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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 09, 2006 – More than one in three workers (34 percent) say they have seen unethical activities at their workplace, but only 47 percent report they are likely to “blow the whistle” on their company or their boss for these types of activities, according to a recent Spherion®; Workplace Snapshot survey of 1,436 employed adults in the U.S.
Even with the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act a few years ago, which was introduced to counter unethical corporate behavior and opened the door for workers to report it, some employees are still resistant to the idea of blowing the whistle on a company or their boss.
“It would appear that some workers fear losing their jobs, or being ostracized in the workplace if they blow the whistle and our survey data shows that some choose to stay silent if they witness unethical activities at work,” said Richard Lamond, senior vice president and chief HR officer of Spherion. “Things have changed considerably over the past few years, but the latest data suggests that there is still a perceived stigma attached to being a whistle blower. However, more companies are putting policies in place to protect workers who report unethical behavior, which includes hotlines where workers can expose any unethical behavior they have observed, anonymously. Hopefully these new actions will encourage more workers to alert officials at their companies to wrongdoings in the years to come.”
Interestingly, 40 percent of women say they are likely to report unethical activities compared to 53 percent of men, and 28 percent of women say they are unlikely to blow the whistle compared to 18 percent of men.
About the Spherion Workplace Snapshot
As part of the Spherion Emerging Workforce®; Series of employment surveys, the monthly Spherion Workplace Snapshot provides workers' perspectives on a wide range of issues affecting them in the workplace. Topics include burnout, office parties, supervisor relationships and workplace romance.
The February 2006 Spherion Workplace Snapshot is based on data from the Harris Interactive®; QuickQuerySM online omnibus conducted monthly by Harris Interactive®; on behalf of Spherion Corporation. A U.S. sample of 1,436 employed adults, aged 18 years and older, was interviewed in a poll conducted between February 14-16, 2006. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, education and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting adjusted for respondents' propensity to be online. In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. population of employed adults had been polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the sub-samples of men (786) and women (650) is higher and varies. This online sample was not a probability sample.
Spherion Corporation is a leader in the staffing industry in North America, providing value-added staffing, recruiting and workforce solutions. Spherion has helped companies improve their bottom line by efficiently planning, acquiring and optimizing talent since 1946. To learn more, visit www.spherion.com.
About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll®; and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value.
Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe) and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in Paris, France (www.novatris.com), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies.