Social and environmental responsibility in market research
We are an employee-owned business that is a Company Partner of the Market Research Society and we run our company in an open way, with a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and involvement with the communities we operate in.
We are striving to make a positive impact through our work across the private, public and third sectors, and to have a positive impact on improving outcomes for people in the community through our work with our clients, and as an employer.
We refer to sustainability both in terms of staying in business and making a profit, but also sustainability in terms of doing the right thing for the planet, our people, stakeholders and communities.
We are a proud supporter of the Greater Manchester Good Employment Charter. We're committed to making a difference in our employees’ lives by elevating employment standards in the key characteristics covered in the Charter: secure work, flexible work, real living wage, excellent people management, workplace engagement and voice, excellent recruitment and progression, and a healthy and productive workplace.
Engagement and Voice
Central to employee ownership is employee voice. Through face-to-face sessions and a survey, we encouraged all staff to provide feedback on our vision, strengths and weaknesses to inform our strategic planning for the next couple of years. Their great ideas and fedback are now part of our open co-created action plan. Many of the ideas have already been implemented, including launching a new junior researcher programme and substantially increasing our support resource. Both of these are now helping us to deliver our projects more efficiently.
We didn’t want the voice of our employees to be a one-off though. We need their voices to be central to our thinking and decision making. This is why we created EO Voice, a two-way engagement process where our Partners can feed back to the Board or the Trust Board and vice versa. Every team within the company has an EO Voice representative who meets quarterly to discuss ideas, suggestions and improvements for making the company even better.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
We are proud to be signatories of the Market Research Society Inclusion Pledge and strive to be a genuinely inclusive place for all of our Partners. We are focussed in creating an inclusive work environment for all of our employees, and running an action-focussed diversity and inclusion working group to support that.
We believe that as a research agency, delivering inclusive research is a fundamental step in demonstrating our commitment to being an inclusive employer. We have an in-house working group focussing on Representation in Research, set up to review internal processes, and develop best practice guidelines on methodology (for example sample design) and language in relation to diversity and inclusion. This group includes representatives from across the business who regularly review external guidelines (for example from the Market Research Society, Office for National Statistics) to ensure we use the most up to date language in questionnaires, as well as embedding this understanding through training.
We value all our employees and believe in investing in the training and development of our Partners.
We constantly strive to develop our by employees, providing in-house and external management training and opportunities to work collaboratively across teams and different research sectors.
We have a dedicated training lead and consult with all staff and managers regularly about training needs in order to develop and update an annual training plan. As well as delivering training internally, we also invest significantly in external training and we encourage staff to put themselves forward for courses, conferences and seminars.
Ethics and protecting research participants
As a Market Research Society (MRS) Company Partner we adhere to the MRS Code of Conduct and all staff have been trained in this area. Our Code of Conduct is a set of guiding principles for treating research participants respectfully and sensitively, and ensuring that they have a safe, secure and positive experience. It covers issues such as informed consent, protecting anonymity and protecting participant data.
Net Zero Pledge
Our environmental policy makes provision for educating staff and promoting the responsible use of resources and the minimisation of waste and energy use; practical examples include keeping printing to an absolute minimum; minimising travel by using online and telephone methodologies and meetings (as well as using public transport where travel is unavoidable); assessing the suppliers that we work with to ensure that they adopt sustainable and ethical practices.
We have developed and are now implementing a Carbon Reduction Plan as per PPN06/21 (Government procurement policy). You can view it here
We are signatories to the Market Research Society Net-Zero pledge, which demonstrates our commitment to reducing the emissions generated by our industry to true Net-Zero by 2026. Initial actions we are taking to help play our role tackling the climate emergency include the following:
- Climate champions: We have set up a dedicated team to work on our strategy and act as environmental champions in the business.
- Educate and engage: We are rolling out a programme to educate staff on our company’s Net-Zero journey and also on the broader context: the climate crisis, its causes and solutions.
- We are now measuring and reporting on our emissions and implementing plans which will lay out (and monitor) ways that we can reduce and remove emissions.
- We are planning measures for offsetting unavoidable transport-related and other emissions.
Society and social value
It's of huge importance to us that we give back to the community – both locally and nationally. In order to do this, we are involved in numerous community projects, market research charities and charities which are unrelated to the market research industry. You can read more about some of the causes we are most involved in here
All employee partners at DJS Research are given the opportunity to volunteer at a charity of their choice every year for a day - and get paid for doing so! We have 100+ staff which adds up to a lot of volunteering! You can see some of the volunteering activities our staff have been involved with here
The social benefits of research are numerous – the act of consulting stakeholders and residents on their thoughts and understanding satisfaction with their experiences through a bona fide market research agency shows a committment to listening and acting in their interests.
At DJS Research we don't want to simply be data providers; we look to work with our clients as partners to generate the best possible outcomes.
We believe that the future success of our business is dependent on respecting the interests of all our stakeholders: employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community in which we operate. We are active in seeking out potential ways in which we can contribute to improving various aspects of the local, regional and national environment in which we trade.
Given the services we provide, we feel that ethical and responsible operating standards are especially important to our company. Our broad objective is to make a positive contribution to the local and wider economy wherever possible and wherever viable.
Social value related commitments
We often make specific social value related commitments to clients such as:
- Meaningful work placements: We have committed to hiring local (to our client) residents to support on projects in a paid position on a fixed contract, using an open and fair recruitment process. We have successfully done this on recent projects for a number of local Councils, which has led to longer-term employment for the staff we have taken on.
- Training opportunities: We have trained volunteers and local residents in different aspects of market research for a number of NHS clients.
Supporting the local and regional community
We actively support the local and regional community in a number of ways including:
- Employing 100+ staff from Greater Manchester and the wider UK.
- Paying the Real Living Wage to all our staff and contractors.
- Sponsorship of a number of local sports teams and sponsorship of local heritage and cultural events (i.e. Whaley Water Weekend).
- Support of local Community Groups through financial donations and time investment such as for ‘Friends of Strines Station’ Group and The Strines Recreation Ground.
- Ensuring recruitment materials are prominent within local shops and many employees are based locally to our offices.
- Dealing with local suppliers wherever possible.
- We are a leading member of Marketing Stockport – the organisation promoting business in the Stockport area.
We are committed to supporting local education institutions at all levels through a number of means, including:
- Offering paid internships and work experience on an on-going basis
- Attending school ‘mock-interviews’ to prepare students for the working world
- Presenting to students at schools, colleges and universities to present the benefits of a career in market research
- Mentoring students with business ideas through Manchester University schemes
- Involvement in widening participation in Higher Education initiatives
Further details including our gender pay gap analysis, diversity monitoring data and carbon reduction plan can be found here