Doing the right thing often means doing the difficult thing. If it was a piece of cake, we would all be doing it. As our work became faster paced and our to-do lists became never-ending, did we forget about ethics in the workplace? Did those values we post around our walls just become blurry pieces of decoration?
As we move pass our most recent recession, we continue to see a lack of ethics training for both front-line staff and leadership. Many of these programs were cut from organizations’ budgets during the recession and have not made an appearance since. We need to invest our resources back into these programs if we want our employees to do the right things.
When we build a culture and programs around ethics, morals and values, there are many things to take into consideration. The most common mistake is that organizations focus only on the technical concepts like what’s illegal – sexual harassment training, anti-theft policies and information security protocols. Don’t forget about the soft skills required to ensure that those policies and protocols are actually going to happen across the board.
Helping people to do the right thing requires supporting them to speak up when something is wrong, conduct difficult conversations with others who may not be compliant and incorporate values into team cultures. Once there is a culture ofaccountability and ownership, employees will be living out the values of the organization.
Being right isn’t easy. It takes time, energy and genuine buy-in at all levels.
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