EMPLOYMENT ETHICS

INTRODUCTION

Ethics are very important for the survival and growth of a business. Some business failures in the past have been attributed to unethical practices and conduct of the business stakeholders.

When employees and employers alike understand what ethics are about, businesses can improve.


WHAT ETHICS ARE NOT

· Ethics are not the same as feelings.

· Ethics are not religion.

· Ethics are not following the law.

· Ethics are not following culturally accepted norms.

· Ethics are not science.


WHAT ARE ETHICS?

Ethics are principles, values and beliefs that define what is right and wrong behaviour. Being ethical simply means doing the right things all the time.

Ethics are about making choices that may not always feel good or seem like they benefit you but are the "right" choices to make.

They are the choices that are examples of "model citizens" and examples of the golden rules.


THE GOLDEN RULES

· Don't hurt

· Don't steal

· Don't lie

· Do unto others as you would have done to you.

These are not just catchy phrases; they are words of wisdom that any productive member of society should strive to live by.


IMPORTANCE OF ETHICS

· Create credibility

· Unite people and leadership

· Improve decision making

· Provide long term gains

· Satisfy basic human needs

· Secure the society


IMPACT OF ETHICS ON THE BUSINESS

Ethics drive phenomenal success. Good ethical conduct saves time. Ethics serve as a competitive advantage

Ethical organizations' performance and credibility in the marketplace are better than non-ethical organizations due to the sustainable business models that come from being ethical


SOME ETHICAL MISCONDUCT IN THE WORKPLACE

· Forgery of certificates

· Using organization's toll-free line, copier and office supplies for personal use

· Abusing confidential privileges

· Wasting company time

· Not being honest with customers, co-workers and managers

· Manipulation of data

· Stealing office supplies

· Abusing sick days

· Massaging quality control figures

· Using company time for personal service

· Drinking alcohol while on duty

· Use of company vehicle for personal business


REASONS FOR UNETHICAL PRACTICES

· Time pressure

· Financial pressure

· To please the boss

· To protect the company

· Everybody else is doing it

· To be a team player

· I have to, just to keep up

· No one will ever know


ETHICS: WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY?

· It is everyone's responsibility


ETHICAL CONDUCT IN BUSINESS

Ethics are very important for the survival and growth of a business. An increasing trend in business today is to prove to stakeholders it operates as a good corporate citizen.

When employees and employers alike understand what ethics are about, businesses can improve.

MAINTAINING ETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICE

Organisations must develop key policies and practices centering around business ethics and socially responsible management. They must devise a code of ethics and integrity which exemplifies principles of integrity.

These guidelines must be followed by all employees of the organization.


IMPORTANCE OF EMPLOYEE CODE OF ETHICS

· Guides employees as to how they should behave at the workplace

· Creates awareness as to what is expected of them in the office

· Helps in making the value system of employees strong

· Ensures uniformity among employees e.g. dress code


EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIPS

Both the employee and employer have responsibilities towards each other to make their relationship ethically sound.

When faced with the pressures of self-interest, both should guide their choices by applying the basic ethical principles such as

· honesty

· openness

· respect

· caring


EMPLOYER’S RESPONSIBILITIES

· Fair recruitment and selection process

· Favourable conditions of work

· Workplace safety

· Good rewards system

· Job security

· Training of employees

· Work-life balance

· Equal opportunity on the job without discrimination based on gender, tribe or age


EMPLOYEE’S RESPONSIBILITIES

· Honest · Dutiful · Obedient · Respectful · Diligent · Punctual · Loyal · Maintain Confidentiality · Law abiding EMPLOYMENT ETHICS FOR AN ORGANISATION

· Rules and regulations should be the same for everyone

· These should be flexible and not too rigid

· Company’s policies should be communicated clearly to each employee

· Respect the rights of employees and treat them as human beings and not as tools/machines

· Salaries should be paid on time in line with agreement

· Allow employees to go on annual vacation

· Communicate key responsibility areas to the employees on the very first day of their joining

· Give at least six months’ probation period to new employees to adjust in the new environment

· Assign roles and responsibilities based on an individual’s expertise and experience

· Ensure employees are well trained

· Provide code of ethics for employees to be properly guided


PRINCIPLES OF ETHICAL STANDARD FOR EMPLOYEES

· Employees are required to place loyalty to the company policies above private gain.

· Employees shall not hold financial interests that conflict with the conscientious performance of their duty.

· Employees shall not solicit or accept any gift or other item of monetary value from any person or entity whose interest may be substantially affected by the performance of their duties.

· Employees shall put forth honest effort in the performance of their duties.

· Employees shall make no unauthorized commitments or promises of any kind purporting to bind their employer.

· Employees shall not use their position for private gain.

· Employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any organization or individual.

· Employees shall protect and conserve their employer’s property and shall not use it for other than authorized activities.

· Employees shall not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment that conflict with their official duties and responsibilities.


EMPLOYEE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO AN ORGANISATION

· Be a role model

· Copy the right attitude,

· Be the odd person out of those involved in unethical practice

· Do what is right even when nobody is watching


CHECKLIST FOR ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

The following checklist can be used to decide if each situation is ethical

· Is it right? Is it fair? Is it legal?

· Is it a win-win situation?

· How will I feel about myself afterward?

· Can I tell my child to do the same thing?

· Would you do the same thing if someone you respected were watching?


QUESTIONS FOR EVERYDAY ETHICS

· Did I make the best use of today?

· Did I do my work well?

· Did I treat customers with dignity and respect?

· Was I fair and just?

· Did I make my company better by what I did?


CONCLUSION

Ethics like integrity promote the success of an organisation.

Character counts as the cost of doing the wrong thing is usually higher than the cost of doing the right thing. There is need to apply employment ethics to businesses whether small or large.

Both employers and employees should be ethically responsible in all their dealings at all times. This will help organisations avoid embarrassing scandals. It will also enable them retain and attract more customers.


REFERENCES

· Work Ethics and Professionalism – Lawrence Ajala

· Workplace Ethics - Management study guide

· Ethical Responsibilities in Employer-Employee Relationships - Michael Josephson

· Types of ethical practices employees adhere to - Alison Paige


For more information about our Business Advisory, Consulting and Training services, kindly contact:

Kehinde Olubi

Chief Executive Officer,

Amag Nigeria Limited

Website: www.amagnigeria.com

Email: amagng@gmail.com

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