Having a strong ethical culture is very important to your company. It influences the perception customers, employees, and stakeholders have about the company while also ensuring effective compliance risk management.
Developing an ethical workplace policy may take time, but it takes even more effort to sustain and make it part of the company’s moral fabric. Therefore, your organization needs to be explicit with its intentions and expectations.
Recognize that ethical workplaces start at the top
If the top management leads by example, other employees are likely to follow suit. The actions and behaviors exhibited by your organization’s leaders will set the tone with the rest of the employees. If they uphold ethical practices, it will have a trickle-down effect.
Reward ethical behavior
While reward schemes are primarily based on performance, it is equally important to recognize ethical practices by employees. Including ethical behavior in your promotion criteria may go a long way in entrenching an ethical culture in your organization. That way, employees will be encouraged to do the right thing even when no one is watching.
Make ethical work an ongoing process
Maintaining an ethical workplace culture is not a one-off event, and you may need to have periodic training sessions to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Protect your employees from retaliation
Your organization should foster a ‘see something, say something’ environment where any employee can report unethical behavior without fearing negative consequences. Having in place a well-defined process will ensure issues that would have otherwise been unknown to you are brought to light.
In the end, the benefits of ethical culture at your organization far outweigh the hassles. As a business, laying the groundwork for an ethical culture today can save you from serious regulatory compliance issues in the future.