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New Data From Ethisphere Says Employee Perceptions of Senior Leadership’s Behavior Has Dramatic Impact on Employee Reporting of Observed Misconduct

New Data From Ethisphere Says Employee Perceptions of Senior Leadership’s Behavior Has Dramatic Impact on Employee Reporting of Observed Misconduct.

NEW YORK, November 20, 2019 (Newswire) –  Eighty-six percent of employees say that senior leaders promote the importance of ethical behavior throughout their company, yet just 77 percent have faith that senior leaders act ethically at all times. This according to Ethisphere’s proprietary 2019 Culture Quotient (CQ) data setEthisphere, a global leader in defining and advancing standards of ethical business practices, today released a report featuring key insights from its global Culture Quotient survey, which among other things, highlights the striking impact that perceptions of senior leaders can have on employees.

The report can be downloaded here.

“Employees who do not have faith in senior leadership are 44 percent less likely to report a concern and 54 percent less likely to have faith the company enforces its non-retaliation policy,” said Erica Salmon Byrne, Executive Vice President, Data and Services. “This data demonstrates why Ethisphere recommends companies conduct regular standalone culture surveys, which not only yield insightful and introspective results but send a strong message to employees that your company takes culture seriously. Leaders should prioritize culture by sharing culture survey results, as well as providing real, practical stories and examples that emphasize the company’s commitment to ethical conduct.”

Byrne adds that while 81 percent of Culture Quotient respondents agreed that their organization has a policy that prohibits retaliation against someone who makes a report, just 77 percent agree that disciplinary actions are taken when individuals engage in unethical behavior or misconduct at their company.

The data also reveals several key trends pertaining to why employees speak up (or don’t), whom they make their report to, and how they feel about their company’s reporting process. For example, of the 17,433 individuals that indicated they reported observed misconduct, 60 percent did so to their direct supervisor; just 22 percent indicated they used the compliance helpline to report a concern.

The Culture Quotient Survey

Volume one of this report examines the data set extracted from responses provided by multinational companies, encompassing more than 500,000 employees around the globe, in 30 languages, representing the views of nearly 4 million employees. From this category-leading compilation of current employee responses, Ethisphere has culled insights to share over the course of three volumes. The Eight Pillars of ethical culture that Ethisphere measures are:

  • Awareness of Program and Resources
  •  Perceptions of the Function
  • Observing and Reporting Misconduct
  •  Pressure
  •  Organizational Justice
  • Manager Perceptions
  • Perceptions of Leadership
  • Perceptions of Peers and Environment

These eight foundational pillars serve as a framework for systematically and objectively capturing employee sentiment on the formal and informal ethical systems of the enterprise. Developed by Ethisphere experts in collaboration with members of its Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), each pillar is designed to provide insights that lead to clear action and remediation (or praise) where it is most needed.

“Any program that is worth executing is worth measuring and acting on, and that is a step that companies often neglect. It is essential that experts in the compliance and ethics field use data like the information found in our insights report to determine if the best practices that they employ are having the desired impact,” Byrne said.

The new Ethical Culture Report can be downloaded hereEthisphere also offers a range of related resources including additional data, an infographic, business case slides, and more. These resources can be found at

All Ethisphere research, content, and expertise, such as a recent special report about digital innovation, can be found on the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA) member hub, which is made available to global members of BELA. To request guest access, please contact Executive Vice President Jonathan Whitacre at [email protected].

About Ethisphere 

The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with Ethisphere Magazine. Ethisphere also helps to advance business performance through data-driven assessments, benchmarking, and guidance. More information about Ethisphere can be found at


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