Market Overview

Gartner Survey Shows 29 Percent of Employees Witnessed At Least One Compliance Violation In The Last Two Years


Employees Who Witness Misconduct Twice as Likely to Leave

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
. 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

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

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

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

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

View Comments and Join the Discussion!