From Economic Times
Have you noticed any of your colleague bending rules to meet his target, or a senior who doesn’t practice what he preaches? Experts say it’s up to organisations to keep unethical and inappropriate behaviour under check by having leaders who can instil the correct values and ethics in their team. ET’s Sreeradha D Basu gets experts to suggest how to go about it…
1. Create an ethical climate: Ensure that people are allowed to speak their mind without fear, and help even opposing voices to articulate what they wish to express. “Create an environment where decisions are not made behind closed doors and inconvenient facts are not papered over. Bring transparency and objectivity to decision making,” suggests Himanshu Rai, dean, MISB Bocconi.
2. Lay out a code of conduct: “As a first step to ensure everyone in a workplace knows exactly what the company stands for, ethics of the company must be explicitly written down in as unambiguous form as possible,” says Sunder Nookala, co-founder and CEO of employee engagement firm Quench. That will help people clearly understand what is acceptable and what is not.
3. Ethics must be present always: According to Nookala, ethics must be present in everything that employees and leadership says and does. The implicit messaging is as important as the explicit communication. Rai of MISB Bocconi agrees: “Ethical leaders ought to shun deceptive communication. Provide accurate, complete, timely and relevant information to all stakeholders.”
4. Continuous reinforcement: A company should have mechanism in place to continuously reinforce ethics and values, says Nookala. “Employees adhering to the expected values must be rewarded publicly. A culture of storytelling is useful, where positively reinforcing stories of adherence to ethics is part of company lore,” he says.
5. Encourage ethical conduct: According to Rai, it is important that a leader inspires people through his/her own conduct, and provides them with autonomy, feedback, and opportunity to grow. “But never ever forgive even a single act that reflects a lack or violation of an espoused value,” he cautions.