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“Stress” Taking a Heavy Toll on Compliance and Ethics Professionals
1/10/2012 11:31:00 AM

On-the-job stress leading to sleepless nights and thoughts of quitting work

Minneapolis, MN---January 10, 2012---At a time when the public’s attention is focused on the need for greater corporate integrity, the majority of compliance and ethics professionals report that they often wake during the middle of the night with job-related worries and they have considered quitting their jobs due to the stress. This disturbing data was revealed in a recent survey conducted in October and November of 2011 by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the Health Care Compliance Association.

Overall, 58% of survey respondents reported that they often wake up during the middle of the night worrying about job-related stress and 60% report having considered leaving their job in the last 12 months due to job-related stress.

Compliance and ethics professionals also report that keeping up with new and changing laws and regulations, preventing compliance and ethics violations, and remediating compliance and ethics violations are the greatest contributors to on-the-job stress.

“Six out of ten people waking up in the middle of the night from job related stress is unacceptable for any profession. The Compliance profession’s purpose is to prevent and detect the problems that have occurred in organizations such as Enron, Tyco, and Penn State University. There are reasons those who came before the Compliance profession stopped short of fixing these problems. Fixing these problems is very difficult and stressful. SCCE and HCCA will work to help their 10,000 members deal with this stress. We have dedicated a day and a half strategic planning session in January 2011 to this issue and this issue alone. However, we can only do so much. Compliance professionals, who are asked to do this difficult job, need support from leadership, reasonable authority, and independence. If society wants to us deal with these issues—so difficult that others have chosen to look the other way—then society should make an effort to support this profession," said SCCE and HCCA Chief Executive Officer Roy Snell.

Most compliance and ethics professionals report that adversarial relationships with their colleagues, adds to job-related stress. Fifty-eight percent of respondents felt they are in an adversarial situation or isolated from colleagues in other departments. Compliance and ethics professionals positively rated their relationship with the legal department; 54% gave it a “5” rating while another 26% gave it a “4” rating. However, the relationship
with the sales, marketing, and manufacturing departments was clearly the poorest with 14% rating it a “5” and only 24% rating it a “4”.

For the complete survey please click on one of the links below:
SCCE Survey Download:

HCCA Survey Download:

About the HCCA
The Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA), established in 1996 and headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, is a non-profit professional membership organization made up of compliance and ethics professionals working in the health care industry. HCCA is dedicated to improving the quality of compliance. Visit HCCA’s Web site at Tel: 888/580-8373.

About the SCCE
The Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics (SCCE) is headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. Its mission: SCCE exists to champion ethical practice and compliance standards in all organizations and to provide the necessary resources for compliance professionals and others who share these principles. Visit the SCCE Web site at, Tel: 888-277-4977. Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics is located at 6500 Barrie Road, Suite 250, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55435. E-mail: