Looking at ethics in the workplace it’s obvious that the tone has to be set from the top so the first question is, ‘does the board have a Code of ethics policy?’ I’ll post a sample Code of Ethics Policy separately.
The second question is, ‘has the board adopted a set of values for the organisation?’ Once again, I’ll send out examples of Value statements separately.
Embodied in the Code of ethics policy and the Values should be these 12 ethical principles:
1. Honesty – be honest in all communications and actions.
2. Integrity – maintain personal integrity
3. Promise-keeping – keep promises and fulfil commitments
4. Loyalty – Be loyal within the framework of other ethical principles
5. Fairness – Strive to be fair and just in all dealings
6. Caring – demonstrate compassion and a genuine concern for the well-being of others
7. Respect for Others – treat everyone with respect
8. Law Abiding – Obey the law
9. Commitment to Excellence – pursue excellence all the time in all things
10. Leadership – exemplify honour and ethics
11. Reputation and Morale – build and protect the organisations good reputation and the morale of its employees
12. Accountability – be accountable
In 2013 the Chartered Management Institute in the UK conducted a survey of ethics in the workplace. Here are some of the findings:
- 43% of line managers are deemed ineffective or highly ineffective
- Over two thirds of managers want to be ethical
- 35% of managers tell lies every day
- 30% of managers bend the rules for their own self-interest
- 80% of workers don’t think their manager sets a good example
- 43% of workers abandon their ethics when pressured
- 42% of managers do it to gain pay and promotion
- Only 17% of employees are aware of the organisation’s values