A pandemic-era increase in workplace bullying continued in 2022, according to a report from business think-tank Ethisphere, which found that most other types of misconduct declined when compared to the period before Covid-19.
Ethisphere’s 2023 Ethical Culture Report found a nearly 13-point increase in the percentage of workers who said they’d witnessed workplace bullying, and bullying surged to become the second most-reported type of business misconduct, behind only harassment/discrimination.
Here’s a look at a few other key findings:
- In addition to bullying, five other types of workplace misconduct have become more common since Covid: insider trading, international trade controls, violation and health and safety protocols, improper record retention practices, and improper sales and marketing practices.
- About 39% of Gen Z workers said they didn’t report bad behavior they witnessed, which was the highest rate among the four generations. Gen X’ers were most likely to say something in response to misconduct, with 54% saying they reported bad behavior if they witnessed it.
- Younger workers are also the least likely to have confidence in their employers’ anti-retaliation policies and punitive systems, with about 56% of Gen Z workers declining to report misconduct because they don’t believe any corrective action would be taken and about 47% worrying about retaliation.
Despite these findings, Ethisphere’s survey also found that perceptions of ethical culture improved in most companies, with 93% of people reporting that they are confident in the perceptions of the ethical function inside their company, a slight increase over pre-pandemic levels.
The report was based on surveys administered by Ethisphere between 2016 and the third quarter of 2022.