Keeping your workplace ethical is not as simple as an on or off switch. It’s an organic process that needs nurturing over time in order to flourish.
Once you’ve put all the right steps in place to get your workforce on the straight and narrow, you need to make sure that it stays that way in the long term.
Get your priorities straight
Setting the best example of ethical conduct is integral to showing your staff that you mean business, figuratively and literally. This needs to start at the top. As a CEO, or leader within the organisation take moments of introspection and ask yourself whether you feel that other staff members would refer to you as having an ethical outlook. If the answer is ‘no’ then more work has to be done to turn that answer around. Always make sure that your employees know that maintaining ethical standards is an absolute priority to you and the business.
Don’t shoot the messenger
Trust goes both ways. Make sure that your employees have access to an anonymous method of reporting unethical behaviour. Are your employees ignoring unethical behaviour purely as they don’t know where to report it? Are they feeling concerned that they might be outed as a ‘dobber’? Make it clear that they will never be punished for doing the right thing. We’ve partnered with YourCall to provide online whistleblowing services to organisations across Australia. They offer a great checklist for developing a whistleblowing practice over on their website.
We also created the Whistleblowing training course designed specifically for public servants across Australia.
Top up your ethics training
Whilst every member of staff should be given a code of conduct during their induction, you need to make sure that adequate training is given at regular intervals. Your learning management system can track evidence of compliance and monitor individual success and failures, but if you’re doing it old school, make sure you have the right record-keeping systems in place. When it comes to training, one size does not fit all, so try to develop role-specific courses that can assist your team in making ethical decisions in the workplace. Refresher training is a great way to remind your workers about compliance topics – like workplace ethics, and it’s designed to be delivered quarterly, or biannually, but it’s really up to you how often you want to ensure the skills and training is relevant and beneficial to your team. We provide refresher training via our microlearning suites – this ensures that short bursts of information are delivered to workers in a relevant and modern way, such as video, and most importantly – on their mobile so that they can access it whenever, wherever.
As time goes by
Workplace ethics need to be ingrained into your company culture. Whether you’re a start-up, a medium sized business, or a large conglomerate, make sure you continue to reassess your workplace ethics as times goes by. We only have to look at what was acceptable in the workplace some 30 years ago to see that things have changed dramatically. Keep up-to-date with the latest best practice in your industry and continue a trend of self-reflection, trust and integrity.