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Dec 7, 2012

Most workers feel their organisation is honest

Recent research has shown the majority of workers believe the company they work for conducts business in an honest fashion.

The findings have been drawn from two surveys commissioned by the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) investigating workplace behaviour and ethical standards across Europe.

The surveys showed 84% of British workers believe their company “[a]lways/[f]requently” practises in an honest manner.

Some 60% of respondents also felt there was an ‘ethical culture’ at their business.

Many respondents also felt their company provided some or all of the four components required for a formal ethics programme.

Some 73% said their organisation had written standards on ethical behaviour, 69% said they had access to an anonymous system for reporting misconduct, 62% had been offered training on ethical standards and 58% of respondents said their company had a helpline for ethical issues

However, 20% of workers in the UK said they were aware of misconduct on the part of their employers, but only 51% reported it.

Simon Webley, Research Director at IBE, said: “Attitudes of indifference (‘It’s none of my business’) and the belief that no corrective action would be taken, deter employees who are aware of misconduct from raising their concerns.

“Businesses need to work harder at communicating the importance of speaking up, and supporting staff who do.”

The survey also found more UK employees felt they worked for an honest company than workers on the continent (France, Germany, Italy and Spain), where only 77% felt that honesty is often or always practised at their organisation.

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