The Business Morality Audit

In my business Jaluch, we often get asked to conduct an HR (Human Resources) or L&D (Learning and Development) Audit within organisations. But in this blog I wanted to take a slightly different approach to audit. I wanted to look at how HR or Senior Team might conduct a Morality Audit of the organisation.

Not surprisingly, this blog idea (as with many of my blog ideas) has arisen as a result of me having to deal last week with a company that irritated the **** out of me. I find that writing about irritations is a good source of stress relief and a lot cheaper than a shopping splurge.

The behaviour of this company last week made me reflect on how the media is increasingly focussing on organisations that appear to lack integrity or operate in an apparently immoral way. Whilst there has over time been much talk of the need for integrity, I feel it is a term that has lost its ‘sense of direction’ through overuse, so I am going to talk instead about the need for morality. I’m not sure anyone out there is providing guidance on how you do a morality audit. So here is my ‘tuppence worth’

But first, for the reflectors amongst you, what is the distinction between integrity and morality. Not a huge amount really other than integrity having a focus on honesty. But here is what the dictionary says:

  • Integrity: The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles
  • Morality: Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behaviour

THE HLJ (my!) Morality Audit (2016)

Score from 1-10 as follows
Abominable, embarrassingly awful behaviour, fundamentally dishonest,
deceitful, selfishness rife, whistle-blowers, are hounded out of the organisation
Pockets of appalling behaviour, overall a lack of an honest culture, a blind eye is turned to wrongdoing, encouragement of results pretty much whatever the costLost its way a bit, lack of clarity about what is acceptable, values that aren’t fully understood or bought into, good intentions, but still to find its way, managers who don’t yet ‘get it’A clear culture around honesty and morality, usually strives for exemplary behaviour, the how is said to be as important as the what, generally lives up to its published valuesExemplary behaviour, strives for the highest standards, lives its values, zero tolerance of immoral behaviour

Audit summary

I’ve suggested just 32 questions in total to begin this process of audit. Take the test here.

So how did you do?

Score 1-35: Embarrassing. Perhaps you won’t be in business this time next year. We won’t miss you.

Score 36-70: Somewhat embarrassing. Sounds like a fundamental change in leadership attitudes will be required to ever turn this around. Customers probably won’t choose to deal with you if they don’t have to

Score 71-110: You are on your way to being able to say you are a moral organisation but clearly still quite a bit of work to do, in need of leaders who understand why morality is an important leadership trait of the future, your customers might not always like what they see so perhaps you don’t get as much repeat business as you would like

Score 111-140: You deserve great press for what you have achieved, your customers will probably enjoy being your customers and be proud to tell others, perhaps if you have any goal it will be to achieve greater consistency of behaviour

Score 141–160: A fantastic example to everyone, perfectly positioned to attract great candidates when recruiting, likely to have great staff retention and you are in an organisation that is likely to have a very high number of very loyal customers who regularly recommend you to others.

Thoughts, opinions, ideas? We’d love to hear from you.




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