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Managers Rated High on Ethics, Professionalism

Posted by Fryer, Shari at Tuesday, 10/16/2012 10:34 am
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3.0 from 38 votes
ARLINGTON, VA, October 15, 2012 – Of 20 performance-related behaviors, managers and supervisors were highly rated on ethical behavior and professionalism, but somewhat lower at motivating employees in times of adversity, according to a survey by management consulting firm Healthy Companies International.

While nearly nine out of ten superiors were seen by their subordinates as both ethical and professional, just six in ten, for instance, were regarded as very capable in such key respects as earning trust of employees or keeping promises made.

Healthy Companies International surveyed 2,700 employees throughout North America to explore the behaviors of immediate supervisors.

How do you rate your boss’s performance? The person to whom I report… (percent who agree strongly/agree somewhat)

Acts in an ethical manner.       86%
Behaves professionally toward employees.       84%
Expresses values and personal belief in work.       81%
Is open to suggestions and new ideas.       81%
Encourages employees to excel.        79%
Listens to employees’ work concerns.        77%
Performs well under pressure.        77%
Is willing to undertake the hard jobs.        76%
Finds ways to show appreciation for a job well done.        72%
Is collaborative and works well with others.        71%
Sets a good example for employees.        71%
Does not let emotions get in the way of decisions.        70%
Is even-handed in dealings with employees.        69%
Delivers on promises made.        68%
Earns the trust of employees.        66%
Communicates a clear vision of success.        65%
Looks for ways to improve leadership skills.        64%
Is open about own strengths and weaknesses.        63%
Motivates employees during adversity.        59%
Deals capably with workplace conflicts.        59%

“Ethics is a complicated issue,” observed Stephen Parker, President of Healthy Companies International. “Unless a boss has done something really serious or obviously criminal, employees will generally give the person the benefit of the doubt. But where feelings come into play, or when business is off or a conflict arises, it then becomes a harder test for the boss, and our findings bear out the difference context can make.”

Another caution needed in interpreting the data, Parker said, is that they may suggest corporate America now has a lower bar when it comes to ethical behavior. “And given the scandals in recent years it may be that employees have become a bit desensitized on this critical issue.”

According to Parker, the findings indicate that employees may be more critical of what a boss does when they are in a position to observe it directly, or where it affects them personally. “But what surprises me is the wide spread among the 20 behaviors…30 points… which means there are substantial differences in how managers or supervisors act with employees, particularly in stressful situations.”

About Healthy Companies

Founded in 1988 and based in Arlington, VA, Healthy Companies International is a leadership consulting and research firm that helps chief executive officers and their teams build healthy, high-performance organizations. As a trusted partner and thought leader, the firm maintains continuing dialogue with CEOs and regularly contributes to books and papers on leadership growth, change management, communication strategy, executive coaching and performance improvement.

Media contacts: Phil Ryan 845-339-7858,

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