The Importance of Ethics in the Workplace Essay
1611 WordsJan 18th, 20067 Pages
The Importance of Ethics in the Workplace
In their personal and professional lives, people can and, unfortunately, sometimes do go against their moral and ethical standards. Ethical standards are what it means to be a good person, the social rules that govern our behavior. Ethics in business is essentially the study of what constitutes the right and wrong or the good or bad behavior in the workplace environment. A business is an organization whose objective is to provide goods or services for profit. The organization has a group of people that work together to achieve a common purpose. The moral challenges that these men and women face each day along with a whole range of problems that could occur, are why ethics plays such an important…show more content…
Per a quote from Lieutenant Gov. Mary Fallin in Oklahoma: It's hard at times to find people that will take the high road, and that's why we see so many of the scandals we've seen, like WorldCom and Enron, said
Fallin. It's not what happens to you that determines where you are in life, but its how you respond to what happens to you. (Smith, 2005, 7)
What a valuable employee, Sue definitely took the high road and handled that dilemma with integrity. Each person has many reasons for being ethical. Some reasons can be: inner beliefs, habits, virtue because it is its own reward, personal advantages, it's good business, there is approval, being an ethical person can lead to self-esteem, the admiration of loved ones and the respect of peers. There is also religion because it is believed that good behavior can please or help serve a deity. Ethical actions can fit in with upbringing or training. Ethics starts with the individual employee choosing the right or wrong decision.
The second ethical dilemma that our group provided was one that dealt with sexual harassment. Sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of unwelcome sexual conduct. Per Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 this is the first paragraph on the EEOC web page about sexual harassment:
Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes
Ethical standards guide individuals and the company to act in an honest and trustworthy manner in all interactions. These standards should encourage employees to make the right decisions for the company, not the individual, and give them the courage to come forward should they notice dishonest and unethical behavior. Company programs focused on ethics help lay out company standards and expected practices as they relate to ethical behavior and decisions. This can include providing clear guidance on common ethical dilemmas, such as using the phone at work for personal long-distance calls or using company software programs for personal projects. Management often sets the tone for expected ethical behavior and actions in the workplace.
The actions and behaviors of management, and other senior staff, help steer departments and employees toward proper and accepted business practices. Part of this responsibility includes enforcing rules, guidelines and policies fairly and equally across all levels of the organization. Managers may also be tasked with helping employees navigate ethical dilemmas and solving difficult situations to keep the corporation on the right path.
It’s very difficult to define ethics in the workplace. Generally,“being ethical” involves conducting yourself in accordance with accepted principles of right and wrong. Ethics is a matter of using integrity-based decision-making procedures to guide your decisions and actions. In the workplace, being ethical may involve acting morally right, being honest, not cheating your employer, co-workers, or customers, not stealing from from the supply closet, and generally treating your co-workers well Other ethical situations may involve harassment, inappropriate use of the Internet, outside-of-work activities, etc.
If your workplace lacks ethical standards, your employer risks losing valuable employees and customers and possibly even more Federal laws impose heavier penalties on employers
Some of the primary forms of employee misconduct or
unethical behavior include the following:
◆ Misrepresenting time or hours worked;
◆ Lying to supervisors;
◆ Lying to co-workers, customers, vendors, or the public;
◆ Misuse of your employer’s assets; and
◆ Lying on reports or falsifying records.
As you can see, there is a widespread need for ethics in your workplace. A code of ethics can provide guidelines for your