How to Provide Employee Ethics Training

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How to Provide Employee Ethics Training. To some people, the words "business ethics" seem to be an oxymoron, and with the scandals of large corporations being reported in the newspaper regularly, it's no wonder! However, in response to both such scandals and the federal regulations they have inspired, many companies are providing employee ethics training to give employees the tools to understand what is both legal and ethical.

Things You'll Need

  • Training area
  • Copies of your company's Code of Ethics

Provide Employee Ethics Training

Establish a code of ethics for your company based not only on your company's values but also the law. The Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Organizations has put forth a document outlining what a company's compliance and ethics programs must address (see Resources below). These guidelines focus on what a business needs to employ in its policies to be proactive in detecting criminal activities.

Create an outline of the ethics training, including what you wish to accomplish and how you intend to do so. Successful training workshops are organized and applicable. That means that not only do you need to have an agenda, but you need to have real-world examples available to illustrate your points. Giving the employees an opportunity to role play problem-solving solutions to ethical dilemmas is a particularly effective way to get the idea across.

Include the entire staff, from new hires to CEOs, in employee ethics training exercises, as business ethics applies to the whole company. Set aside a specific time for a detailed (and mandatory) training session in which you can discuss the code of ethics, the reasons for it and how it ties into compliance laws. It's important that employees understand the legal implications of not complying with the policy.

Demonstrate a problem-solving model, allowing for employees to decide whether situations they encounter are ethical by asking themselves key questions. If an employee can honestly say that an action was legal, within the company's code of ethics and wouldn't create a national scandal, then he can feel comfortable with following through on it.

Provide a visible and positive example of your company's ethical standards. Stick to the commitments you make, take accountability for your actions and be consistent in how you interpret the workplace rules. Employees are more likely to respond positively to a policy if they see that their supervisors are adhering to the same standard of conduct.

Tips & Warnings

  • Encourage employees to ask questions, both during training and when situations arise in which they are unsure. Provide them with a confidential way of reporting potential ethical violations.

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