Ethics at Work 2018: Switzerland

Publication type: Survey
23 May 2019

Tags: Speak Up, Ethics Programme issues, Treatment of Employees

This survey report describes the Swiss findings of our 2018 Ethics at Work research and provides comparison with the European average.

Speed read

Key findings

  • Only 12% of employees say that their organisation has all four building blocks of an ethics programme, while 20% say that their organisation offers no work ethics-related information, training or support channels
  • Yet, overall, employees in Switzerland have some of the most positive views of all European respondents
  • They are amongst the most likely to say that their organisation acts responsibly in all its business dealings (80%); lives up to its stated policy of social responsibility (69%) and that issues of right and wrong are discussed in staff meetings (58%)
  • However, they are less positive about their organisation’s honesty than the European average, with only 20% saying that honesty is always practiced in their organisations (vs 29% in Europe)
  • Additionally, too few employees who have been aware of misconduct at work raise their concerns - only 58% of those who have been aware of misconduct said that they raised their concerns and only a third say that their organisation provides a confidential means to report misconduct.


The IBE’s Ethics at Work survey is the only one of its kind covering Switzerland. This report take a deeper look at data and focuses on the responses from Swiss employees. It asks employees how they experience ethics in their day-to-day working lives and how they perceive corporate ethical culture. It looks at whether they have witnessed misconduct; whether they have reported it; and what if anything stops them from doing so, answering questions such as:

  • How does their experience of ethics in their workplaces differ from that of the average European employee?
  • What are Swiss employees’ perception of honesty, misconduct and speaking up?
  • What pressures are Swiss employees under to compromise ethical standards?

It provides real insight into employees’ views on ethics across all sectors and job roles, and offers a context for employee experiences across Europe. It also examines the impact of formal ethics programmes on embedding ethical values into organisational culture and influencing behaviour.

Over 6,000 employees were surveyed across Europe, including 756 in Switzerland. This is the first time that the survey, which began in the UK in 2005, has been conducted in Switzerland.