Ethics can be defined as the well-founded standards and fundamental principles of an individual. Ethics are used to determine what is right and wrong, and usually dictate our course of action in our daily lives.
Good work ethics play an important role in bringing benefits to a business in many ways. Generally, strong ethics attract customers/clients who appreciate honest services that will then boost the sales and profits of your company. Having a respectable reputation also helps to attract new customers and builds higher loyalty among customers. For public-listed companies, having a strong ethical behaviour and corporate social responsibility would bring confidence in investors, thereby maintaining the high value of the company’s position in the marketplace.
At the workplace, HR plays an important part in hiring professionals with good ethics right from the start. Having an honest, hardworking workforce with high values in integrity will not only improve the company’s business and reputation but also lift the overall morale of the employees. A strong ethical culture will then undoubtedly attract more talents who share the same ethics and values, reducing the costs of recruitment and enable the company to obtain a pool of talented employees in its workforce.
So, what are the common work ethics and how are these ethical behaviours valuable to an organisation?
One of the most important workplace ethics is integrity. By definition, integrity is the “quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, a personal code of conduct that goes above the level of good conduct and encompasses the spirit of good conduct.” Employees with integrity are usually the ones you can count on, the ones with the highest moral values and the ones who are bent on doing the right thing at all times.
Being an honest individual means you do not deceive others by giving out misleading information. This includes the truthful way of conduct that is usually without the intention of lying, cheating or any form of falsification. Customers typically only deal with a business or a service provider whom they trust. In a workplace, an honest employee is the one you can rely on to continue doing their best in their jobs for the company’s benefits.
At times, an employee may be talented in his line of work but lacks the commitment and dedication to complete the tasks given. It requires a certain level of discipline to not only complete the tasks within a certain time frame but to also execute them well, instead of doing just the bare minimum at the very last minute. Disciplined employees are extremely important as they ensure that all assignments and projects are delivered and executed in a timely manner.
- Fair and respect
Achieving an ethically strong workplace involves the cooperation of every employee, from top decision-makers/leaders to entry-level employees. No matter which level you are at, you need to ensure that all your actions are fair and just, particularly if you are entrusted with a position to lead. This will ensure a positive work culture in your organisation. Always remember that every one of your staff deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of who they are or which position they are at.
- Responsible and accountable
If an employee has a strong sense of responsibility, he or she would undoubtedly turn up for work on time and complete the tasks given with the best effort that he or she can offer. Nevertheless, there will be a time when an employee may make a mistake, hence it is important to also be able to acknowledge these mistakes, be accountable for it and accept any consequences. In certain scenarios, an ethical manager will take accountability for their staff or colleagues for reasons that are not for self-interest but for the well-being of all parties involved.
What may seem like something that was previously swept aside in previous generations now plays an important part for a business to succeed. Furthermore, a lack of business ethics can easily tarnish your reputation given the easy access to social media platforms where your company reputation is being readily monitored and exposed to issues at all times. Ultimately, maintaining a strong ethical culture within your organisation is key in building trust among your workforce and preserving credibility of your business.
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