Women and non-union workers are more likely than their counterparts to report work misconduct such as sexual harassment, substance abuse, abusive behavior and stealing, a study released this month reveals. And men are more likely to report discrimination and purposely falsified time and expense reports.
Of the people who witnessed these behaviors, 63 percent of them said they told an immediate supervisor (43 percent) instead of telling higher management (29 percent) or using a hotline (3 percent).
“These findings are a great reminder that a smart company will train its direct supervisors to be open to employees who have something to report,” said Patricia Harned, president of the Ethics Resource Center, which surveyed about 3,000 workers for the study about work ethics.
“It fits with the adage that you can’t fix it if you don’t know about it. Listening to these reports and taking them seriously is a mark of good management,” Harned said in a statement
Companies with meaningful codes of conduct and training saw higher reporting rates than those without those in place, results show. The study measured 19 types of unethical behavior. It found that 67 percent of managers reported the misconduct while non-management employees reported it only 58 percent of the time.
The 19 types of misconduct ERC measured were: sexual harassment; substance abuse; abusive behavior; stealing; health violations; alteration of documents; customer privacy breach; lying to customers, vendors or the public; employee-benefit violations; improper hiring practices; conflict of interests; company-resource abuse; misuse of confidential information; lying to employees; poor product quality; internet abuse; employee-privacy breach; discrimination; and falsifying time or expense reports.