A set of individuals living together as a people have a unique set of rules to govern them e.g., a country has its own constitution. Every person, though, has their own principles that they abide by and that define them. The moral guidelines that workers in an organization operate under are termed as the workplace ethics. The ethical standards may vary from company to company and from post to post within a company.

For example, the workplace ethics that economists and marketers in the finance industry follow are dissimilar from the ethics that rule the nurses and doctors in the health industry. Therefore, someone’s workplace ethics depend on their purpose in the company.

In most companies, workplace ethics are the nation’s laws and industry regulations. In the United Arab Emirates, The Dubai Chamber of Commerce guides employers and their companies to become conscious and ethically responsible through the Centre for Responsible Business.

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Basic Workplace Ethics

All organizations share a number of common rules that govern them. These pack of regulations are either set by a country or are international policies to all business entities.

A company’s policies should be clear and precise. Employees should be communicated to on matters regarding how the company will be run and the rules should be well interpreted to them for their efficiency in their performance.

1) Equality as the Base Principle

The rules and regulations of an organization ought to be equal for all employees. Regardless of their designation, everyone should report to work on time. If a security guard is punished for his late attendance, so should the manager.

Each employee should be given their required space. Responsibilities should be issued out according to an individual’s expertise and level of experience. It wouldn’t be fair for a newbie to be piled up with sophisticated tasks without the basic training; for instance, enough room to impart the necessary skills should be given.

Respect is a two-way thing. In order for a worker to respect his boss, the same should be done to him/her. Medical or maternal leaves should be given if one is having either of the conditions and only when there is an emergency should they be called upon.

2) Social Media Ethics

The internet made connections and interaction easier and a large number of its users can access the social media with organizations not being exempted. Employees are allowed to access Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram while at work.

However, it is critical to instill guidelines. The abuse and excessive use of social media amongst employees can hugely affect not only the workers’ productivity but also the company as a whole. It is essential to educate employees on social media ethics.

Do unto others what you’ll want them to do unto you – this is the most basic teaching of all religions. To gain respect from others, you ought to be respectful of yourself.

Taking irresponsible actions through social media opens up the possibility of vengeance which might just result in a much deeper mess. This information could be shared by those in the same company as well as their competitors and other companies. Employee retention at this stage will be next to impossible once individual’s profiles are ruined.

Employees should refrain from exposing the company through social media rants. If there is a problem the first step should always be to consult with the management to try and solve the issues. Exposing the company’s shortcomings on social media could be bad for business as it ruins the company’s reputation and they might lose many customers and clients.

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Shun the falsehood and embrace honesty. The workers responsible for handling social media docket in an organization should avoid misleading claims, making false accusations and malicious posts against their fellow companies and competitors.

Using social media to humiliate others is also uncalled for. There is no benefit in embarrassing fellow employees for their poor performance at work or throwing shade to a departed employee. Internal affairs should be handled within the company.

Being politically neutral and culturally sensitive also pays in the long run. In the world today, people are assertive when picking out the wrongs in society; those are issues that affect businesses. It is advisable for companies to avoid comments, posts or jokes that can be sickening to people with different political inclinations, cultures, religions, and heritage. This should be taken into account especially if a company does social media advertisement with the aim of reaching foreign market to avoid costly mistakes.

3) Workplace Ethics Requiring More Than an Email Blast

A lot can be lost by an organization when they participate in unethical behavior and an email will barely solve the issue at hand. Well, it’s normal for an employee’s email inbox to be overloaded. If a particular issue is not relevant to an employee, it will definitely be ignored. If there is an aim to change the attitude and behavior of an individual, it requires a campaign; and instead of those old and boring emails that probably won’t be read, engaging them should be a better option.

Companies should consider upping their strategy and being more visual while engaging workers to ethical issues. Use of desktop screensavers, a user-generated newspaper, a wallpaper with critical information or pop up alerts might be more effective and make a greater impact. Moreover, replacing posters and sending multiple emails is time-consuming unlike changing digital signage which is much simpler.

The best way to go is to make moves like prioritizing a topic, plan a campaign for it then measure the impact and improve and evolve.

LAST REMARKS

As much as there is much to be learned by employees regarding workplace ethics, a company must consider the best ways to use in order to be effective in doing so. Those tasked with overseeing ethics in the firm at whatever stage should not compromise at whatever cost! Once there is a breach in management, you can only expect employees to follow suit in the crooked ways.

Written By
Karen Oliver is the Managing Director of LHH|Gulf and has extensive experience in executive coaching, leadership and talent development, and change management. An Executive Coach with 25 years experience working with senior managers and leadership teams in international and local organisations in the UK, Asia Pacific and for 16 years in the Middle East.
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