The Value of Strong Workplace Ethics

What is Workplace Ethics?

Workplace ethics refer to the principles and values that guide the behavior of individuals and organizations in a professional setting. It encompasses everything from integrating diversity to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of employees.

According to Emtrain’s employee engagement tool, Emtrain Analytics, only 64% of employees believe their co-workers handle personal information with appropriate care. This highlights the need for workplace ethics training courses that create both safe and respectful organizations.

Emtrain’s comprehensive workplace ethics course offers a practical and engaging approach to fostering ethical behavior in the workplace. With interactive modules and real-world scenarios, our course equips your team with the knowledge and skills needed to make decisions guided by the right values and uphold a strong work ethic.

In this article, we will review the importance of reinforcing strong company ethics and how it can benefit your organization.

Why Ethics Matter in the Workplace

In a world empowered by social media, unethical behavior can quickly tarnish a company’s reputation, so maintaining a strong ethical culture is more critical than ever. Not only is it a moral obligation, but it is also good for businesses in a legal sense. 

In fact, according to a study by LRN, companies that build strong ethical cultures outperform their peers by 40%.

Integrating moral principles into your company is not just a corporate social responsibility for your Human Resources department, but it also affects the foundation of your company’s long-term success.

Here’s how you can benefit. 

Organizational Growth

Picture a workplace where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to do their best work. While this sounds like an ideal work culture, it is not the reality of many companies.

By prioritizing ethical behavior, organizations can build a foundation for a positive workplace culture that can lead to growth and success. 

When employees are motivated and engaged, they are more likely to innovate, collaborate, and drive productivity. This positive environment can also attract top talent and reduce turnover, saving the organization time and money. 

We also can’t forget about the positive impact ethical behavior has on a company’s reputation, which can lead to increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Cultivating a culture of workplace ethics is not just the right thing to do, but it’s also a recipe for organizational growth and success.

Greater Employee Retention

The key to reducing employee turnover and increasing retention rates is often as simple as prioritizing ethics in the workplace. 

When organizations create a culture of workplace ethics, employees feel valued and respected. They know you care about their well-being, which leads to increased job satisfaction and motivation. This positive work environment will naturally reduce employee turnover costs.

Inversely, organizations that fail to prioritize ethics risk creating a toxic work environment that can drive away talented employees.

In fact, a McKinsey study on employee burnout cites that toxic work environments led approximately 60% of those surveyed to leave the organization.

Stimulate Positive Employee Behavior

Have you ever worked in an environment where you felt unsupported or unappreciated? If so, you know firsthand how it can negatively impact your work performance and attitude. 

Employees who feel valued, respected, and supported are more likely to exhibit behaviors that align with the company’s values, such as honesty, integrity, and collaboration. This positive behavior can have a ripple effect throughout the organization, improving the overall employee morale.

By contrast, a company culture that condones unethical behavior can create a toxic work environment, becoming an obstacle to successful performance management

Decreased Risk of Reputational Damage

We’ve all seen headlines of companies facing public backlash due to unethical behavior. These incidents can cause irreparable damage to a company’s reputation and bottom line. 

In fact, a study by Kaspersky found that brand damaging events can cost enterprise companies an average of $200,000 per incident. 

Prioritizing ethics in the workplace can significantly reduce this risk. 

Organizations that have ingrained a strong moral culture and ethical code of conduct into their day-to-day are more likely to avoid ethical missteps that can lead to negative publicity. Employees who are trained and empowered to make ethical decisions are less likely to engage in behavior that could harm the organization’s reputation.

Furthermore, a culture that promotes ethical behavior can help organizations respond quickly and effectively to any issues that do arise, mitigating damage to the company’s reputation.

How Emtrain’s Workplace Social Indicators Promote Ethical Behavior in the Workplace

Here are some practical tips and best practices that organizations can use to create a culture of ethics and integrity.

Engaging Morally

Engaging morally refers to the act of actively engaging in ethical decision making processes and behaving in a manner that aligns with moral principles and values, often outlined in the organization’s code of conduct.

This includes being aware of and taking responsibility for the impact of one’s actions on others, respecting others’ rights and dignity, and seeking to promote fairness and justice in the workplace. 

In a workplace, engaging morally can be seen as a social indicator that promotes ethical behavior by creating an authentic and supportive culture. It prompts employees to speak up more when they see unethical behavior or practices, and they are more likely to hold themselves and their colleagues accountable for their actions

For example, a company that leverages this workplace indicator would:

  • Have clear policies and procedures in place to address ethical concerns
  • Provide training and support to help employees recognize and react to ethical issues
  • Encourage open communication and feedback 

Demonstrating Integrity

Demonstrating integrity means consistently behaving in a manner that is honest, trustworthy, and ethical, even in the face of challenges or difficult situations. This includes adhering to social conduct principles and not acting on your own self-interest.

In a workplace, demonstrating integrity promotes ethical behavior by setting a positive example for others to follow. When employees consistently demonstrate integrity, they build trust and credibility with their colleagues, customers, and stakeholders, and create a culture of honesty and transparency.

A company encouraging integrity would: 

  • Have ethical guidelines in place that all employees are expected to follow
  • Establish channels for reporting concerns or wrongdoing without fear of retaliation
  • Create a workplace culture where employees feel empowered to do the right thing

Nurturing Trust

refers to the act of building and maintaining trust among individuals and groups in a workplace. This includes being reliable, consistent, and transparent in communication and actions, as well as treating others with respect, empathy, and integrity.

As a workplace social indicator, nurturing trust helps by fostering an environment that values diversity and where individuals feel safe to speak up, share their ideas, and collaborate with others. If employees feel they are in a safe environment, they are more likely to take ownership of their work, engage in meaningful relationships with their colleagues, and contribute to the success of the organization.

A company that actively works to nurture trust would:

  • Have an open-door policy where employees are encouraged to share their ideas and concerns with their supervisors or managers
  • Foster a culture of transparency by conducting ethical training programs and communicating openly about company goals, challenges, and decisions
  • Engage in regular feedback sessions — both in giving and receiving feedback to and from staff

Instilling Accountability

Instilling accountability involves creating a culture of responsibility and ownership in the workplace, where individuals take responsibility for their actions, decisions, and outcomes. This includes creating a system for checks and integrating transparency into groups and departments. 

This social indicator would help promote trust in the workplace by setting clear standards for behavior and performance, and holding oneself and others accountable for meeting these standards. When individuals are held accountable for their actions, they are more likely to behave in a manner that aligns with ethical principles and values, preventing negative incidents like workplace harassment.

A company focused on creating a culture of accountability and ownership would:

  • Have a robust performance management system with regular check-ins
  • Provide regular feedback and coaching to team leaders 
  • Establish consequences for failing to meet expectations or behaving in a manner that does not align with ethical principles

Choose Emtrain for Effective Workplace Ethics Training

Promoting ethical behavior in the workplace isn’t just nice to have, it is a necessity for thriving businesses. 

Don’t forget that one of the best ways to implement ethical practices in your organization is to provide effective employee training. 

That’s where Emtrain comes in.

Our workplace ethics course is a great option for businesses looking to develop an ethical and compliant culture.

Plus, by utilizing Emtrain’s Workplace Social Indicators, you can create a more positive work environment that inculcates the values you need to grow with good ethics and an infallible moral code in place.

Choose Emtrain for your business ethics training needs and watch your team members thrive. 

Get started with a free demo today!

deiethics in the workplace
John Wiese
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