Align with your employees
Another encouraging sign is that ESG (environment, social and corporate governance) is gaining traction, although it remains below traditional business issues in ranking. A third of leaders (except CIOs and CTOs) across roles rank it in their top five services. However, CIOs and CTOs deviated from the whole in valuing ESG and people issues far lower than their peers, an area that could pose a risk.
There is also a discrepancy between leadership and employees, with the full sample of alumni respondents ranking ESG higher than the C-suite group. Therefore, leadership needs to ensure they are in tune with the priorities and purpose of their employees. According to EY’s Future Consumer Index, 68% of consumers agree that companies need to drive positive social and environmental outcomes and ensure their suppliers meet high environmental and social standards.
In fact, according to EY’s work on The Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism, it is not uncommon that as little as 20% of a company’s value is captured on its balance sheet – a staggering decline from about 83% in 1975. This can result in differences in perspective between businesses and investors.