I’ve been hearing quite a bit lately about companies and their ethical beliefs and trainings. Unfortunately, most companies do not do nearly enough to fully integrate ethics into their workers. A one hour seminar, if even, once every two years just will not do it anymore. You do not see ethics taught must in high schools or colleges any more. You do not even see any sort of ethics being promoted on television (whether they are cable or main stream media does not even matter, unfortunately) of in movies (If the movie happens to be about business, you can be almost certain that there will a number of unethical situations show, whether within business or without). To avoid becoming one of those businesses known for having faulty ethical practices, here are some vitally important ways to get ethics back into the business.
To make the best ethical workers group is to start before they are even hired. Ethics must be strictly stated and questioned during the recruitment and interviewing processes. Strict, and specific, standards must be demonstrated, followed, and insisted upon before the applicant even gets the position. It may seem time-consuming at first, and probably will cost a bit of extra money, but having and promoting the standards before hiring will avoid any problems, most likely legal, in the future.
After you hire the person, and in all training and orientation manuals given and shown to your new and even established employees, be sure to inform and review with them any federal, state, and local laws, company codes of ethics, and relevant policy information that are applicable to your company. Such information may include, but is in no way limited to, whistle blower protection, nepotism, use or company equipment and automobile, financial disclosure, and gift giving and receiving. You would be quite surprised at the number of people who come into a position with good intentions that turn bad, since the ethical standards are not followed or even mentioned. And it would be worse if they followed the model of a dishonest and/or unethical supervisor!
Don’t stop talking about ethics and ethical business decisions after you hire them, either. Maybe your company newsletter can have a section about ethics in the industry or the company. Work groups can also discuss ethical issues for both supervisors and employees.
Finally, during the training process, and also during the performance and annual review processes, be sure to include ethics and ethical evaluations in the plans and process.