Employees working together that have proper work ethics and they create an harmonious workplace

Business Ethics

EmployInsight agrees with the recently published articles that business ethics is more crucial than ever in the 21st Century.

With pressure points such as significant political developments, escalating climate issues and economic fallout, there is an increased focus on ethics. Organisations must follow an ethical approach and consider the consequences of their outputs and operations.

What is ethics?

Although a general concept, Ethics in business is a set of moral standards and values acceptable in society, ethics tries to create a sense of right and wrong in organisations. When the law fails, ethics may stop organisations from harm.

In a much broader sense, ethics reflects on human beings and their interaction with nature, other humans, justice, and responsibility. It is important to know that ethics and integrity are closely related, and a person’s beliefs about one will significantly affect the other.

You may ask: If ethics in the work environment are so essential to business and government, why is counter-productive behaviour so prevalent? We constantly hear about corruption and fraudulent conduct in the news.

It’s time to see behind the mask: Appoint the right people.

Ethics in business is crucial

Business ethics and employees’ ethical behaviour in the work environment are crucial, as the reputation of a business is critical.

It isn’t processes or systems that fail. People cause failure and human risk. Thus, people need to be assessed differently, and past practices are not robust enough to prevent a bad hire. Robust checks can prevent counter-productive work behaviour.

We believe that the due diligence in pre- and post-employment is lacking. To only conduct a criminal check, credit check, and verify a few qualifications is not enough. Follow a more comprehensive process to identify possible deviant behaviour before an appointment or internal promotion.

What is unethical behaviour?

When a person’s behaviour is constantly at odds with the prevailing values and norms in a business, it is called unethical behaviour. As people are the backbone of a company and are vital to its success, companies must not tolerate unethical or counter-productive work behaviour from employees.

In general, the attention and need for measuring ethical behaviour in the work environment are still lacking in most companies.

How to mitigate this employment risk

Measuring ethical behaviour as a pre-employment or post-employment process will improve the quality of your candidates. Candidates will have a better cultural fit, and you’ll mitigate the dysfunctional behaviour that leads to fraud and corruption.

Implementing a more holistic and integrated process will improve ethical behaviour immensely and should be applied to all new staff and even current employees. The advantages for the business are:

  • Benefits the bottom line,
  • Decreases risk,
  • Drives employee behaviour, and
  • Attract the best talent.

What does your business look like?

If you are a CEO, HR Director, MD or leader, you should ask yourself critical questions:

  • How many counter-productive behaviours occur in my business?
  • How are we managing these behaviours?
    • Not dealing with it could have a negative influence on the bottom line of the company.

What is counter-productive work behaviour?

CWBs include numerous destructive or deviant behaviours that may harm the organisation directly or negatively affect its reputation, stakeholders, and ethical culture.

Examples of Counter-productive work behaviour are:

  • Withdrawal shows up as absenteeism and tardiness.
  • Workplace abuse – can take many forms, including:
    • Gossiping about co-workers,
    • Verbally abusing co-workers,
    • Aggression towards colleagues and superiors,
    • Bullying or intimidation,
    • Sexual harassment,
    • Theft, corruption, bribery,
    • Using drugs or alcohol at work,
    • Sabotage and dishonesty.
    • Production deviance,
    • Arriving late,
    • Purposefully doing work incorrectly,
    • Sharing confidential information with competitors,
    • Intensely working at a slower rate, and
    • Cyber deviancy.

How to counteract CWB (Counter Productive Work Behaviour)

No company can afford to ignore the devastating consequences of Counter Productive Work Behaviour. It is essential to counteract the corrosive and its pervasive effects.

Of course, the question is, how do you do it, and how do you do it as a proactive step?

Compliance and Risk Management

Compliance and Risk Management is the obvious answer to most companies and their employees, but that is not enough.

For some companies, it seems to be an exercise of ticking the box for compliance. According to George Fife (Partner at EY: Compliance, Forensic & Integrity Services), a presenter at European Compliance and Ethics Conference held earlier in October. The answer is the following:

  • Holistic Framework: Embed a culture of ethics and integrity in your organisation by deploying a holistic framework, including compliance. Put a strong focus on data analytics. Implementation should be across critical business units such as operations, accounting, human resources and sales.
  • Assessments: Organisations have turned to internationally approved integrity and ethics questionnaires to reduce counterproductivity. Employees who have a high degree of productive work behaviour in the workplace have higher ethics and are:
  • More trustworthy and honest,
  • More dependable and conscientious,
  • Enforce the rules and procedures, no matter who is involved,
  • Their actions are consistent with their words,
  • They exhibit appropriate values and behaviour, and
  • They are not inclined to deviant behaviour, fraud, corruption, theft, sabotage etc.

Ethics Assessments

Research showed that Ethics assessments are one of the best predictors of counter-productive work behaviour and the prediction of overall work performance. With this fact in mind, it is imperative to use a proactive approach regarding the POWER OF ETHICS in business.

Use a proactive approach.

Identify individuals with a higher propensity to engage in productive work behaviour and appoint them. Mitigating the human risk of counter-productive work behaviour is not a luxury but a necessity for any company or organisation globally.

Contact Employ Insight

Contact EmployInsight for more detail and a selection of actions to mitigate Human Risk. We have excellent tools and services to help appoint the right people the first time. We assist you in making informed decisions when you are ready to hire your next employee.

We offer assessments for your current employees, ensuring your business stays strong and competitive.

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