Training On Ethics – Do We Need It?

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We all think we are ethical. Probably we are correct but what if we don’t know about ethics especially in a particular organization where we work. Don’t you think we need a training on Ethics?

Before we discuss the training on ethics, let’s discuss what are ethics?

Ethics

Ethics do not stand in a similar light in general society and business or workplace as the latter works in an entirely different atmosphere. The ethics are the norms through which business is rightly conducted. They are set of rules which help in making correct decisions for the company and involve taking the right stand. They may stem from social customs and traditions. It can also be linked to ‘social responsibility’.

Let us understand this very important topic through an example. Suppose the director of a company decided to sell its product for 25k, as promised to its users a year back. But, when the product was ready, it cost came out to be 27k because of some safety equipment added to it. But the company decides to sell it at its promised cost, removing the safety feature. It works fine just before an accident took place and six people lost their lives. Not only the sale of that product went low but the company faced turmoil. This one decision of the company rooted the lives of the employees and the company itself. 

This is unethical behavior that causes problems for any company. Ethical behavior leads not only to profit but a reputation in the society and more people are willing to be employed in the company, most importantly keeping the company safe from litigation. Scandals and such unethical behavior eventually lead to the company failing to reach its aim.

FACT– More than 50% of the largest bankruptcies in the corporate world have occurred due to unethical practices.

This takes us to another very important point.

Why Ethics Training?

1. Avoid scandal

Companies should build a strong, solid foundation so that they can stay away from disastrous problems. An ethical company would show zero tolerance to any wrong-doing or immoral conduct on the part of its employees. It maintains quality and gives the company a strong public image. It turns out to be the best place to work.

2. Personal growth

Training on ethics results in more productivity and less procrastination. Employees are made to realize their duty and importance of good conduct towards everything related to the company, including all the clients, customers, other employees and even the equipment of the company.

3. Teamwork

This is the vital result of effective training on ethics. Employees learn how to work and achieve together. They learn to respect workplace boundaries and walk the extra mile together to achieve the company’s aim.

4. Atmosphere

The perk of teaching ethics is that employees understand how important professionalism is. They learn to be friendly and value the presence of each other and a pleasant atmosphere is maintained.

5. Staff morale

When employees know that their company is honest and ‘right’, they value the work and love it. Fair behavior and heartily conversations are fostered. It is the other way around too; companies retain talented and effective employees. Expect the workplace to be merrier if employees have been trained on ethics. Trust and harmony go hand-in-hand.

6. Change in Society

Proper training on ethics can lead to the elimination of social evils like harassment at workplace, child labor, etc and can promote good values like ‘equal work, equal pay’ etc.

Steps for developing an ethics training program

1. Build a Strong Foundation

First, start by building a strong foundation and stand up for what is necessary. No shortcuts here. 

2. Identify Types of Training

Second, identify and pinpoint the types of ethical training very clearly like customer privacy, data protection, etc. 

3. Perspective of Employee

Third, make the employees see where they stand. Get the perspective of each employee about the type of training and related ethics about that. A round-table conference or even a video conferencing will do the needful. 

4. Involve Top Management

Get your leadership involved. This is a very important thing to do; directors and managers to employees and workers all should be trained. 

5. Introduce Role-play & Group activities

Encourage group activity-Role to play the scenario which can take place, the debate about the right way to handle it and there you go.

6. Incentivize 

Give some incentives to employees who participate. Conduct some online quizzes and find a winner. Give a free meal or parking to the one who scores more, etc can do it. Consider incentives as a drive tool.

7. Balance the Fun/Seriousness

Keep the vibe of the session fun and light. Give it time and space but not to forget, it is something very serious and should be taken in the same light.

Tips for improving ethics training in the workplace

  • Use relatable content

Ethics training is not static so keep it dynamic. Out-dated training videos and content are unlikely to connect with the current creative minds of the employees and changing times. It should resonate with the modern situation.

  • Reinforce it

As discussed above, keep plastering it through quizzes, fun sessions, videos, role-playing, discussions, and conversations as it is predicted that one can form a habit in 66 days, as opposed to the famously believed-21 days.

  • Align ethics with company culture

If your company is related to solar energy, teach your employees about it. If your company is related to environmental sustainability, teach them which vendors to connect to or what is global warming. Connect with it and you will succeed.

There are two broad theories of business ethics

1. Teleological theory

‘Tele’ in Greek means-an end. The teleological theory is based on the concept of goodness. What is considered ethical is the most possible balance of good and evil and how do we find out what’s good and evil? In ancient times, the pleasure was considered good and the pain was evil. But more recently and in a much broader sense, goodness is only and only human well-being.

2. Deontological Theory

‘Dene’ in Greek refers to duty. The stone which supports this theory is-duty or an obligation. We have to understand that certain things are wrong not because they harm the society or an individual but the very thought of their existence is disturbing like bribery or dowry. The very nature of them is wrong no matter what the consequence is.

Conclusion

To conclude, effective ethics training is less skills-based as it has more to do with values like honesty, trust, truthfulness, and coordination. All over the world, again and again, there have been several examples of ethical companies being successful and reaching the top while unethical ones dying faster than they grow.

Having realized this, more and more companies are focusing on training on ethics which would give them an ‘edge over others’ in the long run.

For any Training requirement, drop an email at [email protected] or call at 95.5511.5533

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