There is growing evidence that an organisation's ethical reputation and commitment to corporate social responsibility can tangibly affect its attractiveness as an employer. This covers a wide spectrum of business activities and includes things like people policies, investment and payment practice and environmental policies.
Graduates and other employees value a commitment to corporate social responsibility when looking for jobs and will assess potential employers on their policies.
There is also some evidence to suggest that CSR has an indirect effect upon shareholder value, as businesses which operate sound and ethical policies and practices may be more effective and productive as a result.
Ethical organisations can attract customers because of their ethical approach: ethical business activity contributes £13.9 billion to the UK economy.
Facts and figures
- Many organisations are recognising the importance of not just having good employment policies, but also having ethical procurement policies to help ensure that organisations supplying them have responsible employment practices.
- Recent studies suggest that 'intangibles' such as brand, reputation and ethical policies affect up to 30% of investors' assessment of the value of an organisation.
- The joint Future Foundation / Work Foundation research reported that 20% of employees found employers with a positive socially responsible image more attractive. Younger (18-24) and older (45+) employees were more likely to consider CSR in their attitude to their current / prospective employer.1
- 132 leading FTSE 250 organisations reported on their performance in at least one area of CSR in 2002/03, an increase of 26% on the previous year.2
- Policies that affect employee commitment are likely to affect productivity: an IES study found that a 1 point increase in employee commitment in a retailer increased sales by £200,000 per month. NEEDS SOURCE
- A report by the Co-operative Bank and the New Economics Foundation in 2002 found that 52% of consumers have boycotted a product or service for ethical reasons and two-thirds report they never return to the product once it has been associated with unethical practice. NEEDS SOURCE
The Ethical Employee (2003) The Work Foundation and the Future Foundation see http://www.theworkfoundation.com/publications/ethical.jsp
Directions#3 - Trends in CSR Reporting 2002-03, produced and published by Context and Salter Baxter