An expansive study by LRN, the ethics, regulatory and compliance training firm, appears to confirm what advocates for a culture of ethics in business have suggested for years: Companies that work to build a strong ethical culture are more successful than others.
The study, LRN Benchmark of Ethical Culture, is based on data collected from nearly 8,000 employees worldwide, ranging from frontline employees to the C-suite, and representing 17 industries. It suggests, among other key findings, that companies with the strongest ethical cultures outperform their peers by 40 percent across metrics like customer satisfaction, employee loyalty, innovation, adaptability and growth.
Here’s a look at some additional findings:
- Corporate culture has a significant impact on performance. The study found that organizations with “inspired” company culture, meaning those with well-established ethical culture, perform the best across all traditional business measures.
- Though DEI efforts have gotten a push in the U.S. in recent years, Black and women employees remain more likely to report unequal treatment. Seventy-five percent of white respondents in the U.S. said people are treated equally in their organization, compared to 61 percent of Black respondents. Similarly, seventy-seven percent of U.S. men said people are treated equally where they work, compared to 67 percent of women.
- Leadership are much rosier when it comes to whether their companies are ethical. Eighty-four percent of C-suite or top executives rated their company as having a strong ethical culture, compared to 70 percent for warehouse, factory or skilled manual workers and 69 percent for office and administrative workers.
Read the 2021 LRN Benchmark of Ethical Culture here.