Here are a couple points from the recently released Deloitte 2008 Ethics & Workplace Survey. Here is the link to a press release with more info.
Transparency makes work a better place
- 72 % of respondents said that if their boss was more open about his/her need to take time off during the day, it would create a more engaging and productive environment.
- 84 percent of respondents agree that openness by leadership contributes to a more ethical workplace culture
- 68 % said if the boss was more open about their needs to take time off during regular work hours, it would create a more values-based organization
Does leadership set different rules for themselves?
- Seventy five percent of respondents say that, by and large, everyone in their office is treated equally when it comes to exercising flexible work options, but 50 percent feel that their bosses set different standards for themselves
- Moreover, younger employees seem more hesitant to take advantage of customized work arrangements, fearing that it may have a negative impact on their career advancement: 53 % of 25-34 year-olds feel that utilizing informal flex time hurts their career growth vs. 44 % of 35-44 year-olds
Workplace is changing & both sexes are increasingly choosing to work in some type of a customized work arrangement
- An equal percentage of men and women choose to participate in customized work arrangements: 81 %
- 61 % of respondents describe their work arrangement as “40 hour week but different from traditional 9-5 work hours”
Interesting, although not surprising, right? We all know that ethics are subjective and that openness improves team connection and care. Until leaders start getting fired more for managing based on double standards, I suspect we will see similar study results.
Do you think it is OK to have two standards when it comes to flexibility and perks - one for lower level folks and a different set of standards for higher ranking leaders? In the 80s, the time of the yuppie, we worked to inch our way into perks. Now, I am not sure the cost of the perks are worth the hit we take in terms of work culture.
I have a couple clients who define "work week" very differently than their employees do. One thinks that 70 hours a week for a salaried level employee is standard. Another thinks 50 hours is the minimum for a salaried position.
It is funny - most leaders do not understand or accept the intent of salary exemptions - that on average we work 40 hours but that it might fluctuate up and down. It is the "fluctuate down" part that most leaders don't get. If someone works 55 hours one week, and 30 hours the next, and gets the job done, this should be fine. But many leaders I know would not embrace the 30 hour weeks with smiles or encouragements.