Importance of Workplace Ethics
Workplace ethics are simply the application of moral principles and following set standards and values of behaviour by all employees of an organization at a workplace. Regardless of whether it is personal or professional, one’s ethics and morals help in differentiating between right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate behaviours.
A good moral compass always guides in the right direction, and in the context of Workplace ethics, there are majorly two very important elements - Business Ethics and Workplace Policy, respectively. The latter includes all the rules, regulations and the laws that govern business operations whereas the former is more concerned with the actions in respect to customers and clients. Equal employment opportunity is a good example of a workplace policy whereas the use of marketing campaigns to better communicate with the targeted customers exemplifies business ethics.
To inculcate thereby a standard of ethical behaviour among all employees of an organisation, business leaders must respect and follow the Workplace Policy as well as Business Ethics. What follows are some of the tried and tested ways to promote and achieve ethical behaviour in an organization.
Guiding employees on how and why they must behave in the workspace by following the set Code of Conduct. Some of the common ones include:
- Adhering to office timings/being punctual
- Following the office dress code
- Respecting colleagues/co-workers and superiors
- Avoid engaging with gossips
- Refrain from partaking in any harassment, nasty politics and so on
Appreciate and reward the consistent, good and ethical behaviours exhibited by any of the employees in the organization. A few examples of such behaviour include:
- Staying productive and also being accountable for one’s actions
- Taking initiatives for the progress of the business
- Critical thinking that enables the individual as well as the team to be problem solvers
- Taking pride in one’s work
- The ability to acknowledge and address mistakes
- Raising the bar of effective interpersonal communications
Implementing Workplace Ethics
The best way to ensure that employees of an organization follow workplace ethics is to be very cautious, careful and specific during the recruitment process. All of the potential candidates must also be recruited based on their ethical values. After which, the newly joined employee should be facilitated with the understanding of organizational values.
HR (Human Resource) professionals should be very clear in their communication about the code of conduct and organization policies to make all the employees well-aware of the expected standard of behaviours in the workplace. Moreover, the consequences of behaving inappropriately in a workplace need also be explained to each employee.
Besides all of this, it is the organisation’s responsibility to listen to its employee’s problems if and when an employee faces them and chooses to bring it to the notice of the organisation. This too helps greatly in facilitating employees to adhere to workplace policies. Even constant mentoring helps with the same.
Poor Ethical Practices
Despite the many efforts of an organisation, there can still be those employees who end up with poor ethical practices. Some of those include:
- Abusing the confidentiality agreements
- Engage in any sort of illegal practices
- Falsifying information
- Ignoring the organizational procedures and policies
- Making decisions that only promise personal gain
- Stealing, either small or big, it is an offence nonetheless
- Withholding information
Many times, such behaviour is the result of unfair treatment, conflicts, discrimination and favouritism; something that is highly prevalent in today’s work environments. That is why the cultivation of ethical practices creates a positive work culture in the organization while having a strong impact on building and enhancing the company’s value or goodwill. Behaviour modelling by the group and team leaders also adds up to better ethics among employees.
Everything in today’s time boils down how transparent the organization is in treating its employees and whether or not it has fair practices in terms of recognizing and compensating its employees. As long as an organization does that and communicates its set work policies and business ethics, the work environment stays conducive for both personal and organizational growth.