Employers ranked by CSR criteria

Diversity and inclusion were scored as the highest corporate social responsibility (CSR) indicators in the FTSE 100, according to research by Towers Watson and Business in the Community (BITC).

The first Workwell FTSE 100 benchmark scored FTSE 100 companies against BITC’s Workwell criteria, which includes a total of 25 indicators across five engagement and wellbeing areas.

The five areas are better work, better relationships, better specialist support, better physical and psychological health, and working well.

The highest scoring indicators were diversity and inclusion (50%) and health and safety (44%), with better specialist support ranking as the lowest scorer.

The average score across all FTSE 100 organisations was 21%. Organisations such as Barclays, British Land Company, BT Group, Johnson Mattey and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), were among the highest scoring.

The benchmark found that companies with strong CSR reports were found to score more highly. Lower-scoring industry sectors tended to have diverse international workforces with fewer consistent metrics.

The average scores by industry sector are:

  • Manufacturing (33%)
  • Pharma, biotech and medical equipment (26%)
  • Real estate investment and services (25%)
  • Financial services and retail (24%)
  • Food, beverage and tobacco (23%)
  • Media (22%)
  • Oil and gas, utilities (21%)
  • Travel and leisure (19%)
  • Mining (16%)
  • Services (15%)
  • Engineering (14%)

Stephen Howard, chief executive at BITC, said: “The Workwell benchmark represents a new chapter for CSR reporting and the low average scores are not unexpected at this first stage of development. 

“We are encouraged by the examples of leadership highlighted through this process, and by the commitment shown by a third of FTSE 100 companies that proactively took part in the survey.

“We introduced our Corporate responsibility index 10 years ago and have seen how organisations have built their confidence in reporting key environmental and societal benefits through sustainability reports.

“Now we are encouraging organisations to use data effectively to demonstrate responsible people management and drive business performance improvements.  The survey for the 2014 Workwell benchmark will be launched in September this year and we will work closely with organisations to help them develop their reporting practices.”

Irwin Lee, managing director of Procter and Gamble UK and chair of the Workwell Leadership Group, added: “This is a critical first step towards open reporting on employee engagement and wellbeing, and comes at a really important time. 

“Now more than ever, our organisations need to demonstrate their resilience and this means people must be at the centre of both business and organisational strategy.

“We expect to see significant benefits from this important work to consolidate and formalise public reporting of wellbeing and engagement levels in our organisations.”

Dr Paul Litchfield, chief medical officer at BT Group and chair of the Workwell Steering Group, said: “Reporting publicly against the Workwell model gives companies the opportunity to demonstrate that they are taking a sustainable approach to the management of their people. 

“We are delighted that BT has been identified as a leader, but we see this as a starting point from which we intend to improve. 

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“We have established a simple evidence-based framework to foster workplace wellbeing and we underpin that with metrics to show the impact of what we do on business performance. 

“By publishing this data, we hope to demonstrate our progress in creating a culture that facilitates growth even in times of austerity.”