Creating an Ethical Organization
How to Create an Ethical Workplace?
Ethics in the workplace are vital, even to small business owners. No company wants to be known as unethical, and employees are more apt to display higher morale and more productivity when they know they are working for a morally sound company. It is important to create a conscientious workplace that is transparent, both to employees as well as the general public. Small business owners should never tolerate inappropriate behavior in an employee and employees should be properly trained on what is considered unethical and ethical.
Set an example for your workforce. In order for employees to behave in an ethical manner, they need to know that they are working for a moral boss. They will be much less likely to display signs of unethical behavior if they know that this type of behavior will not be tolerated or ignored.
Create a policy dealing with ethics. This company policy should state your expectations for your employees as well as outline what is and is not considered acceptable. Having a clearly written policy will help you take action should an employee act unethically.
Allow employees to report unethical behavior in a safe environment. No one enjoys ratting out a fellow employee, particularly if it will be made known who turned the person in. Give your employees a safe and anonymous way to air their complaints so that you can investigate the act and take action if necessary.
Provide ethics training to your workforce. A simple course in basic business ethics can go a long way towards helping your employees learn what is not acceptable. Free courses are available online to small businesses with limited budgets. Larger companies can typically hire a motivational speaker knowledgeable on this subject or pay for a more intensive course.
Punish any violators of your ethics policy. One bad employee can ruin the image of the entire company. It is necessary to establish a zero-tolerance policy for unethical behavior. Once it is known that those who cross the line will be punished, employees will be much less likely to exhibit unethical behavior.
How to Resolve Ethical Dilemmas in the Workplace?
Employees make decisions at all levels of a company, whether at the top, on the front line or anywhere in between. Every employee in an organization is exposed to the risk of facing an ethical dilemma at some point, and some ethical decisions can be more challenging to fully understand than others. Knowing how to resolve ethical dilemmas in the workplace can increase your decision-making effectiveness while keeping you and your company on the right side of the law and public sentiment.
Consult your company's code of ethics for formal guidance. This simple act may be able to resolve your dilemma immediately, depending on how comprehensive and specific your company's ethics statement is. Your code of ethics can provide a backdrop on which to weigh the pros and cons of business decisions, giving you a clearer picture of which decision is more in line with the company's ethical commitments.
Share your dilemma with your supervisor to take advantage of her experience. Front-line employees can face a number of ethical dilemmas in their jobs, such as deciding whether to give out a refund that does not specifically adhere to company policies or whether to report suspicions of internal theft which cannot be proven. Taking ethical questions to supervisors can keep employees out of trouble in addition to resolving conflicts.
Discuss your dilemma with other executives if you are at the top of your organization. Executives and company owners make some of the farthest-reaching decisions in any organization, adding weight and additional challenges to ethical dilemmas. As an executive, it is important to show your competence at solving problems on your own, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help from time to time. Other...
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