S'pore employees want 'ethical' companies

Some 66 percent of Singapore employees consider company's ethical conduct very important factor in deciding where to work, new study reveals.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

SINGAPORE--Employees in the country are more likely to work for businesses that are ethically, socially and environmentally responsible, according to a new study released Thursday.

Conducted by HR and workforce management consultancy Kelly Services, the study found that 91 percent of local workers would more likely work for organizations that were ethically and socially sensible, while 80 percent would work for companies that were environmentally responsible.

The survey polled 3,125 employees based in Singapore, of whom 53.5 percent were female. Respondents worked in organizations across various sectors including IT, government, manufacturing and retail.

Some 66 percent of workers in the island-state considered a company's reputation for ethical conduct a very important factor when deciding on a workplace.

Only 10 percent of Singapore employees did not think it important for their employers to have policies and initiatives aimed at reducing global warming. In comparison, 8 percent of overall respondents in the Asia-Pacific region felt likewise.

In addition, 53 percent of Singapore employees said they were willing to take on a lesser role or smaller pay package to work for companies reputed to be caring toward workers, the environment as well as the general community. Some 50 percent of respondents in Malaysia were willing to do likewise, compared to 48 percent of workers in Indonesia as well as Hong Kong, and 44 percent in Thailand.

"This survey shows that employees prioritize corporate transparency, accountability and social responsibility when deciding where to work," Dhirendra Shantilal, Asia-Pacific senior vice president of Kelly Services, said in the report.

"This is important for employers when hiring new talent, as prospective employees take pride not only in what they do while at work, but in what their organization stands for and how it is perceived by the entire community. It provides a sense of fulfillment to be part of an enterprise that is focused not only on performance outcomes but also no larger social goals."

According to the survey, 89 percent of Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) were more likely to work for companies that were eco-friendly, compared with 83 percent of Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) and 79 percent of Gen Y (born between 1981 and 2000) workers.

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