that ESG values are related to their own values

For individuals, enterprises, and all of society, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous reflection about the shape of the world and meaning of work. Asia is a diverse market with social and cultural differences, where countries are in different stages of multi-stakeholder capitalism and ESG development.

Our survey proves Asia’s workforce is on par with the global movement towards ESG advocacy. The vast majority of respondents (98%) expect the company they work for to make a positive impact in the world.

Furthermore, a 92% of the employees agree that ESG values are similar to the values they practice in life outside of work, especially for younger generations.

Ms. Honnus Cheung believes that 2022 will be the year people managers discover how ESG can be a secret weapon to addressing current employee issues and further unlocking new levels of employee drive.