Ethical Issues in the Workplace and How to Address Them


Ethics in the workplace starts with the law, and with a firm compliance to all relevant business regulations and legal frameworks – but it doesn’t stop there. Sound workplace ethics are based on a fundamental understanding of what is right and wrong, and a commitment to making the right decisions in the workplace arena.  Ethics are all about a system of morals, and workplace ethics is about how to apply morality at your job.  As a business owner or manager, there are few things more important to a functional workplace than a sound understanding of ethical issues.
Without a proper focus on workplace ethics, any office can quickly become bogged down with ethical issues, which tear teams apart and set businesses up for failure.  But, through an effective workplace ethics training program, you can address morality as it relates to employment law and practices – protecting your workplace’s future moral standing.  Here are just a few examples of ethical issues in the workplace that a proper training program can help your business tackle.

Ethical Issues in the Workplace

Potentially uncomfortable subjects like workplace harassment need to be covered, and a strict prohibition on any behavior that makes others feel unsafe needs to be stressed.  Larger systemic issues like workplace discrimination need to be acknowledged and tackled head on, and a firm line in the sand needs to be drawn to emphasize that such unsavory behavior will not be tolerated.  All of these larger workplace regulatory issues are crucial to address. However, a good ethics training program needs to reach beyond just the letter of a law.
In the 21st century workplace, there are more ethical pitfalls in the workplace than ever before.  For starters, the presence of powerful technologies in the workplace makes a firm understanding of technological etiquette crucially important.  Employees need to know what is appropriate when using the internet and email services in the workplace. They also need to be instructed on how to avoid potentially dangerous malware and other technological issues.  Beyond just awareness, ethical training needs to focus on how something as seemingly small and harmless as a misuse of the Internet can effect a company, and doing the right thing means doing the right thing all the time – even as the temptations of technology can overwhelm employees’ better judgements.
Beyond just focusing on proper workplace email and internet ethics, ethical workplace training in the 21st century needs to focus on how these technologies make it easier than ever to compromise the security of important confidential business information.  Employees need to be instructed on the importance of keeping confidential business information secure. They also need to be informed that doing the right thing means being highly aware of the security of workplace information systems.  There are hundreds of ways that important, confidential business information can be compromised if employees aren’t careful.

How Can Workplace Ethics Training Help?

For starters, workplace ethics training helps employees clearly understand what is right and wrong in the workplace.  Issues like internet and email usage may feel vague to some employees. But, after a workplace ethics training, there should be no question about what the right thing to do is.
Additionally, workplace ethics training stresses the consequences of making the wrong decisions at work.  Those consequences can be big picture, like damaging the company you work for if confidential information is leaked. They can be smaller and more individual, involving disciplinary action.
Workplace ethics training helps provide a safe and healthy work environment, protect information technology resources, avoid conflicts of interest, form appropriate relationships with others, effectively and ethically connect with customers, and play fairly with competitors. It is driving awareness to ethical business practices to ensure your employees are aware of best practices and representing your organization in an ethical manner.
Through the various training programs offered by Global Learning Systems, companies can effectively invest in the human capital of their workforce in an effective manner that better prepares workers for the evolving workplace challenges of the 21st century.

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