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Ethical behaviour is characterized by honesty, fairness and equity in interpersonal, professional and academic relationships. Ethical behaviour respects the diversity, dignity and rights of individuals and different groups of people.
It can be defined as the standards you hold for yourself like the attributes of honesty, responsibility, and how you treat others in all facets of your life. The same standards are applicable to whatever position you hold in your job, in your community, and even behind your own doors where only you know what you do. Ethical behaviour is applying all these standards of dignity and values of virtue even when it is inconvenient to do so.
Companies sometimes use a pledge to ensure employees act ethically when dealing with different business situations. Employees confirm these pledges with their signature stating that they agree and follow the ethical principles of the company. Companies may also use these pledges to reinforce the importance of business ethics and why employees must sign the pledge and follow these principles. Ethics pledges also grant employees the freedom to report unethical business practices by managers or other employees. Most companies use an anonymous reporting method to ensure employees aren't castigated or punished for turning in people who engage in unethical behaviour.
In business as well, ethics and ethical behaviour play an important part. Companies use ethical behaviour models to make sure managers and employees follow the proper rules of the company and the business environment while working. Many organizations even develop proper guidelines to educate and train employees on proper ethical behaviour in the workplace. Ethical guidelines can help relieve the pressure a company faces from its competitors, the economic market, and, of course the customers when conducting business.
Leadership is the primary way in which companies foster proper ethical behavior. Leaders and executive managers have a responsibility to set the tone for ethical behavior by conducting business in a moral and ethical manner. Workers may be unwilling to accept the company's ethical guidelines, if a leader himself fails to display a proper ethical behavior within the company.
Leaders who act ethically ensure that problems and issues in the company are identified quickly and handled appropriately by managers and employees. As customers are more willing to embrace an ethical company, maintaining proper leadership ethics also maintain an organization's long-term viability and business environment.
"Leaders must model ethical behaviours to create an ethical culture that helps to develop ethical behavior in employees and increase employee job satisfaction. Barnett and Vaicys (2000) reported that perceptions moderate ethical judgments and behavioral intentions and Barnett and Schubert (2002) pointed out that it is important that employees perceive an ethical work climate since it affects ethical judgments and behavioral intentions. It is therefore important that employees perceive leaders as fair, encouraging, considerate, and supportive. This perception is enhanced or decreased by leader communication to employees. Employee perceptions of ethical behavior in leaders must be interpreted along with their interpretations of leadership communication of ethical attitudes to avoid negative consequences such of employee dissatisfaction (Zhu, May, & Avolio, 2004)."
The perceptions of ethical leadership in an organization are important for employee job satisfaction and these perceptions may be influenced by leader's ethical behavior. In fact, employee perceptions of communication and leadership behavior may differ from leader perceptions of these factors. Thus, it is very important to understand managers and employees view each other's behavior and communication within a business.
Ethical behavior is something what all career people should aim to have. And, in this regard, not just the ethical attributes but exceptional behavior too. This is because to build a career, one must be governed by rules of ethics to safeguard oneself and others as well. Ethics purely point on personal conduct of behavior. It includes personal choices that can either make you or break you in the work place or business. Having a good conduct is important to maintain a high level of respect not just for your profession but for the people around you as well. However, in everyone's profession there are certain limits that have been set and different rules and regulations to govern one in the job. In simple words, as a professional, one need to know the things one should do and one should not. Different organizations have different ethical code of behavior. Different professions have ethics codes that are not to be violated as it is a philosophy which seeks to uphold various fundamental issues that mainly address morality and so on. There are many things that one can gain by having good ethical behavior in the workplace.
Ethics are taught to us at a very young age. Practicing ethical behavior is important to everyone in the workplace, because it promotes teamwork among co-workers, can take a business to new heights, and build confidence and trust in each other. One of the first things we learn probably in the kindergarten is to be honest. Behaviors such as, cheating or lying, were and are always considered wrong and could land one a bad situation. Practicing honesty, holding on to what you say and remaining loyal to your beliefs, can build a sound and respectable reputation in the workplace.
One should treat others with equal respect regardless of sex, colour, creed, age, or other differences. Being respectful towards co-workers, supervisors, and customers promotes an environment of tolerance and openness that is the perfect base for establishing customer and employee satisfaction and loyalty as well.
But without responsibility where would honesty, loyalty and ethical behavior take you? Responsibility is performing at your highest level and taking your duties seriously. If a task seems difficult, one shouldn't give up rather one should try to find the answer, solution or help you need to complete the work as ultimately you are the person who is responsible for the quality of work you do so take and accept responsibility for your decisions. Working as part of team in the workplace can be sometimes challenging because you have to be open-minded and listen to everyone's opinion. But it is a great way to build a reputation of balanced equity in the workplace by being fair and reasonable to the positions and views of others. These ethical behaviors would mean nothing if the caring attitude is not developed to match them. Infusing your co-workers and customer interactions with compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness are some essential tools for creating mutually respectable relationships that will prosper in future.
Ethical behavior in the workplace isn't a myth; the capacity to practice honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness, and compassion has existed in each of us since we were taught these values in kindergarten. If you haven't already, tap into those memories to be on your way to becoming the best person you can be in your career.
Practicing ethical behavior in one's career can do so much good. Firstly, it can take business to tremendous heights. This is because actually doing what you are supposed to do will develop a discipline which will propel the practices of your work to higher level and set higher standards. Plus, it has also been seen to promote teamwork among workers. This is because there is great respect practiced in any of the fundamental issues occurring in the work place. It also builds up confidence which in turn builds up confidence among co- workers and in your career too. Trust in one's career is an inevitable and an invaluable trait that is able to pave way to great success and progress.
Secondly, simple ethical behaviors such as being honest and telling the truth are becoming rarer in jobs and careers. So, just doing these simple things can make your career achieve phenomenon heights. Practicing these rare attitudes and virtues can not only develop your career but your personal life as well as one stand unique and admired practicing these behaviors. It is just doing simple things that will make you an ethical person besides you develop your career.
Ethical decisions of management are something that can either make or break a business. Because of these decisions, people have good working environments to work with having a personal satisfaction that they are ethical. Being ethical in management means that a business will have a great atmosphere to work in, efficient employees and of course, satisfied clientele. On the other hand, when a business or anyone associated with the business makes an unethical decision, it not only effects themselves but to a much extent business as well, all those who are connected with the business such as investors, clientele. So one wrong decision can affect each and everyone connected to the business directly or indirectly.
So, in the nutshell, it can be said that practicing ethical behavior does pay off in the long run as it is the virtues, the values, the attributes you hold. The ethical practices you practice in your business, in your workplace, so it does make a difference and make a business as well as an individual prosper and progress.