Do Your Employees Need Ethics Training?

Certainly, supervisors and managers need to understand your company’s ethics policy and the importance of enforcing it. Train them on your policy, as well as the need to observe the highest standards of ethics, honesty, and integrity in the workplace.

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But supervisors and managers also need to understand that all employees at all levels in the organization must uphold ethical standards. All employees should strive to conduct business dealings and relationships with individuals inside and outside of the organization professionally, legally, and faithfully to your organization’s ethics policies and codes of conduct.

What Are Workplace Ethics?

Begin training for all employees by defining what you mean by workplace ethics.

  • Workplace ethics are standards of acceptable behavior on the job. Ethics are a set of rules by which to judge decisions and conduct in the workplace.
  • Ethical conduct on the job involves knowing what is right and wrong according to the established standards and consistently doing what the organization’s ethics policy requires. The problem is that in today’s rapidly changing business climate, it is often difficult to tell what is right or wrong. Many ethical problems fall in a “gray area,” where what is right or wrong is not obvious.
  • Workplace ethics involves making honest and upstanding choices. Doing what is ethically right is often confused with what is easiest, quickest, or cheapest. Many business people in recent years have crossed the line for personal profit or because of misguided notions of organizational loyalty.

Ethics involve all employees. A firm understanding of ethical conduct on the job provides everyone in the organization with the same moral compass to follow in times of uncertainty, crisis, and competition.

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Why Do Employees Need Ethics Training?

Employees need the benefit of ethical training so that they, too, can meet the standards set by the organization’s policies and codes of conduct. Here are several more business and professional reasons why company-wide training on ethics enhances your organization’s culture—and bottom line.

  • Ethical conduct is important because it not only involves doing what is right and proper, but it’s also good for business. Ethical conduct is the basis for long-term success in any organization.
  • Ethical conduct promotes a strong public image for the organization. People respect an organization that makes ethical choices. Customers like doing business with an organization they can trust.
  • Ethical conduct makes the best use of resources. Money, time, and effort are put into productive activities rather than diverted for questionable purposes or personal gain.
  • Ethical conduct on the part of all employees also helps maintain quality and productivity. When employees follow ethical standards, they don’t cut corners or short-change the company or its customers.
  • Ethical conduct assists the organization to comply with laws and regulations. But remind employees that what is legal is only the bare minimum of what is ethical. Too many businesses, and/or people find ways to engage in activities that are technically legal but borderline ethical. Politicians, for example, seem to skirt the lines too often.
  • Ethical conduct ensures good and proper relationships with customers and vendors.
  • Ethical conduct boosts morale and promotes teamwork. When employees can trust one another and management, they can work together more harmoniously and effectively.

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In tomorrow’s Advisor, training tips on recognizing ethical dilemmas, plus some great news—how you can receive a whole Library of online training to help with all of your employee training needs.

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