Businesses need to check the unethical behavior at the workplace. If they don’t, the consequences can be disastrous. Neither your business nor your employees will be able to thrive in an immoral work environment.
Unethical workplace behaviors can assume several different forms. For example, taking credit for work done by another person or calling in sick when you are actually well can all amount to unethical workplace behavior. In fact, these violations are so common that we witness them on a day-to-day basis. The misdeed often goes unreported.
At large organizations there is an HR department that allows employees to report the unethical behaviors they witness at the workplace. At smaller businesses that do not have an HR department, employees often do not have an avenue where they can report unethical behavior. If you don’t have an HR department, make sure that your employees can report their concerns easily. In addition, you should have clear policies to deal with the situation.
Here are a few ways to check the unethical workplace behavior.
1) ENFORCE A CODE OF CONDUCT
When you have a code of conduct, your employees can easily figure out what behavior is appropriate and what behavior is not appropriate. While drafting the code of conduct, don’t forget to involve leaders and other top level executives. This will ensure that they remain committed to these values.
2) ESTABLISH A PROTOCOL
Your code of conduct should explain how unethical behavior should be reported. You can, for example, create an anonymous hotline for reporting misdeeds. And when a concern is reported you have to ensure that the employee delegated to address the issue has no vexed interests in it. If it does not make sense to retain an internal person, hire an external HR person to make the process impartial.
3) EMPOWER EMPLOYEES
Train your staff so that they can easily identify ethics violations. Offer ethics-training programs. You should also consider offering some financial incentives to employees who stick to the code of conduct.
4) REVIEW THE CODE CONTINUOUSLY
You have to review your code periodically and keep it updated. Distribute copies of the moral code among your employees.
5) MAKE SURE THAT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL IS BASED ON A WIN-WIN OUTCOME
If the success of your business depends upon the failure of your employees and customers, you will ultimately bite dust. You can’t win at your customer’s expense. Your business practices should result in win-win outcomes for both you and the customer.
6) PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE WITH TRUTH
If you fabricate customer feedback and alter images of your products to make them more appealing, there is definitely something wrong with your business practices. If your value proposition is legitimate, you will be able to advertise your products in an honest manner.
7) MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE
You must be able to proudly explain your business to everyone including your family members. If you want to hide the details, your business model may be unethical.