Trust, Service

& Accountability

Behaving Ethically

Other Indicators

There are other metrics or indicators which agencies can use to monitor their performance depending on their individual circumstances. Existing agency data is a valuable source of understanding about the agency. These indicators are relevant to the ethical health of an organisation.

Some indicators will be lead indicators while others will be lag indicators.  Lead indicators are a useful decision making support tool when deciding on future allocation of resources such as people and funding to address emerging issues. Lag indicators can be useful in evaluation and review processes as well as being used for compliance exercises.

Lead indicators

A lead indicator is a measure which points toward likely outcomes or performance that can be expected in the near future.  Some potential lead indicators of good (or poor) ethical performance that will occur in the near future which agencies may measure and monitor are:

  • Employee engagement
  • Employee assessment of the importance and embedding of values
  • Observation of elements of ethical culture
  • Stakeholder perceptions, such as suppliers, the government and NGO perceptions
  • Interviews and focus groups, involving both internal and internal stakeholders
  • Resource allocation for ethics related activities by the agency.

Lag indicators

A lag indicator is a measure which refers to a past performance.  Some potential lag indicators which agencies may use to measure and monitor are:

  • Sick leave – analysis of levels and type
  • Productivity measures
  • Time taken to deal with grievances and complaints, and the  proportion found to be substantiated
  • Employee grievances and customer complaints – level and type
  • Employee exit interviews
  • Level and nature of reported misconduct, concerns raised, resolution
  • Level of adverse comment and overturning of decisions by review tribunals.

Trend analysis is a useful analytical method to take historical lag indicators and extrapolate the information in a way as to become a predictor of future performance and therefore become a lead indicator.  Some lead and lag indicators may be able to be paired.  For instance a lead indicator such as employee engagement may have a strong correlation to productivity which is a lag indicator.

Agencies should be somewhat cautious with the relevant results of various indicators as the interpretation of these metrics can be challenging. Care should be taken to ensure that the results are used to create a whole picture rather than an abstract misinterpretation.