Fostering ESG transformation: The Role of Upskilling in Private Businesses

A lack of knowledge is the primary obstacle hindering private businesses' ESG progress. To overcome this skill gap, businesses need to not just provide training but also communicate ESG goals effectively to employees, empower workers to contribute to ESG goals and ensure multidisciplinary skills development.

Upskilling gap hinders ESG progress in Private Businesses

Our survey showed that 60% of private businesses respondents cited lack of knowledge as the main barrier to making ESG commitments. However, over half of them have not considered implementing ESG training programs.

ESG requirements have a tangible economic impact but enterprise transformation is slow due to confusion around reporting standards and regulatory complexity.


So, how can private businesses foster ESG transformation through upskilling? 

Communicate ESG goals internally to build trust 

  • Communicate effectively with employees to ensure they understand their role in achieving ESG goals and receive the necessary support. Our PwC 2022 Asia Pacific Workforce Hopes and Fears Survey found that employees in the region, including Vietnam, believe that their companies are not providing enough assistance in addressing ESG concerns. 
  • Establish a culture of transparency and trust with communication which also unifies senior leadership, breaks down team silos and reinforces the attractiveness of the company's ESG values to its employees.

Empower workers to contribute to ESG goals

  • Help employees understand their role in ESG in order to move everyone in the same direction. ESG upskilling is a purposeful approach, more than a perk, to change using organisational goals as a framework.
  • Create a culture of open ESG communication, by having regular ESG updates and education sessions, as well as encouraging employees to share their own insights on how to improve the company's ESG performance. By providing these resources and fostering a culture of sustainability awareness, private companies can empower individuals to take action within their own function and contribute to the company's overall sustainability goals.

Give employees opportunities to build ESG technical and soft skill sets

  • Technical skills: Build better models, conduct data analysis and comply with regulations. Furthermore, ESG ambassadors can utilise new knowledge to improve cross-functional collaboration between teams. For example, risk, compliance and internal audit teams can better collaborate with finance, while manufacturing and marketing teams can communicate ESG data more effectively. 
  • Soft skills: Training should also encourage tough conversations and equip employees with the soft skills to create new solutions. Skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership, creativity, problem-solving, inclusion, integrity, and risk attitudes can enable effective navigation of complex ESG issues and their regulatory constraints.

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