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Deloitte: The Important Role of Leaders in Advancing Human Sustainability Report

by Madaline Dunn

Deloitte has released its ‘The important role of leaders in advancing human sustainability’ report, based on a survey conducted by Deloitte and Workplace Intelligence in February and March 2024 of 3,150 employees, managers and C-level executives across the US, U.K., Canada and Australia. 

The report revealed a gap between leaders’ and workers’ perceptions of workplace treatment and human sustainability.

For example, while 82 per cent of executives believe their company is advancing human sustainability, just 56 per cent of workers agree. 

Likewise, while 90 per cent of executives were found to believe that working for their company has a positive effect on worker well-being, skills development, career advancement, inclusion and belonging, and their sense of purpose and meaning, far fewer employees agreed. In fact, the figure stood at just 60 per cent. 

Indeed, only around one out of three workers said that their physical (34 per cent), mental (32 per cent), financial (35 per cent), and social (31 per cent) well-being improved last year. 

In contrast, at least seven out of 10 executives believed these well-being dimensions improved for their people, and around three out of four leaders would characterise their workers’ well-being as “excellent” or “good.”

Seven in ten workers said that if their organisation increased its commitment to human sustainability, this would improve their overall experience at work (72 per cent) and increase their engagement and job satisfaction (71 per cent), productivity (70 per cent), desire to stay with their company long-term (70 per cent) and trust in their company’s leadership (69 per cent).

Over half of workers (52%) said that paying them fairly would go a long way toward improving their well-being. 

The report also found that 82 per cent of executives say companies should be required to publicly report their human sustainability metrics. 

However, nearly as many (81 per cent) admitted that their own organisation isn’t doing enough when it comes to making public commitments around human issues. 

Around a third (32 per cent) of these leaders say this is because the goals they could realistically accomplish are trivial, and they’re embarrassed to make public commitments around them.

Thirty per cent, meanwhile, are awaiting government guidance or frameworks to guide them, and 22 per cent don’t want their company’s reputation to suffer if they don’t achieve these goals.

In contrast, eighty-eight per cent would like their compensation to be tied to human sustainability metrics. 

Nearly half (47 per cent) would like at least 75 per cent of their compensation to be linked to these metrics, while 61 per cent of the C-suite say they’d accept a pay cut to work for a company that is advancing human sustainability.

For the full report, head here.

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