Aniline Blog

Employee Perception and ESG: 5 Key Metrics

4 Minute Read

Aniline’s work in AI-based employee sentiment analysis, where we use artificial intelligence to interpret public narrative and measure employee perception by specific categories, is being applied to support ongoing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) strategy and reporting.

Why? Here are a few main reasons:

  • ESG1Core relevance: Several of our categories relate directly to core elements of the Social and Governance pillars of ESG.
  • Workforce sustainability: ESG is increasingly important to prospective hires, so understanding how employees perceive ESG topics helps maintain a strong talent pipeline.
  • Resilience: Pollution reduction efforts to improve ESG results may require changes in materiel and sourcing-related activity as well as product design. And addressing social and governance areas can change the organizational structure along with its culture. Monitoring employee perception for stress during change can help identify risks to resilience such as low employee engagement and talent loss.

Resilience and the need to adapt is especially relevant to employee perception: in an environment of change, the workforce’s faith in leadership often influences both the outcome of top-down initiatives and the capacity for bottom-up communication. Our customers are successfully using Aniline for continuous and objective measurement of employee perception. This helps stakeholders identify strengths and weaknesses and provides a benchmark of their corporate resilience that can be monitored over time.   

Here are five metrics for employee sentiment that are relevant to core ESG themes:

Integrity: This is the first metric on our employee perception dashboard. The Integrity score reveals expressions about the organization’s trustworthiness, honesty and fairness in its business dealings. This is a crucial aspect of the ethics component of Governance. When we detect negative sentiment about ethics, it is a red flag warning sign for boards and investors.

Leadership: Essential to Governance, the effectiveness of management to drive change is critical to the evolution of a successful enterprise. Our Leadership score gives a running record of the trust level between employees and management. We often detect changes in sentiment, both positive and negative, when new leadership takes over.

The image below shows the gradual improvement in employee perception after a change in CEO for a large public company headquartered in the USA. Scores for Integrity, Leadership and DE&I (described below) are plotted together in our product suite to show how employees perceive the organization:

ESG Pic 1


Workplace: The overall work environment - physical, virtual and cultural - is the design of our Workplace metric. It embodies how employees experience the social aspects of work including collegiality, collaboration and teamwork along with the physical workspace and worker safety. This provides a signal as to a company’s ability to attract and retain talent, especially in light of the increasing importance of social criteria to the millenial and Gen Z demographic segments of the talent markets.

ESG Pic 2

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I): Another key element of the Social pillar is our DE&I score. It registers not only behaviors that reflect identity, belonging and values but also board and leadership composition. It’s disappointing to see expressions of racism and bias, yet they do persist and are visible as shown at right for a publicly traded pharmaceutical manufacturer:

For more about DE&I, see An Employee Perception Analysis of DE&I in the Fortune 100.





Work Life Balance: Remote work has been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic and is reflected in our Work Life Balance score along with scheduling flexibility, personal leave and demand for overtime. Here are two regional banks with very different trend lines over the past year:

Screen Shot 2022-05-04 at 2.57.05 PM


Stakeholders across the ESG spectrum, from investors to lenders to boards and management teams, are wise to monitor employee perception as indicators of organizational performance. To help you meet your ESG goals, we offer each company on our platform a 30-day free trial of the Aniline Insider application; sign up at today!

You can learn more about Aniline’s employee perception platform and the methods we use at Aniline FAQs.

For more on the connection between employee sentiment and ESG, see Marsh McLennan’s 2020 report “ESG as a Workforce Strategy”


James Marple

James Marple

The driver behind Aniline’s provider catalogue and Quick Quote feature, Jim is a human capital consultant and innovator. His knowledge of the HR services market is embedded in Aniline’s Market Research capability, and works hands-on with our service provider partners to continually enhance the Aniline user experience. A career actuary, Jim held senior roles at Mercer, Marsh & McLennan Companies, and Willis Towers Watson, and is currently a senior advisor to Market Innovations, a boutique behavioral economics consulting firm.