The Ethics Resource Center has just released their latest National Workplace Ethics Study and their findings are largely grim. Among the highlights – or lowlights as the case may be – is that among their study participants’ companies:
-> Ethical misconduct was seen at pre-Enron levels. More than half of the surveyed employees saw misconduct of some type.
-> Employees were fearful about retaliation for reporting problems and so many made no reports.
-> Among those who made reports of misconduct, one in eight perceived some form of retaliation for their having made a report.
-> Only nine percent of surveyed companies had strong ethical cultures as measured by the ERC’s assessment tool.
These are disquieting results to say the least and show a clear regression from the progress seen in the last couple of years.
On the up side, this study does provide solid evidence that companies dramatically reduce ethical misconduct when they develop solid ethics training programs and then implement them well.
I’ll be digging further into this study over the next few weeks and expect to write about it further here as well, perhaps, as in the Weekly Ethics Thought.
In the meantime, welcome back to the bad old days. Yikes!