Press "Enter" to skip to content

Is there really anyone who can give a “seal of approval” on working conditions?

Gabriele Guglielmi, Filcams CGIL Coordinator for International Policies and OpenCorporation

How effective are awards, certifications, recognition, rankings?  Are the ones below effective?

Foreword

Working conditions are regulated by:

  • International regulatory sources adopted by:  United Nations Organization (UN), International Labor Organization (ILO), Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Council of Europe, and other similar institutions on other continents, by the legislation of the individual country;
  • collective bargaining

Good practices negotiated or autonomously assumed by the company can be added to these two pillars.

(For a complete picture we suggest reading: Giorgio Verrecchia, DRESS CODE FOR MNC)

To all this, tools can be added aimed at improving the organization of work with the adoption of quality standards – including social – better if certified, or even simply evaluated and compared, by a third party, which can also raise the company’s reputation.

The RankingTheBrands platform alone classifies over 300 of these, 18 of which are catalogued in Human Resurces

As these practices are becoming increasingly widespread among companies, especially multinational corporations (MNCs), OpenCorporation (OC) has included some of them in the monitoring in order to compare these activities of the companies in the observatory as well. It has selected 10 of them, including one on “working conditions” (The World’s Best Multinational Workplaces), and proposes them in the questionnaire at question 68.

Question 68 – participation to rankings

  • Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations
  • CSR globale RepTrak 100
  • BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable US Brands
  • I migliori luoghi di lavoro multinazionali del mondo
  • Gartner Supply Chain Top 25
  • Le aziende più innovative del mondo
  • Le 50 migliori aziende di DiversityInc
  • I migliori siti web globali
  • Classifica verde globale Top 500
  • Classifica Verde Classifica Globale Top 100

In the area of “working conditions,” there are about 20 third-party “certifications.”

Some have been lost over the years:

Others continue with the wind in their sails with updates, publications and the organization of public events to recognize awards (from 2020 onwards #Covid19) even several times during the year. We selected three of them.

“Top Employers” (TE) seems to be a multinational company measuring the “working condition”, it certifies on several levels: Country, Continent-Region, World over 1600 “Top Employers”, often they are subsidiaries of the same company.

“Best Workplaces” which uses Fortune channels is already present in OC limited to the top 25, here we will also analyze the 100 “Great Place”.

Glassdoor is mainly focused on the North American world, in Europe it monitors the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and processes the data and reviews released on its personnel “selection” portal.

The methods of participation vary both in approach, there are company managements that push and others that hold back; and in cost, participating in TE and Fortune has a cost, Glassdoor does not.

We have compared the methodologies:

with

Questions

How well do these systems:

  • classify, observe, and represent actual working conditions in their indexes?
  • Are they comparable with each other and with OpenCorporation? 

As with the approach of management, the approach of employees and their representatives is not uniform.

The VOLKSWAGEN AG Group, for example, also certifies MAN, Scania, Porsche, Audi, etc. with Top Employers (TE) in a “participatory” manner with employee representatives.

In the Adecco group this approach was discussed, and criticized, also in the EWC (European Works Council); the criticism was also argued at the

OpenCorporation Day 2020 by the EWC President himself.

A further “post-pandemic” question: do these monitoring actions take into account the reversal of the scale of values that #Covid19 brought also for working conditions? E.g., has health become prioritized over profit? Is remote work a “great/best place to work? Or has everything remained the same as before even for indicators of a “good place” to work?

Analysis and comparisons

The OC team took into account the different starting approaches, the distinct objectives, the targets that are not always comparable; however, it considered it useful to carry out a comparative analysis, taking as a point of reference the common datum aimed at “improving the working environment” and therefore the working conditions themselves.

Starting from the 568 companies in the #RankingOpenCorporation2020 https://www.opencorporation.org/en/ranking (as a rule, these are multinationals with more than 1000 employees at a global level and in the OC Observatory there are 9620 to date, of which 568 are being compared), we carried out a parallel comparison with:

  • Top Employers companies globally, including subsidiaries, turn out to be over 1600. Excluding “double” companies, i.e. subsidiaries of countries belonging to the same Group, the comparable list was 603.
    • the OC/TE match produced a result of 130 comparable companies
    • the same parallel comparison
      • with Fortune 100 and 25 rankings has enriched the matching of 7 companies
      • Glassdoor, 50 companies representing the Top 10 of the 5 monitored countries (US, CA, GB, DE, FR), has implemented the comparable list of further 4 companies
  • The comparison could be developed on 141 companies present both in OC and in at least one of the three certifications taken as a reference (please note that 14 companies are present in at least two of the 3 “families” of certifications and two, SAP SE and ROCHE, even in all three).

In addition to developing the overall Ranking, OC also develops 8 thematic ones: Accessibility, Environment, Diversity and Inclusion, Sustainable Finance, Taxation and Fiscal Impact, Social Responsibility, Social Dialogue and Working Conditions. The latter is the main comparison theme in the topic.       

The OC rating scale is 0-100, we selected only companies with a rating above 60/100.

In the 2020 OC Ranking of the 141 in comparison, only 16 companies (11.35%) exceed the “sufficiency >60” rating

ENEL SPA ALLIANZ SE MANPOWERGROUP INC. L’OREAL AB ELECTROLUX ASSICURAZIONI GENERALI AUTOGRILL SPA ALSTOM SAP SE BNP PARIBAS AIRBUS SE UNICREDIT SPA DEUTSCHE BANK AG WOLTERS KLUWER NV ORANGE SIEMENS AG

In the following tables the comparison is not only based on the OC Rating but also on the specific Social Dialogue Rating (2) and Working Conditions (3).

In the Social Dialogue Rating, the figure worsens as 10 companies out of 141 (7.09%) exceed “sufficiency >60”.

ENEL SPA AB ELECTROLUX ASSICURAZIONI GENERALI ALLIANZ SE AIRBUS SE MANPOWERGROUP INC. BP PLC PUMA SE CARREFOUR VOLKSWAGEN AG

Given the OC methodology, which gives a lot of weight to industrial relations, this may have influenced the lowering of the Total Rating

More interesting is the main focus under review:

Working conditions, 94 out of 141 companies (66.66%) exceed “sufficiency >60” in the specific OC rating

ENEL SPA ALLIANZ SE L’OREAL ASSICURAZIONI GENERALI AB ELECTROLUX AUTOGRILL SPA ALSTOM DANONE CARREFOUR SIEMENS AG MERCK KGAA BNP PARIBAS WOLTERS KLUWER NV COMPAGNIE DE SAINT-GOBAIN ALTEN ING GROEP NV BAYER AG SUEZ HEINEKEN NV UNICREDIT SPA 

(These are the first 20, for the rest click here)

Conclusion and future initiatives

A first conclusion could be that these rankings “do no harm”

The consequent consideration is that “to do well” they must be: transparent, comparable and participated by the workers and their representatives.

Comparing these data, which are so different from each other in terms of source, genesis, methodology and target, will allow everyone to constantly verify how reliable their methodology is and, if they wish, to gather indications on how to implement it

The function of the OpenCorporationBlog will be to foster, even in this context, a debate/confrontation with stakeholders, no one excluded. The comparison with those who, albeit from other points of view, analyze the same issues, has also allowed us to test the consistency of the methodology adopted by OpenCorporation, a further enrichment so that corporations are increasingly open.

2 Comments

Lascia un commento