Presence of sound values and ethics is a vital and on-going part of good governance structures and procedures in organizations and an integral part of good management practices and avoid the need for whistle- blowing.
Employers, who understand the significance of workplace ethics, provide their workforce with an effective framework and guiding principles to identify & address ethical issues as they arise. The following are a few guiding principles of managing ethics in the workplace:
Codes of conduct specify actions in the workplace and codes of ethics arc general guides to decisions about those actions. It specifies what is right and what is wrong. Code of conduct include – preferred style of dress, avoiding illegal drugs, adherence to superiors instructions, being reliable and prompt, prohibiting from accepting gifts etc. Codes become more effective when the top management actively supports and applies it.
Many of the ethical problems arising in a business are ambiguous and uncertain. Therefore there is necessary to create a work environment where an employee understands that it is acceptable, to have an ethical dilemma.
Management should explain the purpose and contents of ethical policy. Training may be required to sensitize employees to potential ethical issues. Necessary resources need to be provided to help employees resolve ethical dilemmas.
Ethical decisions can be made in groups and then made public as appropriate; It produces better quality decisions by including diverse interests and perspectives and increases the credibility of the decision process and outcome by reducing suspicion of unfair bias.
Ethics need to be integrated into management policies and practices; Ethical values preferred in the workplace should be included while developing the value statement during strategic planning. Similarly, ethical principles should be considered when developing personnel policies and then design policies to produce these behaviours.
A grievance policy should be created for employees to use to resolve disagreements with supervisors and staff.
Creating an atmosphere of trust is critical in encouraging employees to report unethical activities they come across, so, a suggestion bon may be installed so that employees may report suspected ethical violations activities in an anonymous basis.
Cross- functional teams should be used when developing and implementing the ethics management program so that employees feels a sense of participation and ownership in the program if they are to adhere to its ethical values.
The ombuds person establishes a point of contact where employees can go to ask questions in confidence about the work situations they confront and seek advice. In order to institutionalize the moral values in the workplace, the ombuds person facilitates the development of the policies and procedures.
Top executives and managers should endorse strict standards of conduct and also follow it themselves. They must create an impression on employees that unethical behaviour will not be tolerated.
Employees need to be informed that they must report any wrongdoing they encounter top executives must assure both by words and actions that no discrimination will take place against those who report ethical breaches.
Policies and procedures concerning ethics at the workplace should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, to produce behaviours preferred from the code of conduct, job descriptions, performance appraisal forms, management- by- objectives expectations, standard firms, checklist, budget report formats, and other relevant control instruments to ensure conformance to the code of conduct.