Are you practicing ethical behavior? Do you know what ethical behavior is?
Ethics is the way to guide your moral compass. It establishes the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Ethics provides you with a system that will guide you towards making the best decisions when conducting business. The first step to ethics is to understand the difference between good, evil, and neutral possibilities. Sometimes doing the right thing will cost more than doing the wrong thing and you may be unsure whether it is worth it. All people go through ethical conundrums at some point or another. Ethics is not just deciding whether something is right or wrong; it is also about decision-making and taking action for your company and the people around you. Here are some ways to ensure that you are practicing ethical behavior in business.
If you are in a position of power at your company, then setting a good example for your employees should be among your top priorities. The company leaders that lack a strong moral compass and standing within their company can affect their employees negatively. This is because when an employee has an unreliable leader, chaos and fear can take over in an office. Employees trust the leaders who are open and honest with them and rule with fairness.
1. Respect your employees
All humans deserve respect, and your employees should recognize that you respect them because they are all at your company for a reason. As a leader, you should take an interest in your employees’ lives and commit your company to be one that allows their employees to grow.
2. Hire ethical people
When you set out to hire employees, make sure that these prospective employees have ethical guidelines that are in alignment with your company’s. The interview process should be rigorous, and all workers that apply must be researched thoroughly. Be sure to check references because not all can be revealed during the interview process.
3. Adapt to changes in values
Morals evolve between generations, and your company may be employing people from different age groups; from Millennials to baby boomers. Each of these groups has a somewhat different set of moral standards, and you should be understanding of the differences between them. If you find that the gap is vast, then consider hosting an ethics training workshop, so your employees will know precisely what is expected of them.
4. Set the tone
Practice what you preach. If you want your employees to act in a positive manner, then you must also act in that same manner by example. If you’re going to earn the trust of your employees, then there is no way around this. You can not expect more out of your employees than you expect of yourself.
5. Be accountable
We’re all human, which means that from time-to-time we are going to make mistakes. Instead of making up an excuse or passing the blame onto someone or something else, take responsibility for it. Own up to your mistakes. If you want to be an ethical leader, then you need to cut out the excuses and hold yourself accountable. Following this rule will help you to present a better role model for your employees as well. Owning up to mistakes also allows for more breathing room to make them. An employee shouldn’t fear for their job if they make one simple mistake.
6. Keep negativity off social media
Be mindful of the things that you put out on the internet because you can never be sure who is reading or watching. It is not an uncommon practice for a future employee to Google the executives in a company before they accept their offers. Remember to think twice before tweeting about a coworker or liking a controversial political meme on Instagram.
If you follow all of these guidelines, then you should be off to a great start at your company, however, if you feel that the workplace that you are currently in does not line-up with your particular set of values and ethics, then it might be time to rethink where you are working. If you always feel that people around you are not practicing what they preach and are not making the right ethical decisions themselves, then it may be time to move on and look elsewhere. If you try your best to set a moral standard at your place of work and you begin to see small changes in those around you, then you may just be setting yourself and your company up for even more success. Good luck!