5 Easy Wins For Your ESG Strategy

ESG is a big investment for many HR teams. As with any such programme, it can be helpful to find some easy wins to get the ball rolling. Here are our tips to help you find success quickly in this important area.

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Remind me, what is ESG?

ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. Customers, employees and investors alike are focusing more and more on ESG and ensuring the organisations they work with or buy from are aligned with their values. ESG frameworks are vital for building an understanding of your successes and opportunities for growth. 

What can ESG success look like?

We’ve talked before about the importance of ESG. It can have massive impacts not only on your sustainability but also on your costs, top line, profitability and hiring. In short, in a tough trading environment success in ESG can be the difference between success and failure. 

What leads to ESG success?

Every organisation will have their own unique approach and road to ESG success. To get the most out of your investment into ESG, it’s important to not only get the reporting and framework right, but also to communicate this within your organisation and more widely.  

5 quick ESG wins

  1. Build from where you are not where you want to be. Be honest with yourself and your wider team about where you’re starting. This transparency will help you to build goodwill with your team. They will definitely know when you’re not telling them the whole story. Plus you might be able to find low-hanging fruit of things that you can address easily which will give you a strong start to your programme. Not only this but honesty will build trust within your organisation which is so vital when it comes to creating a happy and engaged workforce where people can truly thrive. Pretending you’re further along your journey than you actually are will not help you succeed, and can actually hamper your efforts. 

  2. Understand what your team values. By talking to your team about their values, you will be able to start with the areas within the ESG framework that most chime with them. This will allow you to focus on high-impact areas when it comes to your unique team and organisation. You may even be able to recruit people from your wider team, taking pressure off of your leadership and HR teams. It will also give your team more ownership of your ESG programme, which will help with communication and buy-in.

  3. Build community relationships with your whole organisation. Try to uncover the areas where your people can connect and be in communities with the wider world. This will enable you to build relationships with a community built on trust. It will also mean that leadership or HR aren’t managing every aspect - freeing your time up to focus on other areas. Community means many things to many different organisations. It can be a particular challenge for remote organisations. By understanding your people’s definition of community you will have a better chance of ESG success for remote-first organisations.

  4. Make your communication two-way. By listening to your team, you may be able to uncover opportunities and potential areas for improvement that you hadn’t thought of. This will help improve the creativity of your ESG offering as well as aligning it further to the values of your team. You will also be able to quickly understand where gaps in your communication strategy exist, allowing you to intervene and update your strategy quickly. This means that effort and action won’t be wasted. Our ESG survey can help you do this at a large scale, and get honest feedback from your team about all aspects of your programme. 

  5. Lead from the front on all aspects of your strategy. A key element to ensuring the success of your strategy is ensuring that your team believes that you’re fully bought into the whole process. If your team thinks this is a box-ticking exercise for you, then you’ll never fully realise the potential of your programme. By embodying your ESG programme from a leadership position, you’re much more likely to find success. 

Make your ESG strategy work for you

The most important aspect in ensuring success for your ESG strategy is knowing what success looks like for you. Make sure you know why you’re investing in ESG and what you’re hoping to measure, whether that’s employee engagement, profit, sustainability or a mix of all of these aspects. Then measure each of your measures of success, and build a roadmap that includes regular benchmarking and milestones.

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About The Happiness Index

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Our neuroscience-based pre-built surveys measure the full employee experience - from onboarding to exit to empower and enable organisations to understand their people and create data-led action plans.


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