Business ethics is about choice. What values guide us? What standards do we use? What principles are at stake? How do we choose between them? An ethical approach to any issue will inquire about ends (goals) and means (how we achieve these goals) and the relationship between the two. Beyond this, ethics involves a consideration of the consequences of our choices from a range of stakeholder perspectives. At the commercial level, ethics looks at how we choose to succeed in relation to others and in relation to our impacts on others.
Business ethics is the depth dimension of any organisation, only truly tested in times of crisis. We work alongside our clients to anticipate ethical risks to avoid the sort of ethical meltdowns. Guided by deep lever questions such as:
- How sound is your organisation’s corporate personality?
- Where are the risks to your image and reputation?
- How trusted is your brand and what values are associated with it?
- How well do your people know why the organisation exists, how it succeeds, how people should be managed?
- How do external stakeholders add or subtract value from your business?
we assist clients to manage the ethical dimension of everyday business decisions.
Workplace ethical dilemmas bank
We have developed an ethical dilemma bank of over 300 typical workplace dilemmas that speak to the typical organizational scenarios employees find themselves in.These cover all sectors and all industry and are used as source material to overlay with each organisation’s cultural context — choosing the risk areas and scenari-os that best fit a client’s business and context.
These dilemmas pose several possible resolutions all with specific consequences for the organisation. They encourage participants to review issues from multiple stakeholder perspectives and encourage participants to make decisions that are informed by the organisation’s stated values.
We have also developed a library of DVD training materials that enable managers to facilitate ethical training sessions with their teams.ovGroup co-operation in scenario solving encourages a greater insight into the different perspectives that can co-exist within a team and which can cause its members to misunderstand each other and respond in different ways to similar issues.
Participants quickly learn that, although there may be consensus around a decision, not everyone operates from the same motivations. This reveals the complexity of group dynamics and the need for company policies that set common standards.
This is the key to employee engagement. We work with leaders to ensure there is a selection of materials designed for different workplace audiences and we target different risks to different levels within the organisation.
All programs are based on skills transfer and designs are based on adult learning principles and processes in conjunction with relevant case studies and scenarios to maximise engagement. Our experience is that staffs need to participate in relevant scenarios in order to contextualise their own meaning, working through their personal responses and how these compare to company policy.
Setting the tone from the top
All materials can be customised to include introductions and commitment statements from senior executives. Engaging leaders in our ethical leadership work-shops signals to all employees that ethics if values and will be integral to the organisation’s ongoing success formula.
All materials are capable of being delivered in various formats including:
- “Toolbox talks” by immediate managers
- Face to face workshop with workplace trainers,
- Multimedia or online formats
- Greater clarity and engagement with organisational codes of conduct and codes of ethics
- Heightened understanding of the broad arena of workplace ethics today including conflicts of interest, fraud and corruption and bullying workplace behaviour
- Heightened understanding of the boundaries between organizational and personal values and where each takes priority and how these shape personal accountability.
- Skill development in responding appropriately to what is expected in meeting the principles and values embedded in codes of conduct and codes of ethics