In the modern world, companies are more transparent than ever before.
Whether you work for a public or private enterprise, with the advancement in online and mobile communication, details about your place of employment can spread to the public in mere seconds.
Therefore it is more important than ever to make sure you are running an ethical organisation where everything is being done by the book.
While CEOs and owners typically make the large scale decisions, managers should play a role in promoting ethics in their particular departments by:
Being A Model
Supervisors should be ethical role models for their entire team. This can play out in many ways, first of which should present the image of a proper employee. This means that you should arrive on time and not leave early, work hard and provide a good value to the organisation. Slacking off will simply show your staff that they can do so too, since they will look up to you. Exhibiting acceptable behaviour will set a precedent for how all employees should behave, which will play a role in avoiding problems, issues and possible scandals.
Teaching About Ethics
It’s hard to expect your staff members to be 100% ethical when they may not know what is expected of them. Therefore, an important step that should be taken is the creation of an employee handbook which outlines all the rules and regulations. All employees should be provided an ethics course, which will teach them about expected behaviours; not only should codes of conduct and specific policies be enforced, but penalties for failure to comply should be announced.
Asking For Feedback
Employees are usually the first to know if an ethical dilemma has occurred, but they may not feel comfortable to bring that up to the attention of the supervisor. Whether they don’t want to tattle tale on a colleague, or fear repercussions for themselves, their may be many various reasons for the choice to remain quiet. In order to encourage team members to bring up ethical issues, try conducting anonymous surveys, or create an anonymous box where employees can leave notes. Also, remember that in order for this strategy to work, you will need to follow up on the leads and create a course of action for the infringement. Furthermore, you need to make sure that no negative repercussions come to the person who raised the red flag, lest other employees find out and never speak up again.
In order for a business to be fully ethical, all the parties should be involved. Although the leaders should create codes of conduct and enforce them, employees should be motivated to comply and report any possible infringements to their managers.
Senior Trainer & Consultant