- Most employees won't tolerate company misconduct that conflicts with their values, especially inaction in the face of problems, according to a new study. A poll of 540 full-time employees from The Manifest found that 79% of the respondents would not accept a job with a higher salary from a company that failed to act in response to a report of sexual harassment. Additionally, 76% wouldn't join a company offering a higher salary that sells users' data without users' knowledge, and 72% wouldn't accept an employer that endangers the environment.
- In other survey findings, 71% of respondents won't tolerate companies paying women and minority employees less than others for doing the same job, and 69% won't accept companies that lobby against consumer protection regulations. However, most respondents said they're willing to accept a higher salary to work for employers that make donations to political candidates they dislike (54%), block labor unions from organizing (39%) and use legal loopholes to minimize their tax liability (38%).
- Generally, employees tend to be accepting of employers that work within legal structures, unless those behaviors are felt on an individual level, The Manifest said.
While money is still the ultimate deciding factor in accepting or rejecting a job offer, this study isn't the first to reveal the lines in the sand that employees may draw if they find employers in the midst of some bad behaviors.
Workers naturally have expectations of their employers and favor companies whose values mirror than own. Some employees say they're even willing to take a pay cut to work with a company that shares their personal values. For this reason, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is re-emerging as a business priority to reflect what many young workers want from their employers. The power of a strong recruiting brand in this tight talent market is exceptionally real.
While some employees might look the other way when companies' misconduct doesn't directly affect them, employers should be wary of the wider potential consequences. Companies that lack integrity and an ethical code of conduct could damage their reputation and brand and slowly drive out talented workers over time. Accountability from the top down is a requirement in creating an ethical workplace, especially if an employer wants to make change that actually sticks.