Center On Executive Compensation

Home In on Culture to Drive Human Sustainability

A new Deloitte report reveals notable differences in sentiments between executives and workers around company efforts to advance employee wellbeing. 82% of executives agree that their organization is actively improving its workplace efforts in human sustainability while only 56% of employees concur.

The concept of human sustainability centers on the company’s role in creating holistic value for an individual, allowing them to thrive in every facet of their life – from health and wellness, to expanded skills, opportunities for advancement, and heightened sense of belonging and purpose.

Most executives agree that prioritizing human sustainability positively impacts business results with more than 8 out of 10 executives indicating it increases the company’s ability to attract new talent, appeal to customers and drive profitability. But to reap the benefit of improving operational outcomes through the improvement of human outcomes, business leaders need to understand employee needs and develop a clear path to shift organizational mindset. The focus, according to Deloitte, should be on holistic measures of employee wellness rather than more traditional productivity or engagement metrics. 

Culture tops the list of priorities for a CEO according to a Spencer Stuart report. 75% of CEOs and board directors indicate that culture is an organizational priority but only 50% of employees agree. This disparity may be explained in part by external disruptions and uncertainty in navigating environmental, social and technical changes, as reported by leaders with 25% of CEOs admitting to being “sluggish” in responding to change.

While there is no magic bullet for cultivating a thriving workforce, CEOs who have been most successful exhibit three things: 

  1. The best leaders understand what matters most to their people and consistently incorporate this into the employee experience.

  2. Employee engagement is an outcome of the overall employee experience, influenced by culture and strategy.

  3. Top leadership is the largest driver of engagement.

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Authors: Megan Wolf