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Five ways to develop workplace ethics

Every company requires employees to maintain high ethical standards when on the job. These standards will reflect directly on how the company performs and how it is perceived by the outside world. Therefore, high ethical standards is not only demanded by high ranking individuals within the corporate hierarchy; it must permeate through the entire company.

Yet, sometimes ethics must be reinforced and developed, being perfected through practice. Here are a few ways in which it can be developed:

Intergal conduct

This aspect is the binding force which reflects the true moral character an individual has. Employees who have integrity as a driving force will typically be trusted by others, be it clients, coworkers or superiors.


This is a measure of how an employee responds to the tasks he is attributed within an organization. Every employee is responsible for their own performance and, at the same time, for that of their department and their company. Therefore, every employee must maintain focus on their tasks.

Quality of work

Sad but true, some employees do just the bare minimum necessary of what their job requires them to do. This may eventually result in a lack of attention to the quality of the work they perform. A level of commitment to excellence must exist, so that the work executed goes beyond what is the bare minimum required


This is a strong factor which is reflected by the quality of an employees work. A certain level of routine and self-control is necessary to perform above and beyond what is required.


In whichever job you may find yourself in, teamwork will often be required of you. Teamwork is where all of each employees work ethics and standards combine to create a positive result. Those with a higher sense of work ethics will thrive and also set an example to others.

Based on: Chron

The Different Ways People Handle Ethical Issues in the Workplace

According to a Gallup poll, only 21 percent of people characterized business executives as having “high” ethical standards—a little above lawyers (19 percent), but below bankers (28 percent) and journalists (28 percent). Whether that’s deserved or not, it’s nevertheless true that executives set the ethical tone at their companies. But employees have the power to improve it.

Employees encounter ethical dilemmas at work all the time. A manager is having an affair. A co-worker is spending company time contacting headhunters. A team member is using information acquired at a former job, despite having signed a noncompete agreement.

We all have an inner guide that knows the right thing to do. We just don’t always follow it. For some employees, the ability to act ethically is strong and feels very natural; others need practice sharpening their ethical sense and learning how to apply it better in real-life situations.

We tend to react to ethical situations in the workplace in a specific way, depending on our background, level of training, and personality. Here are the four ethical types I’ve found in my work:


The conformist

He is an employee who follows rules rather than questions authority figures. One might think this person could be counted on always to do the right thing. The conformist might look the other way, however, if a higher-up were acting unethically. After all, a manager is supposed to be obeyed. This person will run into work-related conflicts unless there are strict rules and well-defined consequences for not following them.


The negotiator

This is someone who tries to make up rules as he goes. When faced with a sketchy situation—say, a co-worker is drinking on her lunch hour—this person might wait to see if the behavior affects his job in any way, to see if the drinking gets any worse, or to see if anyone else notices. The negotiator will eventually encounter ethics-related trouble if he is required to exercise judgment without guidelines, because this person changes the rules according to what seems easiest at the time.


The navigator

He is someone who, when confronted with a situation in which people are behaving unethically, is able rely on an innate ethical sense to guide her actions, even if these decisions aren’t easy. This person has a sound moral compass, which provides the flexibility to make choices, even unpopular ones. The navigator’s ethical sense imbues her with qualities of leadership. Other people respect, and count on this person. The navigator will succeed in most organizations but will leave a company that is unethical.


The wiggler

He doesn’t give a lot of thought to what is right. Instead, this person takes the route that’s most advantageous to him. For example, he may lie to appease a supervisor. The wiggler is motivated by self-interest—getting on a manager’s good side or avoiding conflict. The wiggler will run into trouble when others sense that he dodges ethical issues to protect his own interests.

The good news is that your ethical type isn’t set in stone. There are tools you can use to become a more ethical employee and problem solver. With practice, you can make ethical decisions more easily, and more quickly see and follow the right path.



SOURCE: BusinessWeek