10:41
30 november 2021

Ethics at Work: 2021 international survey of employees

Ethics at Work: 2021 international survey of employees

The survey, first introduced in 2005, asks employees how they experience ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day working lives. It looks at whether they have witnessed misconduct; whether they have reported it; what stops them. It provides real insight into what supports employees in doing the right thing.

This survey is the only one of its kind, covering 13 countries over four continents, that provides real insight into employees’ views on ethics across all sectors and job roles.

Key Findings

In our Ethics at Work: 2021 international survey of employees, we surveyed almost 10,000 employees in 13 countries to find out more about their attitudes to and perceptions of ethics in their organisations. We undertake this survey every three years.

The good news

  • Many organisations have responded well to the ethical challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Ethical standards have improved since 2018
  • Ethics programmes are having a big impact

But…

  • Having an ethics programme is not enough to stamp out unethical behaviour
  • Managers have rosier views than frontline staff
  • Fear and futility are still barriers to speaking up

Key findings
Many organisations have responded well to the ethical challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic

Significantly more employees believe that ethical standards in their organisation have improved (37%) rather than worsened (8%) following the pandemic.

Having a comprehensive ethics programme in place seems to be particularly effective in a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic. More than half of employees in organisations with a comprehensive ethics programme (57%) say their view of their company has improved, as opposed to only 14% in organisations without an ethics programme. The four key building blocks of a comprehensive ethics programme are having a code of ethics, a Speak Up mechanism and an information helpline to obtain advice on how to act ethically as well as providing ethics training.

Ethical standards are improving

86% say that honesty is practised always or frequently in their organisation. 87% of employees in the ten countries for which historical data is available also say honesty is practised always or frequently in their organisation, which is an increase from 79% in 2018.

Employees are also less likely to be aware of ethical misconduct in their organisations in 2021. Only 17% of employees in the 10 countries are aware of misconduct in their organisation in comparison to 29% in 2018. The most significant drops were recorded in France (-18%) and Spain (-17%).

Organisations also seem to be more likely to have the key building blocks of a comprehensive ethics programme than in the past. For example, over half of employees (53%) say they are aware of their organisation having a Speak Up mechanism to report misconduct confidentially in comparison with 46% in 2018. This percentage has increased in all the countries for which historical data is available, except for Italy (-3%) and the UK (-2%). The biggest improvements have been recorded in Switzerland (+20%) and Spain (+16%).

Lees verder via ibe.org.uk

Proud partner of enclosed report is prof. Muel Kaptein, Full Professor at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. As professor he does research into the ethics of management and the management of ethics. He also teaches courses in CSR, leadership, governance, business ethics and consultancy.

Want to learn more as supervisor on business ethics,  culture and behaviour and Next Level supervision?
Meer leren over Next Level toezicht? Kom vanaf 3 december naar de geheel nieuwe editie van de HCB Seminarreeks ‘Toezicht in Transitie 2021 – Next Level toezicht in de praktijk’ met prof. Muel Kaptein (hoogleraar Erasmus Universiteit), Theodor Kockelkoren (Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen), Paul van Dijk (adviseur) en Meike Bokhorst (Universiteit Utrecht, Nationale Ombudsman). Korting voor leden van Vide en voor oud deelnemers Haags Congres Bureau.

 

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