What comes to your mind when you hear Workplace Ethics? Some big laid down rules or an inexhaustible list of DOs and DONTs? Well, it could be either.
In this piece, we would help you unbox the whole big confusing grammar around workplace ethics, give you better understanding of how it would help you as an individual and then proceed to rub off on your team/organisation.
To start off, Ethics in the workplace is a set of guidelines, rules, values and standards based on what have been agreed to be good or bad. These are considered to be inexcusable and would contribute to the success of the company or achieving goals of the department. It is not impossible to have different set of moral codes for various departments in the same organisation, all not falling out of place from what have been stated as vision and mission of the organisation.
Just like it is for the whole organisation, it’s the same for the department, as values and codes reflect the beliefs of the business owner or team lead.
Guidelines and set of codes differ from one business to another, however, as an employee, your first display of Workplace Ethics is adapting to and following the rules made available in your place of your work.
Before I proceed to share with you how it would help you as an individual, let’s see a checklist of some things to avoid.
Be punctual and attend meetings promptly. Always get to work very early, if you are primed for it, get to work few minutes earlier than everyone else. It gives you enough time to get into your stride. Brian Tracy advised that this can make you a millionaire if you practice it well. See his 21 rules for making Millionaires on that advise. Ensure you are not the reason meetings would end late because they are doing ‘recap for those that missed the first session’.
Don’t joke with deadlines. Always meet your deadline and when you can’t, send a prior notice. Deadlines are the soul of work. How well you deliver them shapes how well business would move. This would in turn increase client’s confidence. In case you won’t be able to deliver as promised, send a notice before the deadline.
No Gossip. Avoid office gossip as much as you can. No one is saying don’t make friends. Please, don’t come and talk about co-worker’s failed relationship or failed sport bet in the office. It would sapp! your energy.
It’s Official Don’t go home with official files. Did I hear you say really? Yes, really. The official files should be left in the office. It’s called official for a reason. Oh, yes, soft copies not included.
Partners? Don’t brood about a partner you don’t like. You know how you complain about this partner while working together? How you try to avoid the person at all cost? No! File an official complaint if your partner is not diligent.
Office romance? How can I tell you not to fall in love? Well, we can’t tell our hearts some things but avoid it.
Don’t use office items for personal endeavours. Seek permission from relevant office if you must.
Chain of command? Don’t joke with hierarchy even if you are the one who interviewed the person that is now your boss.
Unless you have started your own thriving business, don’t show your boss the middle finger.
How Workplace Ethics help you.
A major constituent of workplace ethics and behaviour is integrity, or being honest and doing the right thing at all times. Integrity is not doing the right thing only when people are watching. It is also doing the right thing when the boss is not around and you probably won’t have a direct gain from the result. After all, it’s right, do it and do it right.
Often times, we want to get carried away with the arrogant fact that we are helping our boss to get paid without due recourse to the fact that we get paid for what we do and get better at them. This is to mean whatever we do in our places of work, they help us grow, gain expertise and “increase our share” in the revenue sharing.
Adhering religiously to our workplace ethics helps to build character and develop the strength we need to face challenges in life.
A worker that loves her co-workers and push them to do better would definitely raise a fantastic family and become a great CEO one day, if she so desires.
It also helps us to manage resources – human and capital very well and boosts one’s emotional intelligence.
The above importance rubs off on our team/organisation and increases our client base through referrals from satisfied customers and more revenue.
It is important to note, that workplace ethics goes beyond the rules we have pinned on the walls or boards. They are more of what we communicate by actions than what we shout about at the top of our voices.
Refine your workplace ethics and grow steadily to the level you want in your career.