Why ethical business practice is vital for attracting and retaining good people

It is no secret that ethical business behaviour and corporate social responsibility can bring significant benefits to employers.

Over the years we have seen time and again that high performing candidates seek out roles with companies that exhibit positive values and a commitment to ethical business practice.

We also find that high performers who work for ethical and well managed companies are less likely to be tempted by a new role elsewhere, even if there’s more money on the table.

A recent report on good governance by The Institute of Directors (IoD), warns companies to improve how they are run after a year in which excessive pay for bosses and a string of scandals has hit British businesses. It highlights how confidence has been lost in companies that have been found to treat suppliers poorly.

Tesco scored badly in the report, particularly in relation to audit and risk and external accountability after being found to have deliberately withheld money from its suppliers.

Travis Perkins, which own PTS Plumbing Trade Supplies (domestic) and BSS Pipeline & Heating Solutions (commercial) in the heating market, also scored poorly, as did others in the construction sector. Top performers included British American Tobacco, Unilever and Next.

It’s important that employees feel secure in the knowledge that there are no unethical practices in the workplace they are considering. This should have the knock on effect of increasing staff loyalty, reducing employee turnover and therefore increasing productivity.

Customers are also more at ease buying products or services from a company known to operate in an ethical and responsible way.

Reputation is one of a company’s most important assets, and one of the most difficult to rebuild should it be lost.

That’s one reason why our Best Companies to Work For survey has had so much attention in the HVAC industry. Good employers are keen to do everything they can to engage their staff and promote best practice – and the most skilled employees are eager to work for them.

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