Ethical standards guide individuals and the company to act in an honest and trustworthy manner in all interactions. These standards should encourage employees to make the right decisions for the company, not the individual, and give them the courage to come forward should they notice dishonest and unethical behavior. Company programs focused on ethics help lay out company standards and expected practices as they relate to ethical behavior and decisions. This can include providing clear guidance on common ethical dilemmas, such as using the phone at work for personal long-distance calls or using company software programs for personal projects. Management often sets the tone for expected ethical behavior and actions in the workplace.
The actions and behaviors of management, and other senior staff, help steer departments and employees toward proper and accepted business practices. Part of this responsibility includes enforcing rules, guidelines and policies fairly and equally across all levels of the organization. Managers may also be tasked with helping employees navigate ethical dilemmas and solving difficult situations to keep the corporation on the right path.
It’s very difficult to define ethics in the workplace. Generally,“being ethical” involves conducting yourself in accordance with accepted principles of right and wrong. Ethics is a matter of using integrity-based decision-making procedures to guide your decisions and actions. In the workplace, being ethical may involve acting morally right, being honest, not cheating your employer, co-workers, or customers, not stealing from from the supply closet, and generally treating your co-workers well Other ethical situations may involve harassment, inappropriate use of the Internet, outside-of-work activities, etc.
If your workplace lacks ethical standards, your employer risks losing valuable employees and customers and possibly even more Federal laws impose heavier penalties on employers
Some of the primary forms of employee misconduct or
unethical behavior include the following:
◆ Misrepresenting time or hours worked;
◆ Lying to supervisors;
◆ Lying to co-workers, customers, vendors, or the public;
◆ Misuse of your employer’s assets; and
◆ Lying on reports or falsifying records.
As you can see, there is a widespread need for ethics in your workplace. A code of ethics can provide guidelines for your