Employees want a purpose more than family leave and flextime

Employees want to make a difference and increasingly they want their employers to address social and environmental issues. Since the job market is getting tighter and employees are getting more demanding, employers can increase competitiveness by pursuing sustainability as a core strategy. It helps attract and retain good talent.

Nearly half (48 percent) of Fortune 1000 employees consider finding a sense of purpose through their everyday work, a practice known as "job purposing," very important. The survey found that employees consider purposeful work more important than paid family leave, flexible work schedule and/or opportunities to work remotely, opportunities for career advancement and training and/or continued learning opportunities.

The survey also found that executives thought their companies were doing much better in this regard than employees. This perception gap can lead to employee dissatisfaction and excessive turnover. Conversely, pursuing sustainability related issues have the potential to improve productivity.

47% of employees say an employer’s attempt to impact environmental issues would increase their productivity.

Here are some questions for managers:

  • What are the social/environmental challenges that your organization/department are uniquely positioned to address?

  • What social/environmental issues do your employees care the most about?

  • How can you make a meaningful contribution toward their solutions?

  • How can you make this connection between work and purpose visible to every employee every day?

    This article includes a number of recommendations.


You can download a paper on the survey results here: https://www.earthshare.org/earthshare-white-paper-the-new-business-imperative/