Centring reward strategy on ESG and DEI can help businesses motivate employees
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) pillars and frameworks are the hottest topics of the business world of the past few years, driven by the expectation of sustainable and responsible business practices and increased regulation and legislation.
Businesses are changing how they operate and are focusing on protecting people and the planet while generating sustainable profit.
Business Leaders can no longer focus on just on financial performance, but need to include purpose, values and culture, and ask themselves what their societal and environmental impact is and how they create value for all our stakeholders.
Putting people first
Integrating ESG strategies with business strategy helps build a sustainable future. The social pillar is all about putting people first and improving lives. Many organisations are identifying and disclosing metrics for measuring workforce diversity and inclusion and setting ambitions and goals in areas such as gender equality and racial and ethnical diversity.
The modern workforce is multi-dimensional and incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in an ESG strategy is becoming non-negotiable as it helps to acknowledge the different features of the workplace and remove barriers to participation and belonging, while focusing on greater equity and fairer treatment.
DEI policies and practices should be the foundations of the reward strategy as not only does this approach encompass fair financial and non-pay benefits, but also focuses on removing disparities in employee experience by creating a holistic employee value proposition.
Creating a level playing field
A globally equal DEI driven reward strategy will, additionally, create a level playing field across the employee base and reduce social inequalities. A sustainable working environment is increasingly regarded as one where employees feel valued and know that their employer is invested in their health, wellbeing and development, and research shows that employees who feel included are more committed to their organisations.
What does an equal DEI-driven reward strategy look like? The truth is that there is no simple answer to this question as it relies on what specifically is relevant and important to your employees.
A good place to start is to foster a culture of inclusion by engaging with your employees through surveys and seek feedback on what they value in their benefit packages. For example, is family protection important and should it run beyond traditional life insurance and pension; or is there choice, access and equitable benefits for all?
Aligning to cultural differences
Reward strategies born from circular engagement with both employee and employer creates structures and frameworks aligned to local and cultural differences. These frameworks can help articulate diverse, equitable, and inclusive rewards and benefits that boost employee buy-in and motivation.
It’s important that benefits are not personalised or tailored to any particular employee segment or location, but provide a broadly diverse offering that doesn’t exclude any group. This can be difficult in a global organisation where there may be disparity in what’s available locally. However, it is essential to think from a global perspective whenever possible and assess what benefits and products there are that provide equal access for all employees. For example, innovation in digital resources is supporting and enhancing access to health and wellbeing.
The creation of digital platforms and tools are supporting the implementation of broader offerings equitably across multiple locations, facilitating employee access. An effective wellbeing programme is now considered essential for building a fair and inclusive working environment that puts employees first.
Reward and benefit strategies that leverage DEI practices are championed by employers who actively value the health, wellbeing and physical and emotional safety of employees. ESG practices are now a key focus for employees and a feature of not just hiring, but also retention through employee motivation. By setting clear DEI objectives and commitments, employers will address talent acquisition challenges by attracting the right people and will stand out in a currently highly competitive recruitment market.
In partnership with Further
Further is a global company with a mission