It’s that easy, but it’s more complicated that it seems. The Business Monitor of Corporate Reputation (MERCO: Monitor Empresarial de Reputación Corporativa), has made a ranking of the companies that are most highly valued by their employees. The list’s top 10 contains sectors as varied as fashion, food, telecommunications, energy and banking. So, what do Inditex, Mercadona, Banco Santander and Iberdrola have in common that make them a goal for Spanish workers?
When we start the path in to the world of work, we are always looking towards what we consider to be the best companies, be they the most well-known, the most profitable or the ones with the best reputations. If, however, we are the companies, we aim to be those that people look towards. It is therefore interesting to think about how the great brands have become what they are today.
Maybe, from the point of view of current Spanish SMEs, the implementation of some Corporate Social Responsibility policies implies expenses that they cannot allow. Similarly, we find companies that, for economic reasons, have limited or removed privileges like flexible hours and bonuses, trying to reduce costs and increase productivity.
Wouldn’t it be more positive to think that the solution lies in increasing productivity in other senses, or in being distinctive for one’s quality?
Staff reductions, for example, in many cases imply an increase in working hours for the people still in that company, reducing quality and exacerbating the work environment. Also, more working hours does not always translate to higher productivity or to better quality.
On the other hand, it’s true that economic and social circumstances do not always allow room for economic benefits, however, there can be room for benefits with no or very little cost, and which could result in medium to long term benefits.
Amongst the measures that can be taken are:
- A work-family life balance: offering the option to reduce the working hours in a day, the concession of additional holiday days as an incentive, promoting flexibility in choosing holidays, encouraging telecommuting.
- Financial: extra salary benefits according to performance, offering help for child-care, food vouchers or help with transport.
- Professional development: training for employees, equal opportunities and transparent criteria for promotion, encouraging team work and the responsible use of the company’s assets.
What the companies that are at the top of the list offer is security, flexible hours, and most likely, maintaining work benefits that others are eliminating.
The fact that companies that appear in the list are also seen as responsible with a good corporate governance, means that we can conclude yet again that implementing Corporate Social Responsibility policies is not an expense for small, medium or large companies, but an investment in the future trust of the company, of its productivity, reputation and the value of the brand.
It is fundamental for employees to feel comfortable in their job. They should feel respected, heard, they should receive kind treatment, have the possibility of being promoted or receive training. When this happens, there is encouragement for the employees to identify themselves with the brand, for talent retention and development of a better work environment, which will translate to better productivity and higher quality of work.
What’s more, as well as being the best ambassadors of the company, those from human resources are of the greatest value.
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