Saturday, January 22, 2011

Corporate Integrity = Organizational Performance

Companies that encourage employees to speak up about misbehavior and to communicate openly average shareholder returns 5% higher than competitors who do not encourage these behaviors, according to a Corporate Executive Board (CEB) survey cited in the January issue of T+D Magazine. The survey included 500,000 employees from 150 global companies in 85 countries.

The survey also showed that high integrity cultures are 67% less likely to see major incidences of violations of law or company policy, including harassment, finance fraud, and regulatory violations. On the other hand, in companies with a culture not focused on integrity these (mis)behaviors are 10 times more prevalent.

Further, and even more interesting, the survey indicated that when managers exhibit integrity their employees actually perform better - there was a 12% difference in employee performance between employees with integrity-driven managers and those without.

According CEB, seven specific characteristics drive corporate integrity:
1. comfort in speaking up
2. trust in colleagues
3. strong relationship with direct manager
4. tone from the top
5. clarity of expectations around compliance
6. openness of communication
7. organizational justice
In other words, organizations that focus on these seven values will see better performance, less misbehavior, better internal communication, increased shareholder returns, and a better bottom line.

Simply put, when employees trust their managers and each other they are more engaged. It's no secret that engagement means performance.

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