Do employers care more about customers than workers?

Survey highlights disconnect but shows stronger areas of ESG

Do employers care more about customers than workers?

Who’s more valuable to employers: workers or clients?

Overall, 81% of working Canadians agree their organization “shows concern for its clientele”.

That’s considerably more than those who say their employer cares for employees (71%), finds a survey released by Argyle.

Similarly, 72% say their employer is concerned about “ordinary people” while 63% say their employer “is concerned about people like me” (63%).

“In a slowing economy and a tight labour market, leaders aspire to excellent relationships with both customers and employees – but workers believe their employers are doing much better with their clientele than their own people,” said Argyle CEO Daniel Tisch.

“Wise employers are investing more time in employee engagement, showing more concern for workers’ well-being, and giving employees more influence over their decisions.”

For HR leaders, it’s crucial to understand the science behind gratitude. After all, it’s the bedrock of an authentic employee appreciation program.

“Employees want a more human employment value proposition: They want employers to recognize their value and provide value to them on a human level,” said Chris Howard, Gartner's chief of research. “Monetary compensation is important for surviving, but deeper relationships, a strong sense of community and purpose-driven work are essential to thriving. This is the value that employees expect their employers to provide.”

ESG performance

Employers are also doing great when it comes to social performance, according to Argyle’s survey of 1,002 working Canadians in August.

The majority of workers said their employer is demonstrating a commitment to:

diversity, equity and inclusion (74%)
protecting human rights (68%)
creating training and development programs (65%)
supporting employee physical and mental health (63% each)
supporting rights and opportunities for Indigenous peoples (59%).

When it comes to ESG program delivery, 77% of respondents said their organization lives up to its stated purpose, up six percent from a year ago.

However, there has been slow progress when it comes to other areas, finds Argyle:

71% of respondents said that their organization “has strong, effective and ethical management and governance practices,” up one percent from 2021

71% said their organization “performs strongly on social issues, such as health and safety or equity for women and people of colour,” down two percent

58% agree their organization “performs strongly on environmental issues, such as reducing its negative impact on the climate,” up two percent.

Nine in 10 (90%) of company executives said their ESG spending led to moderate or significant financial returns, and most of them (66%) see this happening within three years, reported Infosys.

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