News article

How to use wellbeing investments in the 'war for talent'

Record numbers of people are leaving their jobs, in the movement known the Great Resignation. They are searching for enhanced working conditions, higher wages, better benefits and an improved work-life balance too.
Personal Comfort
16 June 2022

With stress levels at an all-time high, many have realised they are burnt out, and the pandemic has prompted them to prioritise their physical and mental wellbeing. If they are unhappy, they are now prepared to quit.

A recent survey of 6,000 UK employees, by Dutch global recruitment firm Randstad NV, revealed that 69% feel confident enough to move to a new job. Meanwhile in 2021, 47.4million Americans voluntarily left their roles. This trend continues into 2022, with 4.3million Americans resigning in January alone.  

As a result, businesses are facing increasingly tough competition to secure and retain talent. Industries including manufacturing, tech and hospitality are struggling to find enough staff, and a study by global management consulting firm Korn Ferry suggests that by 2030, there will be a global talent shortage of more than 85million people – roughly equivalent to the population of Germany.  

But increased wages aren’t enough to attract the best employees. Today’s candidates want to work for businesses that care for both their people and the planet. And that means strong ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) credentials are playing an increasingly important role in helping businesses stand out in a competitive landscape.  

By investing in a healthier workplace, which is socially focused, sustainable and designed for employee wellbeing, businesses are more likely to attract the top talent. In fact, when  PwC surveyed 2,510 employees across the US, Brazil, Germany, India and the UK, they discovered that ESG commitments are driving employee engagement to a high degree, with 86% preferring to support or work for businesses that care about the same issues they do.

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It’s believed strong sustainability goals are particularly meaningful to Gen Z and millennials, who are the most engaged with climate change and also the most likely to change jobs. BUPA’s research suggests strong ESG commitments could impact retention too, with 51% saying it would make them more engaged, and 53% saying it would make them more satisfied in their jobs.  

So, what does this mean for the workplace? ESG commitments can include investing in sustainability policies, from using a low carbon energy supplier, to meeting recycling goals and specifying furniture made from materials that haven’t harmed human or planetary health. If you don’t already have them, install showers and bike storage too, so staff can cycle to work and reduce their personal carbon footprint.  

Creating a healthy built environment is also key, because staff wellbeing is a cornerstone of ESG. Are employees working in a well-ventilated space? Is the air quality closely monitored, and do they have control over their personal comfort? Digital services like Priva’s Buildium Comfort Management make this possible, plus it is Cloud-based which means it is easier to connect to – and does not take up space in your ‘rack room’. The great thing about Buildium is that is does not require an App – which means users can just scan the QR code and ‘go’. It’s quick, simple and efficient. If office occupancy changes due to a hybrid working policy, it is possible to make quick adjustments to the building services (heating / cooling / ventilation). As a result, there is always an optimal balance between comfort and energy usage.

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Staff policies that support physical and mental wellbeing are important too. This can include investing in anything from health benefits to a personal wellness budget, which employees can spend on a gym membership or even meditation courses. Last year, Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser banned internal video calls on Fridays, to help improve employees’ work/life balance. Meanwhile Jefferies, an investment bank, invested in Peloton bikes for their team. Ergonomic chairs, that support back health, are another valuable step.   

Education and training are appealing to candidates too. From external coaching to mentoring schemes and the option to study for additional certifications, employees want to know that their business will support their development.   

The war for talent may seem daunting, but all these investments demonstrate a commitment to supporting the health of both people and the planet. And in a world where workers’ values are rapidly changing, this gives you the edge. Ultimately, it will help you forge a team of satisfied, productive employees who are more likely to remain loyal to your business.


Do you have any questions? Lets have a chat!

Bill Whittaker

Business Development Manager

Bill Whittaker