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Ian Ferguson: Ethical Workplaces Key To Corporate Success

A company’s reputation is often determined by the extent to which its employees demonstrate good workplace ethics. Ethics guide how people conduct themselves in every aspect of their lives, including on the job. It is the search for the greatest understanding of what is right and good. Many human resource professionals, as well as hiring managers, understand the importance of selecting people with integrity. Honest, hardworking employees increase overall morale, improve a company’s reputation and help ensure its long-term success.

Given the issue’s importance, we explore here some general ideals for sound ethical practices in the workplace.

Employees should be given, from the very start of their engagement, the policies and procedures that govern their ethical behaviour. The company’s orientation and ongoing training should outline for employees what behaviours will not be tolerated. Behaviour guidelines typically address topics such as harassment, work attire and language. Workers who do not follow codes of conduct may receive written and verbal warnings and, ultimately, be fired.

A key component of workplace ethics and behaviour is integrity, or being honest and doing the right thing at all times. This goes beyond the proper management of money and company resources, and also incorporates how professional we are with customers, other team members and time.

Employees far too often demonstrate a lack of integrity by not remaining on the job and giving less than an honest day’s work for the remuneration they receive. Workers with integrity also avoid gossip and sneakiness while on the job. They also take responsibility for their actions, which means showing up on scheduled work days as well as arriving on time.

Ethical and behavioural guidelines in the workplace often place a high amount of importance on dedication. Although possessing the necessary skills is essential, a strong work ethic and positive attitude towards the job can carry you a long way. Plus dedication is often viewed in the business world as “contagious”, meaning employees who give a strong effort can often inspire their co-workers to do the same.

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organsations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at iferguson@bahamas.com.

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