The world is filled with decisions to be made both in business and from a personal standpoint. All too often however, these worlds cross and an unethical decision could cause a scar on the company that could last indefinitely. In order to teach ethical behavior to the employees of a company one must first demonstrate the behavior themselves. Develop a culture of honesty, trust, and accountability that others will follow and in turn use in their own daily lives. A good standard Code of Ethics within any company will also place in writing the expectations a company has of its employees in the treatment of others, customers and co-workers alike. It is important to recruit, hire, and train management staff that will strictly abide by a Code of Ethics, employees are likely to follow their director and display the behavior shown to them in a presumed means of keeping their jobs intact. Good working strategies on teaching ethical behavior within the company are: Ethics Training
Choose a training system that will work well within the company. There are many available options for employee training on ethical decision making, such as; online courses, purchasable written material, and group session scenario guidelines. Try and avoid material that is outdated-these options tend to not grasp the attention of your employees, especially those of a younger generation. More time will be spent mocking the ‘out-dated’ attire then learning from the presentation. Be sure to include the Human Resources department to assist with training and selection of material, their roll should included much of the training involved in order to present materials from a legal and employee centered focus. Try to incorporate active learning-this will ignite the information in the minds of the employees when similar situations arrive. The training environment should be welcoming so that all learners feel safe to participate. (NCPHP, 2012) Once the training has been completed hand out an ethical decision making model that can be attached to a name badge so that the model is readily available for needed situations. A good example could be: (McMillan, 2013)
Conduct periodic training sessions.
Review techniques for making ethical decisions. To change behaviors, a one-time seminar will probably not be effective. Regular meetings or reviews are necessary to create a real shift in practice. (Sable, 2013) Provide frequent reminders of the expected behavior through posters, stickers, or other tangible articles to maintain a constant outlook on ethics.
Performance Reviews to Include Ethical Behavior
Including Ethical Decision Making in the performance review will be a constant reminder to everyone that their behavior is being monitored and will be graded during their review. Reward responsible behaviors to encourage continuance from the employee and motivate other employees to follow suit. (Sable, 2013) However, you may need to address issues or concerns between reviews: Deal with ethical offenses swiftly to strengthen company values (Sable, 2013) as well as show other employees that a breach of ethics at any level of employment is not acceptable. Don’t let code breaches go unnoticed (Sable, 2013), moreover don’t let actions that validate the Code go unseen. Promote a positive environment for the changes. Don’t ignore reports of unethical behaviors, especially if they are illegal (Sable, 2013). Doing so could cause much larger issues and an outbreak of poor behavior among other staff.
Code of Ethics
A Code of Ethics is a written set of guiding principles that are established for all employees from the highest of levels of placement to the end of the line. The Code of Ethics shows not only the employees of the company the level of accountability expected, but also the consumers interested in the product being provided. An effective Code of Ethics establishes the ethical expectations for employees and management alike, and sets forth the mechanisms for enforcement and consequences of noncompliance. (Compliance Action, 2002) Standing by the Code of Ethics during questionable issues can protect a company from further legal issues and demonstrate to others that having value in your decisions is a priceless component in business.
A good Code of Ethics can hold much value both internally and externally in a company. For example, the decision making model provided within the Code of Ethics can help an employee make an ethical decision when one may not be easily seen otherwise. The Code will assist in assimilating new employees into the culture of the company, and reestablishing the expectations of those that are vested in the company. A Code of Ethics will assist in building the public view of a company-especially when a situation has arisen that requires a public display of an ethical decision. Having the guidelines of the Code will assist in the elimination of inconsistent management behaviors and processes, and set forth the system of actions that all employees can learn to abide by.
Code of Ethics Analysis
The Code of Ethics and Business Conduct analyzed for comparative ideas was that of Asbury’s Family of Services and Communities. The Asbury Group provides services to seniors in the realm of non-profit retirement communities, home based services and benevolent care of seniors during a loss of resources due to unethical behavior of others. The Code of Ethics carefully considers not only the consumers of the services but also the associates of each area. The posted Core Values display a dedicated sense of conducting business as you can see here: (Asbury Code of Ethics, 2013)
The components of the Asbury Code of Ethics that seem to be a fit in developing a code for the company for which we are employed are: The Statement of Purpose
What is the purpose of the company and why is that purpose valuable to the community? Provide a logical description of the value that is available through the product the company provides.
Code Characteristic Expectations
Caring-expression of concern for others through kindness. Listening to one another, being aware of those around us, responding with kindness in stressful situations, getting to know those you work with and serve, and assisting others in their personal growth. Civility-recognizing that positive action builds trust. Accepting of ideas and promoting common interests, providing and adhering to the chain of command when addressing issues, resolving issues quickly and effectively, avoiding gossip and grudges both internally and externally. Fairness-providing an environment equal for all involved individuals.
Investigating issues prior to making decisions, promoting open communication, demonstrating respectful treatment of everyone, open discussion of mistakes and plans to improve upon the situation. Integrity-believing the reputation of the company is based on honesty and adhering to commitments. Responsibility-being accountable for all actions. Doing what is right, no matter the consequence, addressing issues as they arise, acknowledging the mishaps and improving on the circumstance, commit to learning new ways of operating. Respect-treat everyone with dignity and consideration. Offer recognition, accept compliments both negative and positive with grace, provide feedback privately, and value all perspectives. Summary of the: (Asbury Code of Ethics, 2013)
The Code of Ethics for the company should include:
Product Quality Guarantee that houses the warranty provided on all products. A guarantee of our promise to provide optimal products.
A Grievance Policy for issues to be addressed effectively.
A system of retribution when we have failed to maintain our quality in customer service and product. The Guarantee on Adherence to Safety Guidelines put forth by the Federal Government. Proof of our guidelines and our promise to uphold these guidelines through the world, not just on our homeland. The Financial Practices to ensure integrity in business function. Our promise to uphold integrity in our business practices no matter the situation. A Protection of Assets to ensure longevity of the company financially. Our guarantee to consumers and employees to maintain a high level of protection and regular audit to ensure we are here for years to come providing optimal services and products. The Commitment to the Employees to show for appreciation.
Proving through accreditation our stance on employee satisfaction in the company they work with. Communication Guidelines to ensure an individual’s security recommendations, and grievances. This should also include a disclosure on the ‘Non Retaliation Policy’. A guarantee to be fair in all practices and not resort to unethical behavior in any situation. Hotline for confidential reporting of issues when the chain of command cannot be utilized. Anonymous source of help to show our open door policy on all issues. Ideas generated from the: (Asbury Code of Ethics, 2013)
With a strong base of ethics infiltrated throughout the company, all involved individuals will overtime conduct their daily actions according to a strong ethical frame of mind. This sort of change in society will promote good business and an overall responsibility to mankind’s success.
Asbury Code of Ethics and Business Conduct, 2013, Retrieved on December 28, 2013 from:
Compliance Action, 2002, Ethics: Why Have Codes of Ethics? Retrieved on December 28, 2013
McMillan, Charlie, (2013) Code of Conduct, Retrieved on December 28, 2013 from:
Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (2012) Effective Adult Learning
A Toolkit for Teaching Adults, Retrieved on December 28, 2013 from:
Sable, Jennifer, (2013) How to Teach Ethical Decision Making Skills to Employees,
Retrieved December 28, 2013 from: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/teach-ethical-