What is considered ethical or morally correct can differer from person to person, so it's important for employers to clearly communicate the company's code of ethics and clarify it's definition of ethical practice
About Communication & Ethical Issues in Business
Importance of Ethical Communication
In order for employees to effectively understand what the business considers to be ethical practices, it has to be communicated effectively to employees. Ethical behavior should be communicated daily to employees and that includes recognizing employees who have acted in an ethical manner. This not only gives praise to those employees for a job well done, it helps to set ethical standards for other employees in the business.
Every business should have a written ethics policy that details what is expected of employees. It should communicate what the business believes are its ethical standards such as always being honest in communications, treating other employees fairly and reporting ethical violations. The policy should also outline the consequences of acting unethically. This policy should be signed by employees upon their acceptance of employment as well as reviewed and signed on an annual basis.
Because everyone’s idea of ethics can differ, it is important that the business conduct ethics training for all employees. Some employees may see taking business supplies for personal use as unethical whereas they don’t believe that taking a business pen home with them is the same. The business should educate the employees about its own ethical standards through role play as well as hypothetical scenarios. This can help employees recognize what the business considers to be ethical and unethical.
Management’s role in ethical practices for the business is to always demonstrate ethical behavior in verbal and non-verbal form. Management should reinforce ethical behavior in others with praise while using unethical behavior as a teaching tool for other employees. In addition, management should realize they are role models for the business and must act accordingly. If they expect employees to act in a certain way, they must lead by example.
In monthly employee meetings, use stories from the news to reiterate the business stance on ethics. Pass the story out to employees to read and review before the meeting. During the meeting, discuss the article and have employees identify the ethical and unethical behaviors demonstrated in the story. Also ask the employees what should have happened and what they should do if they encounter the same or similar behavior in this business.
Credit: The full and original article was published on Chron
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