Poll follows the changing values of workers and workplace

By Cameron Saunders
Paul Polman's Net Positive Barometer has found that an increasing swathe of workers consider a company's ESG performance to be of significance

Paul Polman, the former CEO of Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever and all-around business maven, has released the results of the Net Positive Barometer, a poll of 4,000 employees across the United States and United Kingdom which investigates the multiplicity of opinions held by workers towards the workplace. 

The results show a world where values are evolving: it used to be that pay and benefits were the crucial criteria by which people judged a job. No longer. In the UK, a vast majority (80%) cite employees’ values, while a further 76% believe that commitment to the environment is key. Social equality follows closely at the heels of that figure at 75%. If the criteria do not match these standards, according to the poll, 45% of employees would indeed consider resigning. 

Anxiety lurks behind the findings: again in the UK, 69% of respondents claim to be anxious about the future of earth and society, while 64% say that the global crises everyday printed across front pages raise the bar in terms of expectations for businesses. 

And there is still more work to be done: 68% believe that current efforts to tackle the crises do not go far enough. 

Speaking on the results, Paul Polman, who has long advocated for responsible business practices, commented: “The Net Positive Barometer is a wake up call. TImes have changed and employees no longer want outdated corporate social responsibility initiatives and a lack of action. Unsatisfied and unmotivated employees recognise the power is in the hands of the CEOs. They want to work for companies which work to tackle the world’s greatest challenges, and they want to play their part. Or they’ll leave.”

Gen Z workers – the future of the workforce and already nearly 10% of the UK’s workforce – feel these pressures even more acutely with 66% saying they would be less motivated in the workplace if their company’s values did not align with their own. 

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