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20 January, 2022 / Analysis

Employer’s guide to supporting employee wellbeing

By ESG Clarity

Gen Z will turn down roles if they feel a company is not conscious of mental health and climate change

Employer’s guide to supporting employee wellbeing

Bupa’s workplace wellbeing experts have issued a five-point guide for employers who want to support their employees’ wellbeing as part of their ESG goals.

This comes following research carried out by the healthcare company found that Gen Z – those in the 18-22-year-old age bracket – will turn down roles and even take pay cuts to work with more ESG-conscious firms.

In particular, two in three (68%) of the Gen Zs interviewed (out of a pool of 2,000 UK adults) said they are anxious about environmental issues – more than any other age bracket – and 63% said they feel the burden of climate change on their shoulders.

A similar number (64%) said it was important for employers to act on environmental issues, and a lack of action would affect the mental wellbeing of two in five (43%).

Bupa calculated mental ill-health costs UK businesses £45bn a year so engaging employees on their sustainability initiatives will provide growing value to businesses in light on evidence Gen Z feel the burden of climate change.

Gen Z will prioritise their mental health over earnings and a third of respondents said they would turn down roles in companies with poor ESG credentials, and over half (54%) would take a pay cut to work for a business that reflects their ethics, on average sacrificing more than a quarter (27%) of their salary.

Here is a summary of its five-point guide to support employee wellbeing:

  1. Encourage habits that improve people and planet wellbeing

Bupa suggested firms support employees to make choices that are better for their wellbeing and the planet by reducing work travel or supporting greener options for active travel into work, switching to electric vehicles for company cars and providing healthier food in workplace premises that also has a lower carbon footprint, for example. Bupa has provided more ideas on its free to access sustainability hub.

2. Facilitate action

Encourage employees to engage with ESG activities at work, Bupa said, offering volunteering days and involvement in company or community sustainability initiatives. Communicate what the business is doing to meet its ESG goals and how employee contributions are having an impact

3. Seek employee input

Businesses should ensure employees feel more engaged and are able to help shape their company’s ESG actions. This can be achieved by establishing employee networks and community groups for people to take part in.

See also: – Quilter offers mental health talks to advisers

4. Manage eco-anxiety

Many young workers (63%) feel the burden of climate change on their shoulders, and eco-anxiety is on the rise and a natural response to what is happening to our planet. Firms can help employees to manage anxiety through supporting a good work-life balance. Management should encourage employees to work within their working hours, spend time away from their desks and take regular breaks, whether they’re in the office or working from home. Spending time outside and getting close to nature has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.  

5. Lead from the top

Bupa said a “culture of ESG starts from the top.” Ensure senior management have clear ESG objectives and encourage them to share what they are doing, both at work and at home to be more sustainable, and employees are likely to feel empowered to adapt their own habits.

Part of the Bonhill Group.