Many variables, such as generational gaps and weak management policies, can add or subtract from the benefits, as one survey suggests

Fourth, 33% of respondents indicated they had observed misconduct or unethical behavior in the past year, with harassment, discrimination, conflicts of interest, and employee health and safety violations cited most frequently. Of those, 21% did not report their observation because they did not think their firm would do anything about their concern (36%) or could handle it effectively (30%), or because they feared retaliation (36%). Also:

    • Respondents in firms with strong ethical cultures outperformed, by an average of around 50% more than those with weak ethical cultures, on a variety of traditional business metrics including customer satisfaction, employee loyalty, competitiveness, innovation, and adaptability. The performance gap was most pronounced when linked to a firm’s ability to adapt quickly to internal and external change (a critical determinant of resilience): the adaptability of firms with strong ethical cultures was rated 2.6x higher than those with weak ethical cultures. Respondents from such firms also outperformed on business results and innovation at a rate of 2.3x and 2.2x higher.
    • 79% of respondents who had observed misconduct had reported their observation, with most raising their concern to either their direct manager or another manager in the company (77% combined).
    • Of all ethical culture measures, psychological safety was the greatest predictor of whether respondents would report misconduct they had observed.
    • Respondents who were Executives and Senior Leaders were 2.6x more likely to indicate their firm had a strong ethical culture than individual contributors and front-line employees.
    • Outside of major factors such as compensation, title, or job responsibilities, ethical culture explained 41% of the respondents’ variation in willingness to stay at their organization.