Business ethics articles for the workplace
Values, morals and ethics (see definitions below) entail a set of principles that define the rules or standards that govern the conduct of a person or the members of a profession. It is an agreed upon set of rules for what behaviors are appropriate and expected of the workforce. These behaviors must be aligned to the values of the company. A policy and procedure must be recorded and put in place to enforce the company values. It is important to communicate your organization's values to all employees. There are many business ethics articles available with detailed strategies.
Behaving ethically, morally and upholding a company's values motivate staff which result in an increase in commitment and ultimately profits. It strengthens the coherence and balance of the company's culture thereby increasing the quality of performance of every aspect of an operation. It can transform the way a company functions.
Promoting good ethical practices among employees and co-workers is necessary to maintain and encourage good standards in the workplace. Defined workplace ethics help employees to understand and adopt values, morals and ethics within the workplace.
The entire workforce should be seen to be living by company's values, making the values part of everything they do. Company values are the single most important issue for business leaders in our world today. Multinational companies play a role in shaping our world and society.
Communicate these messages by using a variety or workplace communication tools.
Business morals can be defined as the personal character of the individuals within an organization, while ethics stress a social system, standards and codes in which those morals are applied.
Business values can be defined as the beliefs, missions, philosophies and goals that a company strives to achieve and live by.
14 Examples of business value are:
- Safety - If we cannot operate the business safely, we will not operate.
- Responsibility - We act responsibly and care for the environment, each other, and all of our stakeholders - our employees, our communities and our shareholders.
- Honesty - We act with fairness, integrity, honesty and transparency.
- Respect - We treat each others with trust, respect and dignity.
- Innovation - We encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.
- Delivery - We do what we say we will do.
- Customer satisfaction - We are accountable to our customers, shareholders, partners, and employees by honoring our commitments, providing results, and striving for the highest quality.
- Excellent service
- Customer focus
- Social responsibility
Business ethics can be defined as a system of written and unwritten moral principles and codes that govern decisions and actions within a company. They provide guidelines for what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior in an organization. All employees are expected to maintain a high sense of values and to conduct fair and honest dealings with each other and the public.
High standards of values, morals and ethics indicate to employees and clients that the organization is moral and adheres to values. Ethics reinforce how you work and how you behave. Values, morals and ethics are integral to the values and morals of a company.
Communication and Ethics in the Workplace
Communication and ethics: Ethical communication is the foundation of decision making, responsible thinking and the building of relationships, not just in day to day life, but at work as well. Ethical communication has also been shown to enhance human worth and increase dignity because it embraces personal integrity, respect of self and others, fairness and truthfulness.
Do you tell a lie to cover up an oversight or to avoid hurting someone's feelings? Is omitting facts the same as telling a lie, and is it ethical to only give part of the picture.
A great way to enhance ethical communication in your organization is through your mission statement. While your mission statement is designed to showcase your company, and show what makes your company better than the competition it should also motivate your employees to behave in such a manner that they honor the company and its goals and objectives.
The mission statement works in conjunction with the code of conduct and the vision statement of the company. There has to be unity amongst these three aspects of the organization and they all need to be communicated to the staff. They have to be more than words written in an employee handbook, they need to be a part of everything that is done every day within the organization. Communication and ethics start at the top and flow down the employee chain.
This means that if the people in charge don't support the mission statement, if they aren't adhering to the code of conduct for the organization how can the employees under them be expected to. Not that two wrongs make a right, but it is important that all employees be held to the same standard. Considering running an ongoing campaign that promotes ethical behavior in the work place such as weekly employee meetings where outstanding employees are rewarded for their efforts.
It is important to remember that your mission statement is a representation of the goals and strategies of the business. Therefore it should connect the strategies and goals into a working plan for the company. If you are looking to be the best donut making bakery in the world, then it stands to reason that you would want to only use the finest ingredients and that you expect your bakers to know the recipes, care about the preparation of the dough each day and when the donuts are presented to the public they are presented in the same manor that a precious diamond would be presented. This means that they are presented with care, tact and appreciation.
It isn't enough to tell your employees what you expect of them. Reiterating the mission statement to them or having them memorize the code of conduct. The attitude and the actions of the employees reflects the leadership they observe. The best way to make sure that your employees are acting accordingly is to make sure that you and the other people that are in positions of power practice ethical communication, uphold your mission statement and adhere to the code of conduct.
Sample vision statements
See how to write a vision statement. The vision statement evaluates the organization then gives direction as to the desired destination of the organization which incorporates the company's vision and values. This includes the company's values morals and ethics.