More than half of employers say their staff want them to develop clear policies on sustainability and the environment, according to a new benefits survey.
This has increased sharply over the past year, and is now listed as a top 10 expectation by the majority of employers.
Aon’s Benefit and Trends Survey, which surveys over 200 companies, found that an overwhelming number of participants (94 per cent) believe their employees’ expectations of work are changing.
The survey showed that employers say their employees now expect flexible working hours (cited by 97 per cent of respondents), the ability to work from home (cited by 94 per cent) better awareness and handling of mental health (cited by 88 per cent) better approaches to diversity (72 per cent), better policies (68 per cent), casual dress codes (61 per cent) and clear and positive environmental and sustainability policies (54 per cent).
The report also showed that 48 per cent of employers said their employees expected access to financial education.
Aon says this is the first time this survey has asked about environmental policies and it was “surprising” to see how highly this issue scored.
Aon principal Richard Morgan says: “The workplace has become more of an extension of our everyday lives. As awareness of issues such as work-life balance and ,mental health support rapidly increases so too do employees’ expectations that their employers will play their part.
“It is encourage that employers see the strength of opinion on mental health and diversity and inclusion as these have gained signifiant momentum over the last few years.
“For the environment to appear so high on this list of priorities is an important indicator echoing the conversations we have with clients as they increasingly seek advice on weaving sustainability into their benefits and communications.”
Morgan says their are many options for employers to consider who want to have clearer and more positive policies on this issue: from removing single use plastics to offering more ethical pension fund options, or access to cycle to work scheme via their benefits packages.
He adds: “Most employers are all too aware of changes affecting their workplaces, not least an ageing population. On top of generational challenges the workplace has moved from a ‘job for life’ to ‘fulfil my needs and make my life easier’. It means the wider employee value proposition and supporting communications are increasingly focusing on employees feeling present, focused and productive.”
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