Top Tips to Encourage Ethical Behaviour in the Workplace
Encouraging ethical behavior at work helps build a strong team and raise productivity. It helps an organisation maintain a reputation for strong values that directly align with its mission. Research shows that businesses with strong ethical cultures have shown a reduction in employee misconduct.
Here are 5 ways to create an ethnical workplace culture:
Set clear expectations
Your organisation’s Code of Conduct should define the expectations for employees’ behavior in clear and simple language. This should include how employees should interact with each other, customers, as well as what is and is not considered acceptable behaviour in the workplace. These expectations also serve as guidance for managers, setting out when they need to intervene and/or take disciplinary action. The Code of Conduct should be communicated to all employees.
Use the expectations in your Code of Conduct in the recruitment process to determine if an employee is likely to be a good fit.
Lead by example
Managers need to model the behaviour they expect to see in their staff. If employees can see others, particularly the roles they report to behaving ethically, the team is more likely adopt the same behavior and values.
Reward good behavior
Ethical behaviors, such as when an employee goes above and beyond to put his or her personal interests aside to always do what is best for the client, should be actively rewarded and held up as an example for others.
Incorporate ethical standards into employee performance reviews.
Fundamentally, ethical behaviour is about “doing the right thing”. Ensure there is a clear feedback mechanism in place through which employees can report any unethical behaviour they witness. These mechanisms should allow staff to make reports anonymously and without fear of any adverse action being taken against them.
Hold workshops and provide regular training on how to solve problems ethically. Use examples, case studies and role play to discuss tough decisions that may arise, and brainstorm solutions together.