A Culture of Silence

What would you do if someone stole your car? Probably report it.  If someone broke into your house?  Probably report it.  What if you saw someone stealing in the workplace?  Probably report it?  Probably not!  75% of polled people observe unethical acts in the workplace and do nothing about it.  They do not speak to the employee in question; they do not report it.  They do nothing.

This culture of silence has led to a national crisis.  The sheer amount of wrongdoing is vast, spread across every sector of society.  The annual cost of fraud in the US alone is $660 billion… an average of $75 million an hour.  The average fraud incident is $200,000; 50% of all U.S. companies are victim to fraud at any given time with the average company losing 5% of its annual revenue to fraud.  All organizations are impacted, big companies, mom and pop companies, even non-profits.

But it’s not just fraud. Almost all companies are also deeply plagued by other misconduct, lying, falsification of records, (sexual) harassment, substance abuse and discrimination.

Why won’t employees become whistleblowers?  Primarily because they’re afraid to.  They’re terrified of termination, retaliation, retribution, and being ostracized by co-workers.  Yet, even in the face of these fears, surveys reveal that 73% of the workforce would report unethical behavior if they had an anonymous website or telephone hotline available.

Employee tips are (by far!) the most effective method to unearth fraud and other disturbing events.  They’re far more effective than internal audits, external audits, and internal controls.

There is a deeper purpose for Ethical Advocate’s existence, and that is to enhance the ethical and financial well-being of society and commerce.  Our aim is to transform the context of the workplace itself, to demonstrate that having principles and high character do count.  Right now fraud is at catastrophic levels and rapidly rising.  It affects every man, woman, and child in America, costing more per year than the entire war in Iraq.  So, in all honesty, shouldn’t this truly be our next battlefield?