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Home / Resources / Engage employees in the ESG conversation: three ways targeted upskilling helps organisations achieve ESG goals.

Engage employees in the ESG conversation: three ways targeted upskilling helps organisations achieve ESG goals.

Date: Read time: 4 mins.

While some organisations are already demonstrating mindful and effective environmental and social action, many still face challenges when it comes to implementing the right ESG proposition. Here are three ways that targeted upskilling helps to drive ESG and sustainability goals, empowering both the organisation and its employees.

Getting stuck in with ESG training.

While organisations are increasingly embracing progressive attitudes towards environmental and social issues, many employees feel there is a disconnect between themselves and their organisation’s ESG and sustainability practices. A 2022 Salesforce survey investigating employee attitudes to corporate sustainability found that 88% of respondents feel that a lack of investment in sustainability training is obstructing organisations from reaching their sustainability goals. Moreover, Deloitte’s 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey notes that younger generations particularly value working for organisations that provide them with the means to contribute toward their organisation’s ESG and sustainability goals.

The results from these surveys clearly demonstrate the desire for the workforce to get stuck in to ESG and sustainability action. Recent research from KPMG has highlighted that 82% of those surveyed place importance on being able to link their values and purpose with the organisation they work with. Coupling this with the fact that 97% of UK adults care or worry about climate change to some extent, the need for organisations to clarify and promote their ESG and sustainability policies is evident.

Targeted ESG and sustainability upskilling will engage employees and improve your organisation.

Organisations need to start involving employees with their ESG and sustainability initiatives beyond simply stating commitments to social and environmental action. Training initiatives to help boost knowledge and foster a workforce that is ready to engage with effective action that benefits people and the planet are a great way to involve employees with ESG within their organisation. Skills-based learning can be especially useful in this regard, as it enables employees to choose and access learning opportunities in a way that works for them. With that in mind, here are three ways that ESG and sustainability upskilling can benefit your organisation:

1. Demonstrate social and environmental consciousness by offering learning opportunities to help attract and retain talent.

KPMG’s recent research found that 20% of UK office workers would turn down a job offer if that organisation’s ESG factors were deemed lacking, with that figure rising to 33% for those aged 18-24. With 75% of the working population set to be millennials by 2025, organisations need to start upping their ESG game in order to attract and retain talent from the younger generations. By implementing ESG and sustainability upskilling at your organisation, current employees will feel valued and prospective talent will view the organisation favorably. A 2020 Marsh & McLennan report noted that companies with highly satisfied employees often have 14% higher ESG scores that the global average; while companies with the most attractive image to students and young professionals have ESG scores 25% higher than the global average.

2. Foster community by involving employees in ESG initiatives and giving them the means to improve their knowledge.

Providing ESG and sustainability upskilling can bring employees together while boosting their loyalty to their organisation. By engaging with skills-based learning, employees are offered the opportunity to improve their knowledge, while being given the chance to connect with people that share values and passion. Moreover, Deloitte’s Gen Z and Millennial survey found that organisations that are perceived to take more action on matters ESG and sustainability will see higher levels of loyalty from their employees A report published by McKinsey noted that while employees that are satisfied with their organisation perform well, employees that feel connected to their organisation’s values perform even better. The McKinsey findings also showed that employees that are aware of the positive impact their organisation’s work has on others are more likely to act in a prosocial way.

This is reflected in organisations that are very proactive with their ESG work. Tech giant Nvidia provides a great example of this, as the organisation has multiple ongoing ESG and sustainability initiatives and reports that 97% of employees say they’re proud to work there. Nvidia gives employees the chance to engage with their ESG initiatives from the get-go, as they are able to get stuck into the organisation’s Inspire 365 community engagement offering as soon as they start onboarding. In doing so, Nvidia builds a community that can work together to achieve ESG goals while improving employee connection to the organisation.

3. Build trust and credibility by evidencing how your organisation is actively working towards achieving ESG and sustainability goals.

The 2022 Salesforce global sustainability survey found that 3 in 5 global workers are skeptical their organisation will reach their sustainability goals in time. The same survey found that 94% of employees felt training existing employees in sustainability related skills would build trust in a company’s ESG commitments. Targeted ESG and sustainability training demonstrates to your employees that their organisation is not only actively taking action to make the world a better place, but cares about getting them involved in doing so, too.

As the workforce becomes increasingly expectant of organisation’s to up their ESG game, implementing workplace learning can be a great way to attract talent, build community, and strive to hit sustainability and ESG goals. Whether bespoke long-form learning content or micro-upskilling modules will work best for your organisation, Sponge can help you find the best learning solution for you.

If this sparked your interest…

Now that you’ve identified how upskilling can be used to boost your organisations ESG and sustainability capabilities, why not check out the new ESG and Sustainability Bundle.. From an introduction to ESG and sustainability to highlighting sustainable business models and how to communicate them, we’ve got you covered.

Our content is based on expert research and advice derived from the likes of Kogan Page, Pearson Education and the Financial Times.

Want to learn more?

Fill in the form to download our handy ESG and Sustainability Bundle overview sheet.

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