- Microsoft topped the list of 1,000 enterprises that meet Americans’ idea of a fair and just company, according to JUST Capital, a firm that says it ranks businesses on the issues that matter most to the U.S. population. JUST ranked the winning companies — all publicly traded organizations — on job quality, fair pay, good benefits, employee training, local community support, environmental impact, privacy policies for customers and more.
- According to JUST, on average, the top-ranked companies pay their median workers 26% more than other companies; pay 12% more of their workers a living wage; are nine times more likely to have done gender pay equity analyses; are nearly four times more likely to have set diversity targets; have four times as many women directors; and have a 5% higher return-on-equity.
- Top-rated companies also pay 90% fewer environmental fines, 71% fewer worker safety fines, and 41% fewer EEOC fines per dollar of revenue.
Companies that act as good corporate citizens by supporting local communities, backing causes and adopting employment practices that feel fair to employees win kudos from workers, customers, community leaders and other stakeholders. Studies point out that millennials are among the foremost groups that want and expect companies to have ties with a cause or an issue they personally support.
Along with being cited as exceptional places to work, companies that exhibit just business behavior are better positioned to retain and engage employees and compete for talent — especially critical in an employee-driven labor market. And it's notable that such employers tend to pay less in fines and fees.
The JUST study notes that millennials tend to harbor disillusionment with the current economy, which could partly stem from witnessing of the aftermath of the Great Recession, having to delay a number of major life events and observing months of stagnated wages. Employers that create employee experiences that engage millennials as well as provide for their needs through financial education and assistance, among other benefits, could see improved retention among a key demographic.