Posted on April 1, 2016
Ethical Situations in Business
Ethical Situations in Business
Business ethics is a set of principles or values that regulate the actions and conduct of employees in an organization (Marcoux, 2008). These principles apply to all aspects of a business and determine the interaction of profit-making and non-profit issues. This paper contains an ethics program that Company X will include in the new workers handbook.
Elements of acceptable behavior in code of ethics
The new employees should practice respect and communication, honesty, time management and adhere to the set dress code (Duggan, 2016). These practices will ensure that the company achieves its goals and mission.
Respect and Communication
A good communication structure exists where employees respect each other as well as the organization’s clients. Hence, workers should handle customers with respect and appreciate opinions from fellow employees. The organization will encourage employees to discuss ideas among themselves and follow proper channels when passing information. Importantly, good communication helps in solving problems amicably and thus, improving productivity.
All employees including subordinate staff should be honest. The management should also practice openness and lead by example. Ideally, workers tend to trust managers who discuss business issues openly. Productivity will be evident in the business organization when there are higher levels of satisfaction, no conflicts, and disruptions.
Employees should adhere to the organization’s dress code at all times. The set mode of dressing ensures personal safety and promotes personal-discipline. Breaching the dress code may portray the company as unprofessional or disrupt the other employees leading to a reduction in productivity.
Workers should be on the workstation at the set time, so as to achieve the daily targets. Lateness and absenteeism lower production, which affects the entire organization. Additionally, proper time management will ensure tight deadlines are met, leading to client satisfaction.
Frequency of training
Within their first week of employment, new workers will receive comprehensive training on the organization’s ethics program. Also, further training will be held quarterly and during the organization’s annual general meeting. In case there is an update or review of the business ethics, a meeting will be organized to inform the workers of the changes.
The ethics officer together with the general manager will facilitate all training programs. Ethics experts from other organizations can also facilitate the training. Individual employees who show a striking code of conduct can also address the seminars.
Training program content
The content will be specific to the organization and in line with the set goals. First, there should be training for workplace safety to prevent injuries and accidents. Second, workers will be taught on the proper channels of communication. This training ensures information reaches the right parties with the right level of confidentiality. Proper utilization of the organization’s resources and employee’s rights will also be part of the training.
1. Monitoring employee misconduct
General workstation misconduct includes theft, fraudulent, sexual harassment, answering personal calls and checking personal emails during working hours (Lohrey, 2015). The organization will adopt call and computer monitoring systems to ensure workers are adhering to the outlined standards and aren’t carrying out personal activities. The call tracking system will help the organization to listen and record conversations of the employees for quality control purposes. On the other hand, the computer monitoring system will allow the management to detect new software and media in the machine. Most importantly, the company will implement surveillance cameras to monitor employee activities; this will prevent internal theft. There should also be a register book where employees sign at the time of arrival and when leaving the workstation.
Security department will have the role of monitoring employee’s misconduct. The organization can also create a discipline board that will review and proposal the right punishment in case an employee breaches the code of ethics. Analyzing the surveillance cameras footage, phone conversations, register book and computer monitoring systems will reveal misconduct (Lohrey, 2015). However, the auditing process should be open to avoid punishing innocent employees. Thus, an employee should have a chance to offer an explanation before the discipline department decides to take actions.
2. Reporting employee misconduct
Letters, phone calls, and emails will be used to report employee misconduct. However, these channels are mainly for customers or employees who wish to report violations. Also, these parties can report misconduct in person to the discipline department. The security staff will primarily share footage from surveillance cameras and other security systems as evidence when reporting employee misconduct.
Employees are can anonymously report fellow worker who violates the organization’s policy. By allowing anonymous reporting, the workers will feel safe when reporting misconduct. Employees who want the company to reveal their identity are also free to inform on fellow workers. Even if an employee is reporting anonymously, they should provide their personal contact information. The organization will also offer an incentive to any employee who reports gross misconduct such as theft or sexual harassment.
Auditing the ethics program
Tools for measuring effectiveness
Productivity is the first tool for measuring the efficiency of the ethics program. Ideally, if all employees adhere to the set values, the organization will realize an increase in productivity (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, L., 2010). Second, the number of misconduct cases, few instances shows effectiveness while many cases reveal ineffectiveness. Also, the kind of employee misconduct can show effectiveness. For example, if there no more cases of internal theft but there are a few cases of answering personal calls the ethics program is effective. Third, meeting of deadlines, if employees meet daily targets, then the ethics program is effective. It means that employees are practicing proper time management. Finally, the number of customers, an increase in the number of clients shows effectiveness.
Frequency of reviewing ethics program
The ethics program will be examined after every six months. However, there can be a review in between in case of employees’ revolt or changes in the government policies. Nevertheless, workers strike may not initiate a review process if their demands will negatively affect the organization’s productivity. In case the company switches or adds a new production line, there will be an audit of the ethics program.
The review process will involve different stakeholders and employees representatives. Also, it can include ethics experts from other organizations. Installing additional surveillance cameras, adopting digital employee register, and appointing new discipline and security staff are the ways implementing improvements. Changes in ethics program will be communicated through the organization’s notices, emails, and on the organization’s website. Also, there will be seminars to train and enlighten the employees on the changes.
This paper contains the ethics program that company X will distribute to the new workers handbook. Dressing according to the organization’s values, time management, respect, and honesty are the main elements of the ethics program that will govern the new employees. Training of new workers will take place within the first week of employment and during the organization’s annual general meeting. The ethics officer and general manager will conduct these training. The content of the coaching will include workplace safety, channels of communication and proper use of the company’s resources. Security officers and fellow employees can report misconduct. Conclusively, the ethics program will be reviewed after every six months and changes will be communicated to the employees.
Duggan, T. (2016). Work ethics, attitude & productivity. Small Business Chron. Retrieved March 23, 2016 from <https://smallbusiness.chron.com/work-ethics-attitude-productivity-10950.html>
Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2010). Business Ethics: Ethical decision making and cases (8th ed.). United States: South-Western Educational Publishing.
Lohrey, J. (2015, September 24). How to monitor, audit and report misconduct at work. eHow. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from eHow, <https://www.ehow.com/how_6081269_monitor_-audit-report-misconduct-work.html>
Marcoux, A. (2008). Business ethics. plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from <https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-business/>