Misconduct in the workplace is showing at an all time high in the most recent Ethics Resource Center (ERC) ethics survey. Of those who witness wrong-doing, most start by trying to address the misconduct internally. Only two percent never report the incident internally but go outside the company to report the concern. Over one third of respondents do not complete a report at all.
When employees worked for companies where they thought ethics was rewarded, they were far more likely to report misconduct (72 percent versus 57 percent). Those who feel more financially secure are far more likely to report, too (78 versus 57 percent). It’s likely that those who do not feel financially secure decide it’s not worth risking retaliation, such as losing a job or demotion, if the company or supervisor retaliates. They are also more likely to report if their company is recovering well from the recession.
Have the new federal bounty provisions made a difference in getting people to report? According to the survey, people who are most likely to report are not motivated by bounties; but, people who are not as likely to report are motivated by the potential payout.
Based on the survey, the best ways to increase internal reporting are to increase awareness of internal resources available through ethics and compliance programs and to make people aware of what types of behavior and misconduct should be reported. Communicate a summary of what types of reports are received, reward those who report misconduct, help employees feel secure about the company’s financial well –being and about employees who complete reports of misconduct, implement an ethics hotline, and train managers on how to handle reports. Contact Ethical Advocate to discuss how we can help your organization implement these improvements.