A fifth of Britons have experienced 'workplace shame'

One in five British workers claim they have been embarrassed to tell family and friends they work for a particular firm, according to a survey of 2,003 adults by the PRCA and Opinium Research that emphasises the importance of corporate reputation.

Job satisfaction: More than two-thirds of British employees rate their workplace reputation as 'good'
Job satisfaction: More than two-thirds of British employees rate their workplace reputation as 'good'

The top three reasons for ‘workplace shame’ included poor treatment of employees, bad personal experiences and the poor reputation of senior executives.

While the survey revealed that salary remains the most important factor for the majority of the British workforce (65 per cent) when they are choosing a job role, the type of work (41 per cent) and reputation of the company (33 per cent) are crucial.

Interestingly, the study found the importance of reputation increases with the age of employees. Nearly half (40 per cent) of 55- to 64-year-olds and 36 per cent of 45- to 54-year-olds deemed reputation to be important, versus just 26 per cent of 18- to 44-year-olds.

The majority of working Brits (64 per cent) rated the reputation of their current employer as ‘good’. John Lewis and Marks & Spencer were highlighted as companies with the best reputation, followed by Virgin, Apple, Asda, Tesco and Waitrose.

Tony Langham, chairman of the PRCA’s PR Council, outlined the importance of an organisation’s reputation when it comes to securing skilled employees.

He said: "Organisations with strong reputations are more able to recruit and retain the best talent and to get the most from their workforce. A positive workforce can also act as a powerful army of ambassadors for a company and individually help maintain and protect reputation."

The study is the latest step in the PRCA’s ongoing campaign to promote debate around the contribution reputation makes to all organisations. It follows the launch of the Economics of Reputation toolkit in July 2014.

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