A business networking event attracted over twenty business chiefs at the London Lanesborough Hotel to hear from a published specialist for corporate social responsibility regarding the challenges and opportunities affecting the reputation of business leaders.
The event included discussions on recent research from the book “Business Ethics” published by The Economist concerning the perceptions of people about their employers and other social groups.
One of the co-authors and co-editor of the book, Clive Bonny from Strategic Management Partners, quoted some alarming statistics obtained during the book’s research on how people felt about the ethics of their employers: “Only 25% employees trusted their chief executives to tell the truth and just 2% felt business chiefs set a good moral example.”
The two year research project also showed employee loyalty was directly affected by an organisations reputation with 80% saying that employers had a moral responsibility to society; however less than half reported their bosses to be caring employers.
The discussion that followed explored the impact of these issues on the strategies needed for organisations to recruit and retain people. Participants remarked on the need for more focus on ethical decision-making in organisations to attract the increasing scarce number of people coming into the jobs market. The statistics also compared the number of people who said they trusted businesses to do what’s right for customers (42%) with the number of people who said wives could be trusted to do what’s right for husbands (74%).
An attending Chief Executive commented “Unless senior managers assess impartially the impact their behaviours have on the value of their businesses they will end up unable to retain the best people in a competitive employment market. And companies with a weakened reputation attract significantly less public investment.”