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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Survey Finds Strong Relationship Between Work-Life Balance and Ethical Behavior

Does work-life balance influence positive ethical behaviors at work? According to the findings of the "2007 Deloitte & Touche USA LLP Ethics & Workplace" survey, there is a strong relationship between the two factors.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Deloitte & Touche USA also showed that the behaviors of management and direct supervisors, coupled with positive inforcement for ethical behavior, are the top factors for promoting ethical behavior in the workforce.

"In the competitive environment to attract and retain talent, it is imperative that employers provide employees with the means to attain a healthy work-life balance," says Sharon Allen, chairman atDeloitte & Touche USA. "This is not only key to job satisfaction, and retaining your most valued employees, but it is also critical in fostering an ethical workplace culture."

"When you think about it," Allen adds, "if someone invests all oftheir time and energy into their jobs, it may have the unintended consequence of making them dependent on their jobs for everything--including their sense of personal worth. This makes it even harder to make a good choice when faced with an ethical dilemma if they believe it will impact their professional success."

According to the survey, 91 percent of all employed adults agreed thatworkers are more likely to behave ethically at work when they have a goodwork-life balance. A combined 44 percent of workers cite high levels ofstress (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 atwork, and more than half of workers (55 percent) ranked a flexible workschedule among the top three factors leading to job satisfaction, second only to compensation (63 percent).

The survey also reveals the important impact management and supervisors have in promoting ethical workplace behaviors. Employed adults ranked the behavior of management (42 percent) and direct supervisors (36 percent) as the top two factors contributing to the promotion of an ethical workplace.

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