A new story from Workplace Perspective

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An insurance that more people tune in and raise the bar at workplaces everywhere. Welcome back everyone rewind. We're talking about ethical behavior in the workplace with author and professor. Dr Steven Mintz so doctor. Let's switch gears a little bit and talk about the challenges that employees Louise's face when it comes to ethical behavior in the workplace Start out by telling me if you can what your experience has been as some some of the more difficult scenarios involving employees that you've uncovered or for or been exposed to over the years I would say that stands out. The most is when their superior does something wrong and they struggle over how to report it. Nobody nobody wants to tattle tale on their superior. We like to think we're loyal and employees. Worry about what's going to happen to them. There's an expression kill the Messenger. So the employee is the Messenger. Hey look this. Person Stole Money from the company or is patting his her expensive account and being reimbursed for non employees expenses. Should I report it to the head of accounting or whoever. There's real a few there that they will suffer the consequences. I get a lot of emails from employees who send me confidential. Oh questions and I try to help them. And that's clearly number one and of course companies have to say that they want these things to to be reported they WANNA take action. They don't want somebody feeling from them in a position of trust. Maybe they set up an anonymous hotline that that oftentimes works with whistle blowing in general. So it's the retaliation factor Another thing that I hear from time nine. The time is employees or employees goop will complete a project. They'll do some work. They'll handle report to their superior. Sure who they are doing the work for and he or she will take credit. Oh please work terribly here he they they hate that they They're they're beside themselves. They don't know what to do they just know it's wrong but there again. If you have a superior does these sort of things you can say to yourself. What will he or she do if I report them so again it comes back to the company culture and wanting these things to be reported? It's so corrective action can be taken The other item I'd mentioned is is a lot of confusion out there for employees as about what are the rules of the road with social media. Can they use social media work. When can they use it What can an employer do you to monitor their behavior and their activities The rules really have not caught up with the technology and some companies have no social social media policies or establish social media ethics. So they're they're confused they just don't know what can and cannot be done. So that's about the third one. I would say that I hear. The most of the social media is interesting. So they've been litigating or litigating during my career when it was sort of the advent of social media and and it becoming such a big part of the workplace and it really was confusing for everyone both the employers and the employees. Because you're right. Nobody knew what was going on the technology far outweighed. Everybody's getting getting up to speed on it. I think it's getting better. It's getting easier Everybody's becoming a little more comfortable with it and the boundaries are getting a little more defined and like anything there's been enough litigation now people are starting to get a handle on it but the confusion and the and the fear Palliation. I hear that a lot Because I get calls from employees asking about what do I do like the like. You said the the moral wrong of somebody took credit for my work and then of course the more serious allegations where there's actually been and implication of fraud or something Where they feel this tremendous need to step forward word and yet there's that fear so that was interesting when you were talking in the beginning about ethics in general about being you know that it took being kind and all these other things and I thought you know what it takes takes being strong because it takes a lot to you know to really face? It's easy for us to talk. Talk about but boy when you're in that situation it's really tough to to sort of stand up. Tell me in your opinion. What do you think employees can do due to help improve the standards of ethics at their organization beyond Beyond the you know alerting and using the hotlines Ryan's in those sorts of things. But what can they. What's in their control? You think do you think that they can. They can actually help to make a positive impact. I always always tell them to find somebody at work who they really respect and can go to for advice because it's it's always a good the thing to run your ideas by somebody before you take an action or report something now. That may be easier said than done. I you know. A lot of organizations do have people who can advise on actions. It may be formal or informal Emma. So that's that's very important. I think of all the things that I I say to employees is to remember this one one thing. which is it takes a long time to build a reputation for trust but not very long to destroy it absolutely? We know we have to think of as people like Harvey Weinstein Bernie made off Lance Armstrong. There is so many examples of people who are at at the top of their game and then something came out that was of course terrible and you know they destroy your reputation never the same again. They never you've viewed the same by society right so ethics is a long term commitment. Sure I may be able to do something. Get Away with it maybe even profit it but in the long run. Even if it doesn't come out What am I going to continue to go down this road? What if somebody does find out? They questioned me. My whole reputation has gone. Trust is essential in business. If you can't trust employees to do the right thing then then you can't trust them to do anything. Yeah I always talk about that in my in my ethics trainings. The fact that you know well in your personal life you may not really they care what people think of you which is great. If you can get to that point but in business you have to care it matters what people think of you if you WanNa if you WANNA get ahead head You know if you WanNa have a good reputation than it really does matter and I think ethics plays a huge a huge part of that credibility. Is Everything you know. Your word really is is your bond is kind of Corny as it sounds but that's true. Sure where do you think can. Can you pinpoint a time where you think that ethics really started to sort of become an awareness issue for organizations and employees alike. Mike Oh gee that's a great question It's so hard I think a lot of people feel it's a relatively relatively new phenomenon. I don't agree with that. I think we've been losing our moral compass over a long period of time now We could go back to the fact that ethics is for the most part. It's not taught in schools anymore kids in the younger grades where they're most impressionable. They're not getting it. That's partly because teachers don't WanNa feel like them moralizing. There may be afraid of what what they say. It may be taken the wrong way or a parent complains that somehow it's religious instruction talking about religious instruction most most people are not as religious today as they were so they're not getting it school. They're not getting it to religious practices. Probably not being talked about back home. There are very few role models around these days. I remember when I grew up. There were a lot it was even even on TV. A lot of those old shows always had unethical message right from the truth today so I think that's been the evolution and of the culture that it's just been devalued over time and we sort of normalized on ethical behavior sure Any civility has become normalized. How many times we see that on? TV Cable News. Wherever you you want to look so there are no positive? Examples or very few of why ethics is important why an individual organization should be ethical. Except as you say after they've done the deed and they're having to pay the price and all of a sudden ethics is important. Let's develop a code of ethics. Let's do this. Let's do that. You have to be proactive with ethics not reactive to get the positive result. Yeah I I agree with with all that. It's it's such an interesting. I love this topic. It's it's we could go on and on but as we wrap up for today can you sort of give us maybe some tips a cautionary tale some words of wisdom. Or maybe your thoughts for the future on on this idea India ethics in the workplace Sure sure I think one thing I always tell Students employees think before. Oh you act always have it in the back of your mind that you should live by the mantra. Do No harm harm. Nobody by your actions indeed. This is one of three things so this is thinking before acting doing no harm and considering the consequences of your decision so I didn't tell my students and employees. Let's say you just had a negative encounter with somebody in the workplace. You want to set off you know you wanna go to your computer. Go to social media. sendoff is- insulting tweet. Oh let's get a feel so good though. Oh I know my point so I tell them to send that tweet to themselves in an email communication overnight and and then we feel the same way go ahead and do it but a lot of people. They change their mind cause cooler heads will prevail. I love it because most of the time they tell. Oh You oh you know type it up and leave it but what you're saying is you get that great satisfaction of hitting the send button which is really what you wanted to do. But you're sitting at to yourself. So Oh that's that's awesome. I love that. I love that piece of advice. Well that's our show for today at documents on a thank you so much for joining us today and for sharing your insights sites and you're sage sage advice on ethics..

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