Saturday, February 10, 2007
Employment ethics: Responsibility works
An infrequently discussed area of business management is employment ethics. As with most personnel management concepts, employment ethics is a two way street. Both the employer and the employee have duties, privileges, and responsibilities as part of the employment agreement.
Whether it's a formally written contract or simply a handshake deal, both sides must maintain and open and honest relationship for the benefit of everyone. It's up to the employer to keep promises made to the staff person, and it's the responsibility of the worker to keep their word to the employer. Mutual understanding of each other's rights and duties, and living up to the terms of the agreement, are essential to good employment relationships.
For employers, the most important things are openess and honesty with staff members, to create an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. When new business plans are being created, it's essential that employees be kept up to date on any changes. Staff members often fear change, as all too often, it means broken promises. An ethical employer keeps promises made to the staff at all times.
Along with sharing plans and how they will be implemented, the staff members should be consulted for their input and ideas. When asking for their ideas, be sure to acknowledge and use them, and not simply pay lip service to the staff input. To not accept the staff thoughts and ideas when requested is to lose their trust in your word.
Be sure to always pay the staff on time, and to keep promises made of pay increases when they are due. If financial difficulties do arise, be sure to fill the employees in immediately on the situation. If an atmosphere of openess and trust has been created, then the staff members may have some solutions or options, to help ride out the storm. Instead of mass exodus from the workplace, the employees will do what they can to help with a short term cash flow crisis.
Staff members should understand that establishing the trust of the boss is essential as well. That responsibility includes living up to the agreement made of being at work on time, not stealing company property, and always presenting the best possible image of the company. Along with the obvious honesty, it's also important for the staff member to do the best job possible, and even to rise occasionally above and beyond the call of duty. By establishing oneself as an ethical employee, a reputation is established that results in raises and opportunity for advancement.
For employers, ethical practices pay off with harder working staff members, and a more productive workforce. The resulting stronger business means more sales, better customer service, and greater profitability.
For employees, ethical behaviour means a better career path, with greater opportunities for promotions, and for being paid better salaries. Being seen as an employee who can be trusted and who works to the best of their ability is rare. As a result, an ethical employee is highly prized wherever she goes in the business world.
Good employment ethics pay real dividends for both employers and employees.
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