23 April 2015

A new survey has identified the top four characteristics of a responsible company. Carried out by Ipsos MORI to mark the start of Responsible Business Week, the poll of 2174 adults identified the top four signs.

These are: treating employees with respect (46%); tax transparency (46%); treating customers with respect (33%); and producing safe and reliable products and services (32%).

Perhaps surprisingly, a company’s support for local charities and voluntary organisations was identified as the least important factor for people assessing whether a business is responsible, with just 3% highlighting it.

However, the research also found that most workers feel their employer could do more socially, with just 22% reporting they have felt proud about their current employer’s behaviour towards society.

Significantly for employers, the perception of a company being a good employer was found to have a significant impact on whether someone wants to work for them.

A large majority (92%) of respondents said that, if they were in a situation where they had two identical job offers, how the companies treated employees would influence their decision to take or reject an offer.

Responsible Business Week is organised by Business in the Community (BITC). Commenting on the survey findings, its Chief Executive, Stephen Howard, said it was clear that to be perceived as responsible a business must be authentic and have values that influence everything it does — from how it treats employees and uses natural resources to how it operates within the community and down its supply chains.

More information about Responsible Business Week is available at http://bit.ly/Nu6xRd.