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Young Workers Don’t Think Employers Care About Sustainability

Research from Zest finds that half of employees in the U.K. want their organisation to invest more in sustainable initiatives.

By Maggie Mancini

New research from employee benefits technology company Zest finds that workers across the U.K. are focussed on sustainability and expect their employers to do more—particularly younger generations. Half (51%) of employees are keen to see their company invest more in sustainability, rising to 61% of younger workers ages 18-34.  

The research also reveals that over half (53%) would like to see their company investing in more sustainable benefits such as electric vehicles and sustainable pensions, rising to two-thirds (66%) of 18- to 34-year-olds—and these demands are not going unnoticed. 

More than four in 10 (44%) businesses report an increase in the number of employees asking for sustainable benefits, and over half (53%) say that they have noticed an increase in the employees who care about sustainability over the past year. Despite this, younger employees believe that their organisation should be doing more.  

Although half (50%) of young workers now say that sustainable benefits are the most important perks to them, a third (33%) of this age group believe that their employers do not care about sustainability. Moreover, the research reveals the worrying impact of this disconnect, particularly as younger generations increasingly enter the workforce.  

Two in five (42%) of employees between 18 and 34 years old believe that poor sustainability initiatives have a detrimental impact on their morale at work. This not only leaves existing employees demotivated, but businesses at risk of failing to attract fresh talent.  

“It’s been a difficult few years for businesses, and the reality is that many, often not by choice, have been forced to put their sustainability initiatives on hold,” says Matt Russell, CEO of Zest. “Yet with the next generation increasingly populating the workforce, many of whom are naturally engaged in sustainability initiatives that will support their future, businesses must adapt to these changing demands. While many businesses will be focussed on scope 1 and 2 emissions, a key area that can be overlooked in sustainability is benefits packages, for example electric vehicle schemes or sustainable pension funds.”  

Adopting employee benefits technology can enable greater personalisation and flexibility of benefits—including more sustainable options. Using data and insights, employers can send targeted communications to employees to accommodate changing demands while ensuring that the right benefits reach the right employees at the right time. 

Just 29% of employees believe that their company’s benefits platform supports their individual needs and two in five (39%) employees would like their company to invest in their benefits platform more to increase accessibility. 

Tags: EMEA May 2024, EMEA News

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