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University of Phoenix employee ethics survey finds consistently high ratings

By Sharla Hooper

Benchmark scorecard demonstrates employees’ satisfaction with ethical work environment

University of Phoenix is pleased to share results from its most recent ethics survey, with consistently high ratings from university employees. These responses demonstrate that the University has established a highly ethical working environment in comparison to other workplaces, according to Global Business Ethics Survey Reports published by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI), which measure the cultural and ethical climates of workplaces from the perspective of their employees.

University of Phoenix conducts a comprehensive ethics survey of university employees every two years. Participation is voluntary and in 2021 grew 5% from the 2019 survey with a total of 1,651 employees (54%) responding. The ethics survey included questions on perceptions of leadership and colleague ethics, and responses were significantly higher than U.S. workplace benchmarks reported by the ECI. The ethics survey found 96% of participants responding affirmatively to the statement, “My manager sets a good example in terms of ethics and integrity,” and 94% responding affirmatively to the statement, “My coworkers set a good example in terms of ethics and integrity.” Benchmark scores established by the Global Business Ethics Survey Reports for equivalent statements, respectively, are 76% (2019) and 64% (2021).

“The University of Phoenix ethics survey scorecard shows that our leadership sets a good example in creating an ethical culture, and that our employees, in all different types of roles, support and further our ethical culture through their actions and setting a good example themselves,” states Cheryl Naumann, SPHR, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at University of Phoenix. “This culture creates a workplace where employees feel empowered to do the right thing, ask questions, and report concerns without fear. With an average tenure of 11 years for our university employees, the scorecard findings show that we are living our Core Values and experiencing the stability of an ethical workplace culture.”

The University utilizes its ethics survey as a tool to understand workplace culture. The ethics survey provides insights into employee awareness and satisfaction with ethics and compliance resources, including reporting methods, and identifies opportunities for improvement.

Awareness & Satisfaction
One way the University seeks to understand its workplace culture is to determine overall awareness of its ethics and compliance programs as well as the value of the resources provided to employees. The ethics survey found that 99% of respondents reported they knew where to locate ethics and compliance resources, with 96% of respondents being satisfied with those resources.

Communication & Culture
Measuring the University’s Ethics Helpline usage and anonymous report rates is another tool for understanding workplace culture. The University’s Ethics Helpline anonymous reporting rate is significantly lower (10%) than national benchmarks (58%), according to the Navex Global 2021 Risk & Compliance Incident Benchmark Report, demonstrating a community which trusts its leadership and feels comfortable openly sharing concerns without feeling the need to report anonymously.

The survey also identified areas of opportunity for the University’s Ethics, Compliance, and Data Privacy (ECDP) department to pursue in the coming year, including enhancing the employee training experience, improving access to information, and streamlining request processes.

Evidence-based practice in the human resources field shows that ethics results change less rapidly than employee engagement. While the University conducts the ethics survey every two years, it measures employee engagement at least once per year.

Survey Methodology
The ethics survey was administered by the University Ethics, Compliance, and Data Privacy (ECDP) department and was open to university staff employees beginning October 20, 2021, through November 3, 2021. There were 3,034 employees invited to participate. The survey closed with 1,651 respondents for an overall completion rate of 54%.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit