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OC Talk Radio


Welcome back to our listeners and welcome welcome to workplace perspective Dr Mintz. Thank you for having me. We're super excited but before we get started. Let's do what we normally do. And have you tell our listeners. A little a bit about what you do who you are and what you do. Well thank you You mentioned I write under the name ethic. Say the Cui is my way of saying. I've accumulated a lot of wisdom over the years and we said like to think so with respect to ethics having taught it at the university level for thirty plus years and consulted with some companies on ethics issues and I just published a book on ethics. It deals those with Happiness in medium life and how being ethical person can improve your personal relationships workplace interactions and our lives on social media. That's great. I totally agree with that. So it's difficult but it always feels good to do the ethical thing to do the right thing before we get started And as we join into our jump kind of into our topic Why don't you I kind of tell us what you you mean when you talk about ethical behavior in a workplace context? We'll I think we have to start with what ethics is in general because the workplace is just us one outlet for behavior but in general wiki. Go back to the golden rule and how we treat other people Most people would agree that being kind compassionate fair minded respectful of others are good ways to act ethical ways to act so we start with that and then when you put it in a workplace context we're talking about how companies treat their employees and other stakeholders how they make decisions whether they consider the consequences of their actions on those who will be affected. Okay so as you're talking. I'm kind of thinking it's like. It's it's more than a moral compass. Would you agree the or no. Why think you do have to have a moral compass? If for no other reason than to recognize there are ethical issues because if we don't recognize recognize it and that's part of the problem I think today not only in the workplace society. Do people recognize. They even have an ethical issue. Which again we say is sure your actions and decisions affect others so how you treat them is an ethical issue but a lot of ethics is common sense as well? I mean. We shouldn't shout people in the work place. Because we have a difference of opinion we should be able to discuss our differences openly with realty. Of course this is something. That's the problem in society in general today. Yeah I agree do civility training and and it's near and dear to my heart. That topic is well and and I I agree. It is common sense but it's funny. How many times we need to be reminded about you? Know about the basic sort of things and always teaching my Any harassment trainings that one way to combat unethical behavior or harassing retaliatory discriminatory conduct is to you impart to employees to train to teach on the power of ethical behavior. And how you can stem those behaviors by creating a more ethical workplace In in that regard. Let's let's jump into it. How do you think well? I'm curious about this. Do you think that you can teach ethics to organization. I say that because I I do. I think that through their employees. You can but I'm talking about the structure the the entity that is the organization. Do you do you think you can teach ethics to the the structural organization. Well I always get those questions from MM students. Some of them don't believe I could teach ethics to them so and I say look I could teach it whether you'll learn it or autism another issue absolutely so you can certainly teach it at the organizational level but you have to have an open minded leadership that they want to learn these things evaluate their own behavior and systems and be open to changing to have ethical organization because they are after all the leaders in the workers again that take their cue from what two leaders do and say yeah. I agree with that. We've talked about that on on a lot of of our shows With regard to employee engagement and corporate culture and all that kind of stuff and I think that ethic just ethics to sort of rounds itself. Sort of into that How do you have you found that organization sort of come to the realization in your experience? Have you had the experience. I guess where organizations have sort of come to the realization that hey I think we have an issue that needs to be addressed What are those beyond the beyond the obvious being sued for unethical behavior? But on a on a more you know sort of everyday average situation have have you come across any scenarios like that sure. It's usually when organizations have systems in place for employees employees to report things that they think are unethical. Something going wrong in the company you mentioned sexual harassment. That's certainly a good example example of it and employees have to feel that they won't be retaliated against for making these assertions whether it's sexual harassment or financial statement fraud so what employees tend tend to look for is what we call an ethical tone at the top meaning. A culture is said that the company takes this seriously and then they can set that tone simply through policies simply by acting the way they're asking the employees act you know it's not what do what I say not what I do not that kind of culture. So it's you know it's measuring an ethical culture is. How do you do business rather than what you do in business? So how you do it says a lot about your ethical standards emds and absolutely companies can come to that realization but usually means they have ethical leaders at the top. Yeah I I agree. I you and I think ascribed to sort of the same philosophy that it's really ethics really comes down to kind of what you do when nobody's watching and I think that even though for organizations they think people are always watching. But I don't think that's the case do you. No I think people in organizations tend to think unfortunately that they can get away with things because people are not watching or what. Their behavior is the actions they take are not GonNa get become known of course these days with social media The twenty four seven cycle the digital media Most things do eventually get uncovered but maybe companies haven't come to that realization yet but that's when they get into trouble and that's of course Something that they have to prevent it just a matter of sending a message that ethical behavior will be rewarded. Unethical behavior will not be rewarded. May Be punished for it now. How you do that? It's an example of the devil's in the details. But it can be done To performance evaluation just incorporating unethical measure That sort of thing like that idea about A Ah about sort of creating an atmosphere that really makes it easy to do the right thing and kind of difficult to do the wrong thing. I think. That's that's kind of what you're saying as well and I like that because has it it really does make it easier so that when someone you can create that that environment that really does create this this idea idea that when someone does behave in an unethical manner they sort of stand out from the crowd and it makes it easy to shine a light on that person and say okay you. Here's czar issue and we need to address it so employees tend to act the way they think they will be rewarded whether it's producing large amount of sales market share or being ethical so just have to put ethics on that same level as other top priorities. Yeah because the flip side of that right what is that those very same things the desire for reward the desire for recognition that that's also a gateway or an alleyway towards unethical behavior. Don't don't you think well it can be and the one thing. I always am reluctant to say about reward. Ethical behavior is we should be ethical. Because it's the right thing to do because it makes us feel good idea about what we've done. We've helped somebody We've we've we've done things that have produced positive results for the company and unethical behavior. General he does not in the short term. It will in the long-term tend to catch up with you so yeah I think that's very important. I I read the survey that that said that companies that when a company sort of values ethical performance That misconduct is lowered. Which I as I've already said I? Kind of scribe to that. Because I think that's a way to get rid of unwanted risk sort of behaviors ears but I think the survey was something like twenty percent of the workers you know had reported seeing misconduct in companies with strong ethical cultures compared to eighty eight percent who witnessed wrongdoing and companies with ethically week cultures with that kind of what you see is some some of the more common ethical danger zones from a company perspective Well there's this quite a few of them. It's the tone at the top that I mentioned before that top management is always sending this message about ethical behavior. Companies need to stress US Sort of what. I would call stakeholder capitalism rather than shareholder capitalism which is the tradition on the ocean to maximize profits profit if employees see that companies. Care about a broad group of stakeholders including of course themselves their own. Well being that they're treated needed fairly but also customers customer comes first that sort of mentality Even dealing with suppliers and other stakeholders holders that tends to give a lot of confidence of employees that the company is serious about ethical behavior. And we're going to take our cue. I'm from that Companies have to avoid basically what I would say is rationalizing unethical behavior. That happens happens a lot especially in the field that I grew up in which is accounting and financial reporting where they put pressure on an employee to go along along with financial wrongdoing. And they basically say look. This is a one time request. Just go along this first time this one time. We won't ask you to do it again again. Well rarely does it work that way. Because why don't you go along with wrongdoing you start to slide down the proverbial ethical slippery slope where it becomes more difficult to turn around. And let's say we claim the moral high ground. Yeah absolutely absolutely. Well we are. Time is going fast. We're GONNA take a quick break and when we come back more thoughts from Dr Men's Don ecobill ethical behavior in the workplace. Stay with us. We'll be right back.

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