Over this special five-part podcast series, I have visited with Dr. Pat Harned, President of the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), about the organization’s 2021 Global Business Ethics Survey (GBES). Since 1994, ECI has conducted this cross-sectional study of workplace conduct from the employee’s perspective. ECI’s GBES data provides the only global benchmark on the state of ethics and compliance (E&C) in business. This year’s GBES is the first compliance related survey conducted after the global pandemic hit. It has significant information for the compliance professional which they need to consider for every compliance program, literally on a world-wide basis.

While a multitude of factors influence ethical behavior, the GBES reports interplay of four major ethics outcomes are tied to the daily decisions employees make with respect to how they behave in the workplace. These are: pressure in the workplace to compromise ethical standards; observations of misconductreporting misconduct; and, ultimately, the retaliation perceived by employees after they reported misconduct. Some of this year’s findings are quite troubling as they are clearly trending in disturbing directions. Over this series we reviewed the key findings, saw how retaliation against whistleblowers has taken an alarming upturn, noted the impact of Covid-19 on culture. Today we close with some conclusions and recommendations.

To obtain a copy of the Survey, click here. To find out more about ECI, click here.