This week we take a closer look at how the companies we rank perform when it comes to their Workers during the first quarter of 2020, to evaluate whether those that invest in their employees do better in the market. Looking at the chart below, the results show strong correlation between companies providing fair and equal pay, strong benefits and work-life balance, and a safe work environment during the COVID-19 crisis and higher financial returns. Splitting the companies we rank into five quintiles – with Q1 including those with the highest scores for Workers within each industry and Q5 including those with the lowest scores – we see the top quintile (Q1) outperforming by 7.3% relative to the bottom quintile in the first quarter of the year.
This is no surprise to us as the “S” of ESG continues to take focus, with our latest survey showing that Americans believe frontline workers must be the priority in this pandemic. When asked respondents what they think companies should prioritize right now, 91% agreed that companies should provide a safe work environment for frontline workers, and 88% agreed that frontline workers should be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).
Companies that are demonstrating leadership and caring for their employees’ health and safety will be better positioned for the long term. As we see layoffs and furloughs continue to increase during this pandemic, it’s essential that corporate leaders put workers at the center of survival efforts – something we’re beginning to see, in fact, correlates with better financial returns while delivering tangible impact.