Business Ethics

Ethics at individual level

Ethical Behavior at the Workplace

Being ethical in workplace include being honest with what you say at work, avoiding doing personal business or transactions at work and avoiding the misuse of office supplies. Often when a new employee joins, they are handed a code of conduct or ethical standards of the company which are the rules and guidelines that are to be followed at all times. There are a lot of issues that may prevent business people from being completely ethical and fair. Ethics is often dynamic and at times, it may be difficult to decide what is and is not ethical at a particular moment. Business ethics often depends on human qualities and it is possible the ethics is twisted at times when the business person is overwhelmed. This is termed as an ethical lapse. It may seem that the ethics at individual level only include the individual. But there may be external pressures from other parties involved including co-workers, higher authorities etc. to be unethical. A worker should have some general attributes to be ethical at workplace. They are as follows.

a)      Dedication

Dedication is a very essential quality of an ethical worker. Most companies seek people who are honest and dedicated to their job. When a person becomes an employee of a company, he is agreeing to offer his best to make the company flourish.

b)      Integrity

Integrity is also an important quality. An employee is expected to display a honest behavior at all times. Integrity can mean being honest in the reports or while reporting cash transactions.

c)      Accountability

Accountability means being responsible at work. It also means taking responsibility and taking initiative at solving the problem at hand.

d)      Collaboration

Collaboration and teamwork are highly values by most of the employers. It is important for employees to be team workers as employers believe that if morale is high and everyone works together as a team, success follows.

e)      Conduct

Conduct at work is an extremely important factor. Employees are expected to treat others with respect, and behave appropriately. Following the dress code, using proper language and being professional is expected at job.

Values that influence ethical behavior

According to Martin Seligman, ethical behavior is influenced by some core values. These are:

a)      Wisdom and Knowledge

It is a great quality to have talent to gather information and gain required knowledge from it. Wisdom is interpreting the available information based on experience and making wise decisions. Being knowledgeable is having the ability to know what to do and the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

b)      Self-Control

Self-control at work is one’s ability to not give into unethical temptations. To follow the ethical path requires having good value of ethics. An ethical person will be able to say no to the unethical paths that can give them individual gain.

c)      Justice and Fair Treatment

It is important to treat everyone in a fair manner. Justice is when one gets a fair return from their energy and effort. It is a common occurrence where people give special treatment to the ones they like while treating others in an unfair manner.

d)      Courage and Integrity

It is important to have the courage to act ethically in ethically challenging situations and to maintain self-integrity.  This will help you to decide from right and wrong and act right without considering personal consequences even in the toughest of situations.