View printer-friendly version << Back

Financial Release

08/02/18

Employees Who Witness Misconduct Twice as Likely to Leave Organization

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 2, 2018-- Twenty-nine percent of employees observed at least one compliance violation at work in 2016 or 2017, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc. The survey, which sampled more than 5,000 employees at all levels, found that these workers are twice as likely to leave their organization.

Fifty-nine percent of the sampled employees who observed a compliance violation were actively looking for a new job, compared with 29 percent who did not witness bad behavior.

"While attrition is not an obvious area of concern for compliance executives, it should be," said Brian Lee, compliance practice leader at Gartner. "Employee misconduct and the failure of compliance to address it plays a considerable role in motivating employees to leave their current organization."

Mr. Lee said this sensation is particularly prevalent among employees whose exodus comes with the gravest impact. Those employees who are willing to report misconduct are those with high standards of personal integrity as well as those who exhibit the most discretionary effort. In this Gartner survey, 67 percent of employees who exhibit superior discretionary effort and have witnessed noncompliance reported actively seeking a job with another company. This is compared with only 26 percent of employees who exhibit superior discretionary effort but have not witnessed noncompliance.

For compliance executives, the departure of employees — especially those who are among a company's most mission-critical — should be deemed as a warning of possible underlying compliance-related issues, not simply as a generic human capital ebb and flow or an HR issue with little relevance for compliance.

Employee attrition costs large organizations millions of dollars each year and the loss of a particularly conscientious employee can be debilitating, not just to culture and morale, but to employee productivity.

This finding reinforces the mandate of leaders to create and promote a culture of integrity. Employees of organizations with low-integrity cultures are two to three times more likely than employees of organizations with high-integrity cultures to observe misconduct.

"Culture is contagious. If managers and executives demonstrate ethical behavior, employees see the importance of being compliant in their day-to-day workflow and their workplace as whole," said Mr. Lee. "When leaders set a model example, they can communicate to employees with similarly high standards that their organization is in alignment with their ethical commitments."

About Gartner for Legal and Compliance Leaders

Gartner for Legal and Compliance Leaders brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner and CEB to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the legal and compliance function. Addition information is available at https://www.cebglobal.com/compliance-legal.html.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We're trusted as an objective resource and critical partner by more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit www.gartner.com.

Source: Gartner, Inc.

Gartner
Sarah Morris, +1 571-458-3022
Sarah.Morris@gartner.com

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Gartner's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.