Survey Shows Ethics Lacking In The Modern Corporate Environment

Posted by Heidi SchwartzMan jumping in business suit.

Kessler International is releasing the results of a nationwide survey which outlined the state and fate of workplace manners, business etiquette, and ethics. Kessler International conducted a survey by polling upper and mid-level management at 40 professional services firms and found that the respondents indicated by an 84% margin that their staff was inconsiderate and rude in the workplace. In addition, the same respondents cited by 65% that they felt a majority of their staff lacked a moral compass.

The survey was conducted by asking individuals to comment anonymously on their employees’ use of personal electronic devices, dress, manners, ethics, and level of respect for other employees. In fact, some respondents expressed disgust of certain individuals on their staff as well as their own inability to say something and correct the situation. They cited their company’s “political correctness,” their own inability to have confrontation, and constraints instituted by their human resources department as stumbling blocks.

Among the items most mentioned by mangers were:

  1. untimely and inappropriate use of cellphones
  2. wearing inappropriate clothing to work
  3. complete lack of courtesy
  4. use of street talk and signs in professional meetings
  5. the inability of younger staff to write a letter/e-mail
  6. the lack of personal responsibility
  7. failure to say please and thank you
  8. lying to phone caller
  9. hanging up on phone calls when they are confronted and were uncomfortable
  10. cheating on time billed to clients and stealing time by arriving late and leaving early
  11. cutting corners on work product rather than staying after hours to correct the mistakes they made
  12. visiting sex and dating websites on company time
  13. sexting on company phones
  14. the inability to interact professionally with clients during a business function
  15. the lack of manners
  16. the lack of integrity

There is tremendous room for improvement in the current culture of staff in the professional workplace. Guidelines and recommendations should be distributed to staff regarding their use of electronics, dress, and conduct in the workplace.

When manners and business etiquette are left unchecked, companies may be exposing themselves to theft of information, embarrassment, and the loss of valued clients. Susan Peterson, chief operating officer of Kessler, said, “It seems like the workplace has changed significantly in the past 30 years and not for the better.”

The complete results of the survey can be found here.