ESG / pexels

Almost a quarter of employees in Malta have considered leaving their current job to work in another organisation that has better ESG performance, a KPMG survey found.

This marks KPMG Malta’s first nation-wide survey study on employee’s ESG expectations and experiences in the workplace.

The survey revealed that 21 per cent of employees contemplated switching from their current job to join another company that demonstrates stronger Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance.

Similarly, 81 per cent of job seekers, including employees who are “passively open to opportunities” and “active job seekers,” believe that a prospective employment organisations’ ESG values and performance have a moderate to extreme influence on their decision to apply for a position.

Notably, 66 per cent of employees and job seekers would prefer a job at a company that has moderately better ESG performance, “even if the other company pays five per cent more (€22,000 vs €23,000).” However, this number drops to 37 per cent when the salary difference is 14 per cent (€22,000 vs €25,000).

Rachel Decelis / LinkedIn
Associate Direct and ESG Lead at KPMG in Malta, Rachel Decelis / LinkedIn

Reacting to these figures, Associate Director and ESG Lead at KPMG Malta, Rachel Decelis, shared that “with a significant portion of the workforce valuing ESG performance over higher salary offers, it’s clear that ethical business practices and sustainability are no longer optional but essential components of a competitive employer brand.”

Overall, a staggering 96 per cent believe that it is moderately to extremely important for businesses to actively address ESG issues within their organisation.  

Meanwhile, the survey found that 26 per cent of employees have relatively low awareness of ESG initiatives within their current workplace.

The report notes that, interestingly, employees who have considered moving to another organisation because of ESG initiatives, “reported a lower awareness of ESG initiatives in their workplace (average ratings of 5.4 vs 6.1) and rated the organisation’s performance to be poorer (average ratings of 3.0 vs 3.6).”

Furthermore, it explained that this suggests a link between how employees view ESG initiatives in their workplace and their desire to remain with the organisation or otherwise.

The survey also highlighted that an employee’s rating of their organisation’s ESG performance could be indicative of their overall satisfaction within their workplace.

Out of the three components that form ESG; 93 per cent of employees and job seekers consider it moderately to extremely important for their workplace to perform well on social issues, which was closely followed by governance (92 per cent). On the other hand, 88 per cent consider it crucial for their workplace to perform well on environmental issues.

Despite expectations for such components being on the high side, the survey notes a discrepancy when compared to the employees’ current experiences at their respective workplace.

58 per cent of employees rate their current workplace’s performance on ‘social’ as good and very good. This situation is marginally better for ‘governance’ (61 per cent) while worse for ‘environment’ (42 per cent).

claudine / LinkedIn
Partner at People and Change Advisory Services Claudine Borg Azzopardi / LinkedIn

Commenting on the matter, Partner at People and Change Advisory Services within KPMG Malta Claudine Borg Azzopardi said that enhancing ESG commitments and practices “is becoming increasingly crucial for companies not just for ethical reasons, but also as a strategic move to boost employee retention.”

Details about the survey

The survey was carried out in August 2023 and collected a total of 390 responses. This sample exceeded the advisable minimum number of respondents required to ensure a 95 per cent confidence interval in its results.

It was distributed online through social media and email, and further complemented by in-person intercept surveys aiming to reach as wide a demographic range as possible. Additionally, it was open to all residents of Malta over the age of 18, regardless of nationality.

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