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Ethics Culture Assessment

Hear from your employees.  Improve your E&C program. Strengthen your culture.

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Comprehensive employee surveys that measure the impact of E&C programs through three primary avenues:

Learn more about the Ethics Culture Assessment

You know that hearing from your employees is critical. We are here to navigate the steps to getting there.

Customizable surveys – We will work with you to create a survey that is customized to your organization’s needs. Select questions from our validated and test item bank of questions.

Benchmarks – Access benchmarks from ECI’s Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES) and from our anonymized client database.

Survey administration – Every organization is different. We work with you to administer the survey to employees in a variety of formats (e.g., online, paper, via kiosk). Survey employees in multiple languages.

Dedicated project support – Our project team has decades of experience managing complex culture assessments all around the world.

State of the art data security – We use best in class practices to protect your organization’s data and employee confidentiality.

Reporting – Tailored to your reporting needs, we offer a wide array of formats to select from, including high-level summaries and in-depth narrative reports.

Interactive analytics – Explore the data yourself using ECI’s Data Portal and export aggregated results while maintaining employee confidentiality.

Our research services team primarily uses quantitative, online, employee surveys supported by qualitative focus groups; however, this approach can be tailored to meet the needs of an organization. Findings from culture assessments provide specific, key insights into the state of organizations’ ethics and compliance programs; the strength of their ethics cultures; and the potential presence of ethics risk. Organizations can use this information to direct their focus on areas in need of further attention.

Through culture assessments, an organization’s commitment to values and ethical behavior is reinforced to employees when they see:

  • Their organization demonstrating to employees their willingness to conduct self-examination,
  • Their organization listening to them,
  • Support for such initiatives coming from senior leadership,
  • Survey results shared with employees in a meaningful way, and
  • Their organization undertaking changes to more strongly embed the company’s values and ethics into the everyday workplace and business conduct.

Defining Culture

People often hold views about an organization’s culture as if it is a single monolithic entity; however, in reality culture is dynamic and complex. Every organization has a culture, but it also has many subcultures. Clifford Geertz, a prominent theorist in the field of anthropology, defined culture as “an historically transmitted pattern of meanings embodied in symbols, a system of inherited conceptions … by which [people] communicate, perpetuate and develop their knowledge … and attitudes.” The essence of a culture is the unifying values and the resulting priorities that both flow from and reinforce those values.

In the workplace, everyday actions and decisions are laden with meaning; employees learn what is valued and show what they value through words and actions. Workplaces with a strong commitment to ethics (ethical cultures) make doing what is right a priority. Ethical culture, therefore, is the (often unwritten) code of conduct by which stakeholders learn what they should think and do, and then do it. The ethical culture of an organization communicates acceptable limits; how people ought to treat one another; whether it is acceptable to question authority figures; whether or not it is safe to report observed misconduct; the importance of compliance with controls and safeguards, and more. Ethical culture determines “how employees understand what is expected of them, and how things really get done.”

ECI's Culture Metrics

Based on this understanding of culture, ECI’s current metrics for culture include:

  • Embedded Values: the stated and unstated values that govern daily decision making;
  • Culture Drivers: the individuals or activities that most influence employees’ sense of connection to the culture;
  • Ethical Leadership: the tone heard from the top & perceptions of senior leaders’ integrity;
  • Supervisor Reinforcement of Ethics: perception that supervisors set a good example and encourage ethical behavior; and
  • Peer Commitment to Ethics: the extent to which peers support each other in “doing the right thing.”

ECI also gathers input on the following dimensions that inform an organization’s understanding of its culture:

  • Satisfaction with the level of transparency within the organization;
  • Awareness of ethics and compliance program resources;
  • Effectiveness of ethics and compliance program resources;
  • Sources of pressure to compromise standards;
  • Willingness to raise bad news or concerns;
  • Level of misconduct;
  • Rate of reporting of misconduct, recipients of reports, and perceptions of the reporting process;
  • Reasons why employees did or did not choose to report suspected wrongdoing; and
  • Perceived retaliation for reporting.

ECI Survey Methodology

ECI’s Ethics Culture Assessment is a comprehensive employee survey that measures the impact of ethics and compliance (E&C) programs and ethics culture. The survey methodology is based on over three decades of research and collaboration with leading E&C practitioners and academics.

Through that process, ECI has been able to isolate a series of key topic areas and questions that have proven to be reliable and valid indicators of the strength of ethics and compliance programs and ethics culture. Findings from ECI’s Ethics Culture Assessments can be used in conjunction with the HQP Assessment to provide organizations with an analysis of the impact and quality of their E&C programs and ethics cultures.

On a foundational level, the Ethics Culture Assessment measures the state of ethics and compliance in an organization through three primary avenues – Ethics & Compliance Program Resources, Ethics Culture and Ethics Outcomes.

We Survey Stakeholders Across the Globe

ECl's survey data collection and data processing practices are fully GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) compliant. This document discusses how we support your survey requirements and how each step of the process is designed to provide data protection, data privacy, confidentiality, and quality results.

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