Ethics and Work-Life Balance

Here are some results of a recent survey by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. Aside from the findings, to put things in terms that I can understand – corporate leaders can’t just talk-the-talk they must also walk-the-walk.

According to a survey released yesterday by Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, there is a strong correlation between work-life balance offered and supported by companies and the ethical (or non-ethical) behavior of employees at those companies.

The survey found that:

  • 91 percent of all employed adults agreed that workers are more likely to behave ethically at work when they have a good work-life balance. A combined 44 percent of workers cite high levels of stress (28 percent), long hours (25 percent) and inflexible schedule (13 percent) as the causes of conflict between their work responsibilities and personal priorities, hence contributors to work-life imbalance.
  • Sixty percent of employed adults surveyed think that job dissatisfaction is a leading reason why people make unethical decisions at work, and more than half of workers (55 percent) ranked a flexible work schedule among the top three factors leading to job satisfaction, second only to compensation (63 percent).

Furthermore, management and supervisors play the largest roles in promoting ethical workplace behaviors.

According to Sharon L. Allen, Chairman of the Board at Deloitte & Touche USA: “In order to encourage high ethical standards within our organizations, we first have to provide an environment that is conducive to ethical behavior. However, management and leadership have a huge responsibility in setting examples for their organizations and living the values they preach if they want to sustain a culture of ethics.”

Ms. Allen illustrates very well the necessity for organizations to not only have policies in place to endorse work-life and work-family balance, but they must also create a culture at all levels that advocates and engages these initiatives and philosophies as standard operating procedure.

In terms that I can understand, corporate leaders can’t just talk-the-talk – they must also walk-the-walk.

Many thanks to Penny Nickel at Money and Values for including this post in her Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance.

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