45% willing to resign over company values

UK employees are willing to put their ethics over job security, as 45% said they would consider resigning if their employer didn’t align with their values, according to a new survey.  

The Net Positive Barometer survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by responsible business advocate Paul Polman, found that 35% had already resigned from a different position for this very reason.  

Results reveal how many are now considering the environment when taking a job, with two-thirds of British employees saying they want their employer to have a positive impact on the world. A further 68% said current business efforts to tackle environmental and social issues did not go far enough.  

When searching for a job, these values are also high on the agenda, with 80% saying they consider their potential employer’s values before taking a role. 76% said they based the decision on a company’s commitment to sustainability, while 75% said social equality was key.  

Paul Polman, responsible business advocate and co-author of Net Positive stated: ‘The Net Positive Barometer is a wake up call. Times have changed and employees no longer want outdated corporate social responsibility initiatives and a lack of action. Unsatisfied and unmotivated employees recognise the power is in the hands of the CEOs. They want to work for companies which work to tackle the world’s greatest challenges, and they want to play their part. Or they’ll leave.’  

Despite the current cost-of-living crisis, 35% said they would take a pay cut if it meant they could work at a company which shares their values, showing just how important these issues are to the public.  

Company commitments also influence job satisfaction, with those who say their employer has sustainability targets (73%) more likely to be motivated than those who say their company has no environmental goals (50%).  

This is particularly the case with the younger generation, as two-thirds of Gen Z workers, who make up 9.5% of the UK workforce, say they’d be less motivated if their company did not share their values.  

Clover Hogan, climate activist and founder of Force of Nature, said: ‘Anxiety is on the rise in my generation; we’ve inherited a climate crisis, broken political systems, and increasing social polarisation. We’re tired of greenwashing and empty commitments. Counter to the image painted of Gen Z, we don’t want beanbags and table tennis in the office; we want to work for organisations that reflect our values. CEOs who fail to see this, and take action, will be left behind.’  

The Barometer says greater ambition, better communication and empowerment are key to solving this issue, with CEOs that fail to form more robust policies at risk of weakening productivity and undermining business success.  

Photo by Microsoft 365


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