A report by the Institute of Business Ethics shows a worrying drop from 81% in five years to 70%, in the number of UK employees who agree with the statement “my organisation acts responsibly in all its business dealings”. 64% of UK employees believe “my organisation lives up to its stated policy of social responsibility” down from 78% in 2012.
Only 54% of UK employees who are aware of misconduct would report it, although this is an improvement from the previous report in 2015. Pressures on staff to act unethically include ‘time pressure’ (34%) ‘following boss’s orders’ (29%) and ‘unrealistic business objectives and/or deadlines’ (23%).
However, the UK leads Europe in providing reporting mechanisms for misconduct, training on ethical standards and advice or information helplines and 78% of employees say their organisation acts with honesty.
For the first time the triennial report surveyed employees across eight European countries (the UK, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland) on their thoughts, views and experiences of how ethics is practiced in their places of work. The report is free to download.
Jenni Field, CIPR Inside Chair said:
Being able to trust the organisation you work for is imperative for employee engagement. As internal communicators we are often championing the need for honest and open communication and part of this is ensuring there is authenticity throughout the business. Working with leaders to coach them around this issue is a key role for us and the report would suggest this is an untapped resource for leaders and organisations across the U.K.