13 September 2018


CBI research shows 9 out of 10 people want business to speak out on societal issues

The power to improve business reputation lies firmly in the hands of business according to the CBI’s latest reputation tracker.

CBI research shows 9 out of 10 people want business to speak out on societal issues

Last week, the CBI launched the second wave of its Everyone’s business research. In partnership with Porter Novelli and Opinium, this latest report provides brand new insight into people’s day to day relationships with business, including the issues where they want business to take a more meaningful and proactive stance on.

Read the latest Everyone’s business tracker

The role business plays in society has been in sharp focus in recent months and the research shows that several high-profile failures have had a chilling effect on business reputation since the last tracker in January 2018. The CBI’s latest research shows just 56% of people now think that UK businesses have a good reputation, down 9% in six months. This drop appears to be linked to several high-profile business failures, such as the collapse of firms like Carillion earlier this year who received significant amounts of media attention in between surveys. While this is a disappointing result, it does mean that companies have the power to change public perceptions through the actions they take.

In contrast, a greater proportion of people in work reported having a positive relationship with their own employers. 78% of employees now say they have a good relationship, up 11% since October.

One of the most striking statistics from this wave of research is the finding that 92% of the public expect businesses to speak out on key social issues. The public want businesses to be more outspoken on the big social issues of the day – from data protection to gender pay gaps, particularly when an issue is important to a company’s sector and is something employees care about.

Above all, this research demonstrates that there are certain business practices the public expects as the baseline for business behaviour. To assist with this, the CBI has published an employers’ guide to outline the building blocks behind an outstanding business reputation. The guide draws together insight from the CBI’s Everyone’s Business research to support companies of all sizes to think about their role, their behaviour, and the extra steps then can take to build an outstanding reputation.

Read the full employer’s guide

For more information please contact Lois.Robson@cbi.org.uk.