Employees are 15 times more likely to “do the right thing” with proactive communication from leadership.

October 3, 2018

VIENNA, VA – October 3, 2018 – The Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), the nation’s oldest ethics research center, today released the third installment of its landmark, longitudinal study on global workplace ethics, the Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES). The report focuses on the importance and correlation of proactive communication from senior-level management and executives in encouraging employees to do the right thing and speak up when they witness wrongdoing.

This quarter’s report, Building Companies Where Values and Ethical Conduct Matter, found that employees are 15 times more likely to believe that their organizations reward and measure ethical behavior when they see consistent, regular communication from upper management on issues like trust and ethical conduct.

Proactive communication is defined in the report as regularly delivering messages on company values, creating and celebrating ethical conduct and encouraging thoughtful, diverse opinions.

The report also showed that employees are 11 times more likely to speak up when faced with witnessing wrongdoing in workplaces where communication on ethical conduct is proactive, and when management openly communicates and responds to concerns in a timely manner.

“Building trust within an organization is essential in building a high-quality, effective ethics & compliance program,” said Pat Harned, Chief Executive Officer of ECI. “This report demonstrates that proactive communication can shape employee behavior. When employees experience regular communication from management they generally exhibit more ethical conduct and increased reporting of wrongdoing.”

To download this report, visit 2018 Global Business Ethics Survey

About the Ethics & Compliance Initiative

The Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) is a non-profit organization that empowers its members across the globe to operate their businesses at the highest levels of integrity.  The organization provides research and a best practice community, as well as certification opportunities for ethics & compliance professionals. Through its membership, ECI represents entities across nearly every industry, located in 37 countries on six continents each dedicated to promoting the highest levels of integrity.