Jobseekers are far more likely to join an employer that has a reputation for treating employees with respect, and would be happy to spread the message about their employer if it made a positive contribution to society.
A survey carried out by Business in the Community (BITC) highlighted how the perception of a company being a ‘good’ employer has a significant impact on whether someone wants to work for them.
The research, published to coincide with Responsible Business Week, set out to measure people’s attitudes to companies based on factors such as their treatment of customers and whether they donate to charity, and also found that only one in five employees feel proud about their current employer’s behaviour towards society.
It also found that, if respondents found themselves presented with two identical job offers, almost all of them (92%) would base their decision on whether the prospective employers treated employees with respect.
Treating employees well was ranked more highly than how companies treat customers or whether they give to charity.
According to BITC, treating employees with respect (46%), treating customers with respect (33%), making safe and reliable products and services (32%) and transparency over tax policies (21%) are seen as the top four signs that big business is responsible.
The research also found only half (54%) of workers looking to move jobs in the next 12 months said their employer treats them with respect, compared with 85% of people who have no plans to leave within the next two years.
Worryingly, nearly one in ten of those respondents in work said that while working for their current employer they have felt under pressure to do something they thought was unethical.
Overall, however, the survey found largely positive attitudes towards big businesses, with six in ten respondents saying they think big businesses make a positive contribution to society.