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Where is Ethics Training, Leadership in UK Companies?

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Where is Ethics Training, Leadership in UK Companies?

A recent Institute of Leadership Management and Business in the Community report found that while 83% of companies in the UK report having a statement of values, one in eight managers say that “the way people behave in their organizations is not that close or not close at all to their organizational values.” Why? Maybe part of the reason is that 43% of managers have actually been told by their superiors to act in direct violation of their company’s values.

Your employees, for the most part, want to do the right thing. With more than half of managers rating their own ethical standards higher than that of their company, complying with company values should be a given. However, the ethical “tone from the top” is not in fact reaching middle management. Sixty-six percent of directors believe that behavior in their organization is aligned with company values, yet, when middle management was asked the same question, that number drops to 38%. So why the disconnect, and what is the remedy?

UK companies have already taken the first step by putting in place values and mission statements… now they need to NURTURE those values. Senior management must realize they can further promote compliance by investing in the development of their middle managers. I suggest this because middle managers are the key to ensuring a smooth flow of communication; they are the liaison between senior management and line-level employees. This development can be achieved through delivering relevant and engaging ethics training, teaching them to be company role models. And above all else, companies should recognize employee behavior that is tied to the organizations values–they can make ethics a factor when recruiting, incentivizing and promoting employees.

About the Author

Keshav Nair, Market Research Analyst. Keshav provides subject-matter expertise regarding competitive and industry analyses, making recommendations regarding the strategic positioning of The Network's GRC software solutions, and is a frequent contributor to industry blogs. Connect with Keshav on LinkedIn

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