Saturday, December 18, 2010

Operating within the Code of Ethics

How I see Workplace Ethics should be conducted
A Code of Ethics is a statement and guideline of the company's principles and values and assists management, staff and participants in understanding the difference between the issue of right and wrong. The effectiveness of the code of ethics in the workplace depends on whether management or the business owner supports and follows specific behavior standards. Effective leaders should set the tone for how things are done. All staff should be accountable and responsible for what they do and how they behave in the workplace. How we personally deal with ethics in our everyday life determines who we are as a person.

All staff should have access to opportunities that will encourage growth and understanding
Everyone in the workplace must be treated openly and honestly with respect, equality, justice and not discriminated against. All workers are entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religious expression as long as it does not hurt or interfere with the rights of others. When creating an inclusive fair working environment you must make sure communication is open, clear and friendly. Respect for each other is important when people work together to complete a task. People generally apply themselves differently on their own so they need to develop a working relationship that is positive and friendly to help them work together.
Working in a positive environment helps develop values, attitudes and behaviors that influence reputation and business outcomes and give the workplace a competitive edge.
All staff should be offered written instructions about the organizations code of conduct that is informative and easy to follow. It is best to ensure everyone working in the organization reads the information before they start their employment. This should be checked to ensure that everyone understands the work place ethics and standards.

Decisions and actions should be based on the best interests of the workplace and not based on personal relationships or benefits, or any activity that might lead to a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest is a misconduct issue. Where a conflict exists it should be dealt with in a transparent and accountable way and all relevant information should be considered.
A conflict of interest policy should be available that details reporting procedures that give staff the opportunity to have their say when they feel they have been undermined or treated unfairly or are a victim of the conflict of interest. Management should appoint a key person to interview staff and to collect information about any major issue that happens in the workplace. It is best to verify all information before it is shared with anyone else and if management is involved then an offsite advocate should be invited. In many organizations especially larger ones often a person is employed who has already been trained in matters of ethics in the workplace, particularly about resolving ethical problems.

Work place bullying should not be tolerated and any reports of this happening should be investigated fully. Identifying and defining workplace bullying is not always easy as the bully will often disguise the behavior in public and will victimize the person in private. Workplace bullying can occur when an individual uses verbal intimidation, and lies that often has a gradual wearing down process on the victim. The worse bullying is when its management and the victim is forced to resign from a well paying job that they enjoy because they are backed into a corner of fear and intimidation and feel they have nowhere to turn. This abuse of power and position can cause such anxiety that people gradually lose all confidence in themselves and can end up suffering physical ill health and mental distress as a result.

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