Every two years, the Ethics Resource Center conducts research on organizational ethics and misconduct from the employee perspective. The report that is published with key findings, the National Business Ethics Survey® (NBES), serves as the nation’s indicator of workplace ethics, and provides insight into national trends.
Upon reviewing the organization’s most recent findings, we found ourselves thinking “This report must be VERY intimidating to the employer. How do we prevent employee misconduct and create a more principled environment where employees are comfortable reporting misconduct, and can do so without retaliation?” Fortunately, the findings of this report are not as intimidating, if you’re working with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that can help. Let’s review:
What were the concerning NBES findings?
- 45% of US Workers witnessed misconduct (That’s 62 million Americans!)
- While misconduct witnessed by US workers is actually now at historic lows, reporting of misconduct is now at near highs –employees are reporting!
- Retaliation against employee whistleblowers has increased.
- The percentage of employees who perceived pressure to compromise standards in order to do their jobs has climbed since 2009, and is now at 13%.
- Active social networkers report far more negative experiences in their workplaces than non-social networkers or coworkers that are less involved with social networking. And, they are more likely to experience pressure to compromise ethics standards.
How can a PEO help? PEOs certainly cannot control an employee’s actions or an employer’s actions. But, they can assist in keeping a sounder, more ethical environment by proving the appropriate protocol for addressing issues, as well as many other supporting services including:
- Better communication—Improved access for employees, to personnel data, labor regulations, workers’ rights, worksite safety and more.
- Improved job satisfaction—Clear expectations, easy-to-read handbooks and procedures, and professional assistance with employment-related issues.
- Whistleblowing—PEOs offer assistance in developing policies that protect employees and promote an overall more honest environment.
- Employee Incentive Programs — PEOs can help set up an incentive program for employees, which reinforces ongoing work ethics and a positive workplace environment.
- Social Media Policy— Ask your PEO about assistance in developing a social media policy that outlines expectations for all existing employees.
- Specific Documentation and Decreased Liability: A qualified PEO can help your business reduce its exposure and provides both employees and employers with specific documentation for reference, in the event that an employer/employee issue progresses to a court of law.
For more information on PEOs, or assistance in selecting a PEO for your company, contact us today.