Australian employees have taken the charge on climate action, a report by global employee success platform Peakon has shown, with comments about environmental issues rising a staggering 220 per cent in the last 12 months.
By analysing more than 14 million employee survey comments as part of its inaugural 2020 Employee Expectations report, Peakon found that Australia experienced the sharpest growth, followed by the UK at 85 per cent and Germany at 42 per cent.
In Australia alone, 48 per cent of comments about climate change were of negative sentiment, while 18 per cent of comments had a positive sentiment overall.
“Australia is only just emerging from its recent devastating bushfire season, and many employees will have been touched by in some way,” said Luke Amundson, Peakon APAC director.
“As a new reality hits home, employees are looking to their workplaces to take the lead, and take action, on the important issues impacting their lives. It’s vital that organisations listen to their workers’ needs and feedback, and ensure they’re doing what they can to meet their team’s expectations.”
Looking at the global data, Peakon revealed that Generation Z led the charge when it came to environmental comments, with an increase of 128 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Millennials and Baby Boomers followed with 62 per cent and 59 per cent increases, respectively.
Aussies passionate about diversity
In addition to climate change action, Australian employees were also vocal about diversity and inclusion, and employee wellbeing.
But, as pointed out by Peakon, compared with colleagues across the ditch, diversity and inclusion weren’t such hot topics in Australia. While New Zealand saw a 44 per cent YoY increase in mentions, Australia increased by just 16 per cent in the same period.
Employee wellbeing faired about the same, with employee mentions of wellbeing-related topics in survey comments over the past year up by a slim 9 per cent on the year in Australia compared to 17 per cent globally.
‘Boost engagement’, businesses told
Commenting on the overall data, Mr Amundson explained that what we’re seeing around the world is that employees no longer feel that they have to leave their personal lives at the office door.
“Businesses that don’t keep pace with these evolving trends will fail to connect with their most critical audience: their current and future employees. Boosting engagement is critical for those that want to remain a competitive workplace,” Mr Amundson concluded.