Put your money where your mouth is when it comes to employee ethics

A recent study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has revealed that organisations may not be doing enough to promote and protect their values within the organisation. The study found that 40% of employees believe that their unethical colleagues not only go un-reprimanded, but are also frequently rewarded and promoted for their bad behaviour.  In addition, only 29% of respondents had a good understanding of their organisation’s values and 15% had no awareness of them.

It’s not all bad news, though, with almost three-quarters (73%) reporting that it is at least somewhat important to them that organisations to have well defined values which guide employee behaviour.

In addition, organisations which promote and live by their values can enjoy the returns of a more motivated and committed workforce. Just over half (52%) of the 2,000 employees surveyed agreed that their organisation’s values positively influence behaviour at work.

But, it seems there is a big gap between the high proportion of employees who have  respect for the role of organisational values, and the minimal proportion who have a good awareness of them. It also seems that organisations could do a lot to ‘walk their talk’ and make sure that unethical employees are properly dealt with.

If you would like to improve your employees’ adherence to organisational values and ethics and make these ‘soft skills’  more valued and prominent in your organisation, we can help. The best place to start is to try to avoid hiring people who are likely to act unethically and break the rules. Our Risk Management Profile Integrity & Reliability Protocol is a measure of employee risk, and identifies integrity, honesty, poor impulse control, stress tolerance and conscientiousness, which research has shown to be good predictors of integrity and ethical behaviour. It can also be used as a staff development tool – to identify potentially harmful employees so that they can be trained or possibly terminated.

Another way of finding out more about your employees’ awareness, understanding and respect for organisational values and whether there is a good match between individual and organisation values is by using our Employee Attitude and Commitment Survey, a research-based survey which looks at a range of criteria associated with employee engagement.

If you would like to know more about these products, or any of our other surveys and assessment tools, please contact us.