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BUILDING ETHICAL ORGANIZATION CULTURE

By | Dr Harold Andrew Patrick | NoopurPraveen | Sunil Kumar R

While organizations are busy positioning and branding their organizations, activities, well-being of employees in the social media to attract talents.  Often we hear about unethical and egregious actions of organizations and their leaders not walking the talk, which regulates the organizational culture and Business ethics. It creates a bad palate&demoralizes both potential and existing employees that organizationscan’t be trusted or can’t be looked for long term career or business proposition. The recent cases of scandals, scams, and anomalies in various organizations have led to organizations looking at building ethics in the workplace for making a strong comeback.

Organizations are looking at various ways to build a workplace culture that supports and nurtures ethics, and good ethics leads to good business in the long run.Workplace ethics are anessential part of employment and organizations that practice certain professional business ethics have better chances of survival in the competitive marketequated to those organizations whose only goal is to earn profits, even if they have to compromise to achieve their business objectives. Organizational leaders obviouslyare responsible for upholding and highlight ethical values and standards;apart from setting an ethical tone, driven by ‘top to bottom’.They also need to identify the best practices and bring diversity and inclusion so every employee can participate irrespective of their culture or background. They need to encourage employees to practice expected behavioral standardsas per organizational values and must demonstrate by walking the talk philosophy. At the same time exhibit through his practices that being ethical is more significant than achieving the objectives by breaking the norms every time.

Organizational Culture is often seen as abstract and tough to measure. It’s more than all those carefully drafted corporate values statements and ethics codes—it’s the way things really work. Workplace culture includes how employees dress, how they work with customers and how they interact with their bosses. HR professionals’ initial challenge is defining an ethical workplace culture for business leaders who may doubt its effectiveness.Leaders play a major role in determining whether employees embrace a company’s values. If the Leaders don’t model ethical behavior or enforce the policies in a fair manner, employees & other stake holders loose trust. However, it is inculcated on the approach organization leaders take to retort to external environs denotes to organization ethics. It comprises innumerable guiding principle and values which guide employees how they should conduct themselves at workplace. Generally it is usually denoted by organization ‘code of conduct’ which is the instrumental for upholding employees conducts at workplace.

HR/OD practitioners to support organizational business leaders in building a culture of ethics through

  1. Setting up clear expectations for employees in terms of organizational policies and practices
  2. Leaders to set standards for employees to follow
  3. Positive reinforcement through reward and recognition
  4. Short-term profitability versus sustainability
  5. Training and mentoring programs
  6. Identify disengaged employees
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