Ethics Awareness in the Workplace

Improving your business ethics will lower your legal liability.
Improving your business ethics will lower your legal liability. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

It may not fit the stereotype of the cutthroat business world that some people have, but ethics actually play a very important role in the workplace. The most effective organizations are those that have been able to establish an effective set of ethics that their workers are able to adhere to and rely on. Creating awareness of ethics in the workplace is an essential part of creating an effective organizational culture.


Duty is a beginning premise of workplace ethics. All employees owe their employers certain things, and employers likewise owe their workers certain things. A worker has a duty to work to the fullest of his abilities to accomplish his job. An employer likewise has a duty to provide appropriate compensation for the work of her employees. Belief in these two duties makes for a more efficient and effective business organization.


Honesty is an ethical principle for members of a business to master. Honesty makes the relations between employees much simpler, as they are able to rely on each other's word. Communication can only really be effective if people have confidence that what the other person is telling them is the truth. Honesty is necessary for teamwork to develop and for a group of people to be able to bond together.


The principle of fairness in the workplace is necessary for a business to better approach the goal of a meritocracy. In a meritocracy, workers are only rewarded and advanced based on the work they accomplish and their actual merit. This is an ideal that no business will ever completely reach, but an awareness of fairness will bring it a lot closer. A meritocracy would mean the maximizing of a company's different resources and skill sets.


A business will stand to significantly lower its legal liabilities by creating a better ethical awareness in the workplace. An improved ethical awareness would help to prevent abuses that can get a business in legal trouble, such as sexual harassment and discrimination. One way to improve the ethical awareness of a workplace is to communicate ethical goals to employees regularly and to create rewards for ethical behavior by making it a part of employee evaluations.

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